Ethidium bromide

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


In article 
<Pine.SGI.4.33.0107171248180.2437764-100000 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk>, 
Michael Witty <mw132 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk> 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 http://www.leeds.ac.uk/mbiology/ug/med/kill.html
"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?

 Roland




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