The following list consists of equipment and laboratory
supplies that may be useful in Palynology Labs. Information supplied
here is intended only for guidance. Readers are advised to contact the
suppliers directly for authoritative and up-to-date prices, specifications
and availability. Please note that inclusion of equipment or supplies
in this list does not constitute an endorsement on the part of CAP,
its executive, or members. CAP, its executive, and members assume no
liability for any accident or damage caused in any way by using or
misusing items included in this listing.
Have you ever taken a pollen slide to a colleague's lab.,
only to have trouble finding that "mystery grain" again
because their microscope stage co-ordinates are different
to yours? This device helps avoid those problems, allowing
the same point to be relocated on any microscope.
An England Finder consists of a glass slide marked with a
co-ordinate reference system. Once an object of interest
is found on a pollen slide, it is brought beneath the cross-hairs.
The England Finder is placed on the stage and the co-ordinates
for the centre of the field of view are read off. Then, when the
pollen slide is taken to another microscope, the England Finder
is used to set the recorded co-ordinates. When the pollen slide
is placed on the stage, the item of interest should be re-located
beneath the cross-hairs.
These items were formerly supplied by Graticules Ltd., which
no longer exists. These products are now supplied by
Pyser SGI Limited. Further details may be obtained at
This company also supplies a variety of other stage graticules,
eyepiece micrometers, etc.
Note: This article original appeared in CAP Newsletter 18(1):29, 1995.
The company contact information has been updated as of March 21 2004.
A recent AASP Newsletter (28(1):14-15, 1995) contained the
harrowing account of the death
of a laboratory technician in Australia following a hydrofluoric
acid (HF) burn. The amount of acid
involved was quite small, estimated to be about 100 ml. An
extract from the Ontario Geological Survey laboratory safety
manual dealing with the emergency treatment of HF burns (see
AASP Newsletter 28(1):15, 1995) and a follow-up article
(AASP Newsletter 28(2): 13-14, 1995) included the information
that burns can be treated effectively with an aqueous solution or
a gel preparation of calcium gluconate.
There is a commercially-manufactured product designed for the
First-Aid treatment of HF burns. The product is known as
"Calcium Gluconate Gel". It is manufactured by Industrial
Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, Altrincham, England, U.K., and
is distributed in Canada and the US by Pharmascience Inc.
(address below). The gel is supplied in tubes of 25 g. Prices,
as of March 1995, are $27.55/tube or $165.30 for a 6-tube pack.
According to information from Pharmascience, at normal room
temperature, the gel has a recommended shelf-life of not more
than five years.
Note that this is a First-Aid treatment only and is not a
substitute for proper medical attention.
All HF burns, no matter how seemingly trivial, should be
considered serious and proper medical
treatment sought. For more information on this product, contact:
Pharmascience Inc., 8400 Darnley Road, Montreal, Quebec,
H4T 1M4, Canada, Tel: (514) 340-1114
Lycopodium spore tablets are commonly used in Quaternary
palynology as a "spike" to inoculate samples during processing
in order to calculate pollen concentration and pollen accumulation
rate (PAR) values. The following information has been extracted
from a flyer produced by Dr Björn Berglund, Laboratory of
Quaternary Biology, Lund University, Sweden.
The Lycopodium spore tablets can be dissolved in water or in HCl
but not in NaOH. The present batch of tablets are based mainly on
sodium bicarbonate together with polyvinylpyrilidon and polyethyleneglycol
which must be carefully washed away with water and finally with
diluted HCl before further treatment. The spores are acetolysed.
The spore concentration has been determined with an electronic particle
counter, Coulter Counter ZB, tube size 140 microns. One hundred samples of
five tablets each taken from different places in the batch were prepared by
dissolving the tablets in Isoton II NaCl solution in 100 ml flasks.
Twenty counts each of 0.5 ml were made on each sample.
Lycopodium spore tablets (Batch 710961)
Results of the calibration (5 tablets): X = 69,556; s = ± 1,541; V = ± 2.2%
For one tablet: X=13,911
Lycopodium spore tablets (Batch 124961)
Results of the calibration (5 tablets): X = 62,712; s= ± 2,081; V = ± 3.3%
For one tablet: X = 12,542
Lycopodium spore tablets (Batch 483216)
Results of the calibration (5 tablets): X = 92,914, s = ± 3,820, V = ± 4.1%
For one tablet: X = 18,583
Lycopodium spore tablets (Batch 177745)
Results of the calibration (5 tablets): X = 92,918, s = ± 1,853, V = ± 2.0%
For one tablet: X = 18,584
Lycopodium spore tablets (Batch 1031) (May 2011)
Results of the calibration (5 tablets): X = 104,242, s = ± 3,457, V = ± 3.3%
For one tablet: X = 20,848
Production, distribution, payment and where to order
The Lycopodium tablets are distributed through the University of Lund, Sweden.
Lycopodium tablets are distributed in plastic bottles
containing 250 tablets. Prices and order details can be found here
For current pricing, to place an order form or for more information,
please write to:
Åsa Wallin, Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Division of Geology, Lund University
Sölvegatan 12, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden. (asa[dot]wallin[at]geol[dot]lu[dot]se)
See also the article on
Statistics for Lycopodium Tablets
by L. J. Maher.
I recently had occasion to track down a supplier of Nitex® gauze.
This nylon gauze, usually in 8 or 10 micron mesh opening, is used for filtering out very fine grained
material, especially clay, in pollen processing. The gauze is expensive and suppliers are few.
Because it took me some time to track down a Canadian-based supplier, I thought I would pass
this information along to the rest of the palynological community.
Nitex® gauze, in various mesh openings, can be obtained through
Dynamic Aqua-Supply, located in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Their web site is at
www.dynamicaqua.com and they can be reached at 604-543-7504. The gauze is
sold by the linear yard, and the minimum order is one yard. As an example, the 10
micron mesh is listed at $172/yard, as of January 2005.
The gauze can also be obtained from: Miami Aqua-culture Inc., 805 North Federal Highway, Boyton Beach, Florida 33435, USA,
Tel: 561-364-5999, Fax: 561-364-7748. The per yard price, as of July 2010, is $76.74. This information was supplied by Vaughn M. Bryant, December 2010.
Note: This article original appeared in CAP Newsletter 28(1):3, 2005.