It is way more expensive for schools to keep buying disposable dead animals for dissection year after year as opposed to buying one batch of computer programs like the ones the medical schools use. In fact these computer programs tend to be donated free of charge to schools from various charities.
Dissection animal formaldehyde is known to be a hazardous air and water pollutant and waste material according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. When teachers or students dispose of the cut up animals with these toxic chemicals some simply throw them out in the trash and pour the liquid down the drain. Cities and towns have detected formaldehyde in their drinking water, rainwater, lake water, and other waterways.
Chemicals used to preserve dead animals for dissection such as formaldehyde and formalin (diluted form of formaldehyde) both cause cancer in humans and pollute the environment. Careless or irresponsible disposal of these preservatives or animal remains can contaminate water and soil and harm wildlife.
Did you know that traditional middle school and high school biology animal dissections can do more harm than good for students? There are psychological, physical and environmental dangers associated with animal dissections putting your student at risk. Over the next several days we will take a closer look at the harmful environmental risks related to animal dissection. Check back here tomorrow!
All of U.S. medical schools including Yale, Harvard, and Stanford don’t use animal dissection to teach medical students. Therefore what do younger students in grades 1 – 12 have to gain from animal dissection? The future doctors of America are using simulations, life-like models, and interactive computer programs to learn how to treat human patients. Y3K Tutor In Your Home maintains that there is a better alternative for every animal dissection assignment that any biology teacher might ask of a student.
Ethylene glycol–preserved specimens have actually been first fixed in formaldehyde or formalin solutions. They are then washed and preserved in ethylene glycol, which is the same chemical in your car’s antifreeze. Ethylene glycol is another toxic chemical that our children are being exposed to during biology animal dissections. It can affect the central nervous system, heart and kidneys. Remember that besides the toxic ethylene glycol, these animals still have formaldehyde inside them as well. When the animals are cut open, our children are exposed to toxic poisonous ethylene glycol and formaldehyde.
Another commonly used dissection preservative our children are exposed to is alcohol. This alcohol (usually isopropanol) is very flammable and should be avoided in the classroom.
After animals are killed specifically for classroom dissection purposes they are then often preserved. Dissection animals are embalmed with a chemical preservative called formaldehyde (also known as methanal). Formaldehyde is a nearly colorless and highly irritating gas with a sharp odor. The liquid these dissection animals are contained in is actually formaldehyde dissolved in water called formalin. Formaldehyde is a known nasal and dermal carcinogen. It is also a sensitizer, causing allergy-related symptoms.
When students cut open these preserved dead animals, formaldehyde can be released. This formaldehyde can damage the children’s eyes, cause asthma attacks and bronchitis when exposed to this poison. Symptoms of formaldehyde exposure include eye, nose, throat and skin irritation. Other dissection chemical symptoms include a persistent cough, other respiratory ailments, headache, nausea and dizziness.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this chemical preservative can be linked to cancer of the throat, lungs, and nasal passages. Children may be more susceptible to the respiratory effects of formaldehyde than adults, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Biology students should not be exposed to dead animals preserved in formaldehyde.
Animals that are killed for middle and high school biology class dissections are soaked in toxic preservatives that are hazardous. In most cases, the commercial supply houses that process and ship these dead animals use dangerous formaldehyde, formalin, alcohol, or ethylene glycol to preserve the animals for our children to then handle. Over the next few days we will highlight some of the dangerous chemicals your child may be exposed to if they do animal dissections at school.
Did you know that traditional middle school and high school biology animal dissections can do more harm than good for students? There are psychological, physical and environmental dangers associated with animal dissections putting your student at risk. Over the next several days we will take a closer look at the physical risks that may harm your student. Check back here tomorrow!