Are you decontaminating your ethidium bromide solutions?

John Nash num208jn at MBDS.NRC.CA
Wed Aug 14 08:28:12 EST 1991

In article <1991Aug14.024044.20602 at>, weiss at writes:
>This one surprised us. We've been decontaminating our waste ethidium
>bromide stocks with hypochlorite, and now discover that it's *not*
>recommended. The Sambrook et al Molecular Cloning Lab Manual (2nd Edn)
>says on pages 6.16 - 6.17 that you shouldn't use bleach, but rather should
>go through a choice of filtration methods, including the use of Amberlite
>XAD-16 or powdered activated charcoal (for >0.5 ug/ml eth br)!!!!!!!!
>Does anyone have any better suggestions??
>Tony Weiss
>weiss at
>"usual disclaimers apply"


There is a paper [Ethidium Bromide: Destruction and Decontamination of
Solutions.  Lunn, G. and Sansone. E.B. Analytical Biocehmistry
162:453-458, 1987] which describes various ways to destroy ethidium
bromide and looks at the mutagenicity of the various products of the
different destruction methods.  It's probably worth a bit of a look. 
Unfortunately, all of the methods which "work" are tedious.

Hope this helps.

John Nash,                            Internet:  num208jn at 
Institute for Biological Sciences,
National Research Council of Canada,  Ottawa,  Canada  K1A 0R6.	
Disclaimer:  All opinions are mine, not NRC's!

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