EtBr safety procedures

Jim Owens jow at
Wed Jun 16 15:10:39 EST 1993

In article <1vndkn$n8q at> Michael Holloway,
mhollowa at writes:
>Because the regulations are promulgated by state law, are often
arbitrary and 
>made by political hacks, bureaucrats and hysterical special interests. 
>do we have to blame for this?  Us, that's who.  And not just through 
>neglect of safety regulations but also through neglect of public

I agree about why the regulations are there (we tend to ignore them
unless pushed hard).  However, I want to point out that the regulations
are frequently national (i.e., federal in the USA) but are subject to
local interpretation.  That is most of the reason for differences from
institution to institution.  Another contribution is that each
institution has its own license negotiated with the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission and thus they are not entirely identical.  The University of
Maryland had more stringent radiation handling regulations than NIH in
the same state.  At Maryland food and drink were forbidden even in labs
not posted for isotope use, while at NIH this was "impractical" and so
people can be seen eating and drinking in most non-posted labs.
>I'm only bothering to go on about this as though I had all the answers 
>because I'm often struck by the almost universal surprise when one person
>moves from one institution to another and discovers that the regs are 
>different!  People really do seem to believe that the set they are using
>the moment make perfect sense and should be intuitively obvious.

I'm surprised at how in my little area of NIH new people are allowed to
follow the regulations of their old institution, whether they were more
or less strict than NIH's.  

Jim Owens

More information about the Methods mailing list