EtBr decontamination

Fri Mar 10 16:36:42 EST 1995

On feb. 23, Claude Baker asked: 

EtBr is mutagenic, how do you get rid of it ?  (Sorry,if this is not 
the original text,  I accidentally deleted the original message).

Well, I was wondering the same thing and got a few references from our 
Environment and Safety Dept. They sent me a copy of a protocol by 
George Lunn and Eric Sansone "Destruction of hazardous chemicals in 
the laboratory". Sorry I do not have the references for this book)
 The authors state that EtBr insolution can be degraded by reaction with 
sodium nitrate and hypophosphorous acid, 
with a destruction efficiency of >99.87%, in general, reaction 
mixtures are not mutagenic. 

I found an adaptation of their protocol in Maniatis (section of 
plasmid vectors, p1.49). 

Also, here are a few references

Lunn, G. and Sansone, E.B. .EtBr: Destruction and decontamination of 
solutions. Anal. Biochem. , 1987, 162: 453-458.

Lunn and Sanson: Decontamination of EtBr spills.  Appl. Ind. Hyg. 1989, 
I know they also published " Degradation of EtBr in alcohols" in 
Biotechniques but I do not have the exact ref.

I hope this helps !

Nathalie Ranciat
University of Kansas
Department of Pharmacology

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