HELPÙ EtBr disposal

Shelley Cole shelley at DARWIN.SFBR.ORG
Fri Sep 22 13:10:35 EST 1995

  I have successfully used a method in the past outlined in:
   G. Lunn and E.B. Sansone. 1989. Decontamination of Ethidium Bromide 
    Spills. APPL. IND. HYG. 1989. vol 4; no. 9:234-237.
It involves using a solution of sodium nitrite and hypophosphorous acid.  
They use 
it to decontaminate surfaces, but I have also used it to decontaminate 
solutions.  It has two disadvantages.  You have to make fresh solution 
each time you use it, and it gives off nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas, and 
so should be performed under a hood.
   We now routinely use a product by Schleicher & Schuell called 
'Extractor' EtBr waste reduction system.  It extracts EtBr from your 
solution when you pass it over a 'filter'.  It is very simple to use, 
and, for us, has been very economical.
   Hope this helps.


>      Hi everybody,
>      Does anybody know a safe way for disposal of EtBr? In the lab I'm working
> in they simply dilute it in water, but if there's a better way, I'd like to
> know about it. The problem is that we have no easy access to places in which
> they can treat it, so we have to manage the disposal on our own. I'd welcome
> any kind of suggestion, thanks.
>                                           Adela Torres
>                                        (Valencia, Spain)

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