Posting RE: [Annelida] substitution for formalin

A.J.van_Dam from via (by A.J.van_Dam from
Sat Feb 25 05:11:20 EST 2012

Dear Barbara,

A promising alternative might be DMDMH (Dimethyldimethylolhydantoin). It is a formaldehyde releasing agent used as a replacement for formalin in cosmetic and personal care products (not long ago shampoo could contain formaldehyde up to 1%!). 

More info can be found in the following papers:

van Dam, A.J. 2003. DMDM-Hydantoin: The promising result of a search for an alternative in fluid preservation of biological specimens. Collection Forum; journal of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), 18(1-2):104-115.

Molin, D.G.M. and A.J. van Dam. 2006. A Preservation Method Supporting Multipurpose Analysis of Long-stored Samples. Cell Preservation Technology, 4(1):46-50.

Also a new paper investigating the fixative capacities of DMDMH is expected to be published in the forthcoming issue of Collection Forum.

Kind regards,


Andries J. van Dam, conservator

Museum of Anatomy
Leiden University Medical Center
Postal zone T7-P
P.O.Box 9600
2300 RC Leiden
The Netherlands
tel: +31 (0)71 526 9581
fax: +31 (0)71 526 8275
E-mail: A.J.van_Dam from
Visiting address: Hippocratespad 21, building 3

Scientific collection manager, Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis

Associate scientist, Natural History Museum London

Directory Board member ICOM-CC

Director Alcomon Company

Van: Geoff Read [Geoffrey.Read from]
Verzonden: zaterdag 25 februari 2012 0:57
Aan: Jean-Marc Gagnon; Polychaete mailing list
CC: Dam, A.J. van (DOO)
Onderwerp: Posting RE: [Annelida] substitution for formalin

Hi Jean-Marc,

The list is open. The policy is anyone can post a message to the list. Subscriber messages go straight through, messages from non-members, or members posting from an another unsubscribed email address, or the occasional untrusted member, get checked first.

Geoff (Moderator)

From: annelida-bounces from [annelida-bounces from] on behalf of Jean-Marc Gagnon [JGagnon from]
Sent: 25 February 2012 03:46
To: 'Barbara Mikac'; Polychaete mailing list
Cc: Andries J. van Dam (A.J.van_Dam from
Subject: RE: [Annelida] substitution for formalin


The search of a substitution for formaldehyde is a frequent subject of discussion on NHColl-L (The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections' list-server;

The expert that has worked on this issue and follows the subject is Andries J. van Dam,  conservator at the Museum of Anatomy,  Leiden University Medical Center.

He is cc'd on this message. I am sure he'll be able to bring you up to date on the subject, although he probably cannot post directly on ANNELIDA-list.


Jean-Marc Gagnon, Ph.D.
President of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (

Chief Collection Manager - Curator / Gestionnaire en chef - Conservateur des collections
Invertebrate Collections / Collections des invertébrés
Canadian Museum of Nature / Musée canadien de la nature
P.O. Box 3443, Stn "D" / C.P. 3443, Succ. D
Ottawa, ON Canada K1P 6P4
T: 613-364-4066 / F: 613-364-4027
E/C: jmgagnon from

-----Original Message-----
From: annelida-bounces from [mailto:annelida-bounces from] On Behalf Of Barbara Mikac
Sent: February-24-12 5:51 AM
To: Polychaete mailing list
Subject: [Annelida] substitution for formalin

Dear colleagues,

I am interested if there is some other fixative for the macrozoobenthic samples that can substitute formalin? All groups will be analysed analyses later but special interest will be in polychaetes.

Thank you very much for your help!


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