City College of San Francisco is seemingly constantly in the news for scandals ranging from issues of accreditation, to extravagant administrative meal and travel expenses, to sketchy potential skirting of no-bid contract rules. Well, just to round the whole thing out, today we learn that the college's Biological Sciences Department keeps its cadavers from rotting via the power of fresh air.
"We've got formaldehyde that is perforating the building, peeling the paint, and so the solution way back when was to turn off the heat on that side of the building so we could keep the cadavers cold," once-Chancellor Art Tyler explained to SF Weekly. "That's not the right solution."
Apparently an OSHA inspection OK'd the open-window technique back in the early 1980's, and the college hasn't updated its storage technique since.
"[OSHA Inspectors] said, 'With the windows open and the wind we get up here, we actually have better ventilation,'" explained professor Michael Guthrie while recalling the OSHA visit to the Weekly.
The Biological Sciences Department currently has three cadavers, and they are preserved with formaldehyde but not refrigerated in any way. A modern lab, reports the paper, has both "air and floor ventilation, as well as equipment for constant monitoring of temperature and chemicals in the air" in addition to refrigeration.
Oh, and as a little icing on the donated-for-science cake, when bodies are brought to the lab they must be stood upright — the elevator is too small to accommodate them otherwise. Which: that's some serious Weekend at Bernie's shit.