EtBr carcinogenicity

Pamela Norton pnorton at
Mon Apr 17 16:37:56 EST 1995

> concerned it is no hassle to wear them and you just cannot know what the
> last person to use your gilson may have had all over their hands!
> Consequently everything remains cleaner all round (apart from an increase
> in talcum powder fingerprints!!) My husband works in Cancer studies and
> although he wears gloves many people there do not bother even when

.....some deleted

> We all have a responsibility to ourselves
> and our families to conduct our work as safely as possible. Just because a
> compound or chemical is not labelled carcinogenic or poisonous does not
> mean that it isn't, so surely it is better to treat everything as a
> potentail hazard and take precautions. 
> Max.
> -- 
> Maxine Lintern
> Dept Physiology
> University of Birmingham
> UK
> M.C.Lintern at

     I agree that caution in handling chemicals and potential infectious
agents is warrated. However, the first statement that I have highlighted
reflects a lack of responsibility to one's co-workers (and their lack of
responsibility toward you), which is as important as concern for self and
family. I'm not trying to pick on Max, but I have had this arguement with
various colleagues over the years. My experience is that when someone wears
gloves all the time, they get careless. All manner of noxious stuff gets
deposited on telephones, doorknobs, faucets, etc. (How are you going to
wash your hands if the faucets are covered with heavens knows what?) 

					Solution? I want people to think about what they are doing, and behave
appropriately to protect themselves and those around them. If something
becomes contaminated, it should be cleaned up - no excuses. Note that the
institution must be concerned that safe conditions exist for non-laboratory
personnel: custodians, maintenance personnel, delivery people etc. Yes,
they try not to touch anything, but they have to open the door...

     Sorry for the mini-rant, but this is a pet peeve. Shutting up now. 

											Pam Norton

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