EtBr decontamination

Paul N Hengen pnh at fcsparc6.ncifcrf.gov
Tue Mar 14 13:48:43 EST 1995


On 10 Mar 1995, Nathalie Ranciat (NATHALIE at SMISSMAN.HBC.UKANS.EDU)
wrote:

| 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, 
| 4:234-237.  I know they also published " Degradation of EtBr in alcohols"
| in Biotechniques but I do not have the exact ref.

YUK!!! NO THANKS! I now use an activated charcoal filter unit called
"Extractor" made by S&S (see page 26 of their 1995/96 catalog) which
is a little easier than adding charcoal to a Whatman filter unit.

BTW, the article I wrote in TIBS is available by FTP from my archive site.
Using mosaic, click on the README for the TIBS archive, then click on the
identifier (Hengen1994Juntibs) to read the article.

@article{Hengen1994Juntibs,
author = "P. N. Hengen",
title = "Methods and reagents - Disposal of ethidium bromide",
journal = "Trends in Biochemical Sciences",
volume = "19",
number = "6",
pages = "257-258",
month = "jun",
year = "1994"}

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* Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
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