Ethidium bromide

Roland Hubner roland.hubner at
Tue Jul 17 09:13:59 EST 2001

In article 
<Pine.SGI.4.33.0107171248180.2437764-100000 at>, 
Michael Witty <mw132 at> wrote:

> Does anyone have any medical or epidemiological data about people getting
> sick from EtBr?  Especially at the concentration we use?
> Before I am howled down, I once went through an interesting experience
> with a new safety officer who notice I was using sodium azide.  She
> considered it to be "poisonous" and made me do some library research
> on how to use it safely.  This is in spite of the fact that I and my
> collegues had been using the stuff at 0.02% for decades.  I found out
> that the "poisonous" sodium azide is not really good a poisoning people
> at all (I found some medical papers on accidental ingestion of the
> stuff, though it is a very bad local irritant).
> Can we say the same thing about EtBr ie that it is "safe" at the level we
> use it at?  Mike

Hi Mike,
 here somebody had pointed out earlier (without a ref) that EtBr was 
used in meat during the '50s..

 see also
"was used at one time to treat sleeping sickness in cattle and humans." 

 If sodium azide has been so well studied, I suspect that for EtBr 
(highly mutagenic to procaryotes! -- bacteria in Ames test etc.) some 
published work should be around, right?


More information about the Methods mailing list