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Whoops, EthBr all over the shop...

John K. Troyer, PhD. jtroyer at umabnet.ab.umd.edu
Mon Dec 18 10:20:08 EST 1995

On 15 Dec 1995, Robert Horton wrote:

> Vijay Sarthy (vjsarthy at merle.acns.nwu.edu.) wrote:
> : In article <jpcd0-1312952018050001 at macr1-3.welc.cam.ac.uk>,
> : jpcd0 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk (John Dixon) wrote:
> : > Has anyone out there got any suggestions of how to remove large amounts
> : > (50mls or so!)
> : Contact you institution's hazardous materials office immediately! Then
> : tease your lab mate briefly and get him some pants. Finally, transfer your
> : EtBr to 1 ml aloquots (or less) for general lab use. Questions regarding
> : your Levis (which I hear are quite pricey over there) might be directed to
> : a laundry.
> Alcohol should help get it off the floor. Turn out the room lights and
> use a UV lamp to see the spilled ethidium better. As I understand it,
> however, alcohol is NOT recommended for removing EtBr from skin, on the
> theory that it may just carry the stuff deeper.  I would be interested
> to know what your HazMat folks tell you.

I can not stress enough that you check with your materials safety office!!!!
Alcohol and bleach *may* only reduce the fluorescence of EtBr and NOT 
remove the carcinogen!  This is the reason that it is no longer legal to 
simply treat EtBr waste with bleach or EtOH and pour it down the drain.   
Just because your floor (or 501's) do not fluoresce, does not mean the 
carcinogen is gone!!!!!


John K. Troyer, PhD.
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Biological Chemistry
jtroyer at umabnet.ab.umd.edu

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