News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Re: BRYONET: Hoyer's Solution & chloral hydrate


Although Alan Fife is correct about the toxicity of chloral hydrate,
the primary deterrent to its availability for use as a clearing agent
is that it is a controlled substance. In the USA it is a Schedule IV
drug, classed with barbiturates, tranquilizers and sedatives. A
prescription is necessary to obtain it. It is/was known by the street
name, "Mickey Finn," a knockout or date rape drug. It has been used
(and misused) as a sedative and sleep-inducing agent for over a
century and a half; its hypnotic effects seem to be a reason for its
abuse as a recreational drug. On another note, I can find reference to
only a low level of carcinogenic potential.

Considering the relative safety issues, glycerine jelly is a much
wiser choice for a mountant than Hoyer's Solution.

David H. Wagner, Ph.D.
Northwest Botanical Institute
P.O. Box 30064
Eugene, OR 97403-1064

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