Lab Safety

Health Risks Associated with Laboratory Participation


There are many chemicals and tools used in the Anatomy Laboratory in association with cadaver dissection. Some of these chemicals are known respiratory irritants and carcinogens and some may cause central nervous system disorders. These conditions can pose an especially serious risk to an embryo/fetus.


Dissection tools may include: Scalpels, scissors, hemostats, forceps, probes, pins, gloves, Stryker saw, hacksaws, hammers, chisels and Virchow Skull Breakers and reciprocating saws.


Chemicals may include: Formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, orthodichlorobenzene , isopropyl alcohol, ethylene glycol, phenol, tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, ethyl formate, methyl salicylate, sodium hypochlorite and formalin.


Please see the Safety Data Sheets in the SDS binder, located in the anatomy lab chemical room, for more information about the risks associated with these materials.


If you are pregnant, or have a medical condition where exposure to these conditions may put your health at risk, we recommend that you consult with your physician and determine whether your presence in this setting is appropriate.


You may consider purchasing (at your own expense) and wearing while in the lab:

  1. a dual cartridge respirator or a PAPR system respirator or a device/mask that provides similar protection
  2. Tyvek coveralls.


All Students/staff/faculty are required to wear nitrile gloves when handling or dissecting cadavers.


If you determine you are unable to participate in this course and/or require an accommodation, please contact the following:

  • For disability accommodations: Student Accessibility Services at 216-916-7499, or
  • For accommodations related to pregnancy: student ombuds at 330-672-9494, or
  • For information regarding a graduate student leave of absence, please contact CPM Academic Operations at 216- 916-7491, or