Ghost bands on plasmid preps (pH determination of phenol)

Dima Klenchin klenchin at
Fri Apr 13 20:39:22 EST 2001

PGegen at (Dr. Peter Gegenheimer) wrote:
:On Fri, 6 Apr 2001 15:38:18, TFitzwater at wrote:
:=F0 >NBB: Phenol is very caustic; use appropriate eye, face, and body
:=F0 protection when
:=F0 >handling, especially when equilibrating it.
:Phenol is toxic -- a large spill on your skin can be fatal. Wash it off with 
:soap & water, not ethanol! In molecular biology amounts, though, phenol is 
:relatively easy to handle. 

I thought I'd mention: phenol is an age-old medication for
sour throat (probably just a desinfectant). I was shocked 
to find that you can still buy it in Walgreens and the 
likes (same as "carbolic acid"; 0.1 or 1% - don't remember
for sure). Phenol is also an ingredient in many skin 
moisturizers and lip balms (0.5% in popular Carmex).

Also I don't know about "fatal" spill. It can burn the 
skin for sure but being poorly soluble, it won't go very
far - not in the time it takes to wash it off. 
Once popular facial phenol peels used to rejuvenate skin 
basically involve soaking your skin in phenol. 

I don't mean to say that phenol is harmless, of course.

        - Dima

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