ethidium bromide contamination on clothes

Jayakumar, R R.Jayakumar at roswellpark.org
Mon Feb 20 16:44:27 EST 2006


With due respect to Dr. Parida, I am genuinely surprised by his advice
about washing hands to clean ethidium bromide contamination.  
     Ethidium bromide is dangerous and is a strong mutagent either in
buffer or in the gel.  Always handle ethidium bromide gels with gloves
and dispose the gloves and gels in a ethidium bromide solid waste
biohazardous container.   Washing hands with water (though that is the
first thing to do as soon as possible) will not remove ethidium bromide
that is pretty strongly bonded with your skin.  Any ethidium bromide
spill on benchtops should be solidified using RED Z, or some such proven
hazardous liquid disposal agent and should be disposed off as per
institute guidelines.  Surface repeatedly washed with butanol, and other
recommended detergents till no fluorescence is observed under UV (again
contact your safety regulation people).  Ethidium bromide waste is
considered to be that biohazardous, that it is disposed off separately
from other biohazardous wastes, normally by incineration.  All buffers
(including running buffers) containing Ethidium bromide (any
concentration even traces), should be filtered through activated
charcoal filters (we do that in our lab which are also available
commercially), ensured that the traces are well below safety limits and
then disposed off down the sink.   
     If you have ethidium bromide spill on your coat, carefully pack
them in a  biohazardous bag and contact your environment safety people
on the best way to dispose it off. Washing them will only contaminate
your washing machine, other clothes and yourselves.  Different
institutes follow slightly different guidelines on disposing ethidium
bromide waste.  
    Careless handling of ethidium bromide can contaminate others in the
lab too which is not an ethical practice. 

Best of luck
Jayakumar T. Nair, Ph.D.,

Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, NY 14263

-----Original Message-----
From: methods-bounces at oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:methods-bounces at oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Siddhartha
Parida
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2006 11:40 PM
To: methods at oat.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Methods Digest, Vol 9, Issue 18

Etbr is its stock solution(10mg/ml) form is to some extent harmful but
not when used in gels or staining buffer , u can just wash ur hands if
u get in touch

On 2/19/06, methods-request at oat.bio.indiana.edu
<methods-request at oat.bio.indiana.edu> wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. ethidium bromide contamination on clothes (el)
>   2. Re: ethidium bromide contamination on clothes (DK)
>   3. Re: ethidium bromide contamination on clothes (Aawara Chowdhury)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: 17 Feb 2006 20:35:57 -0800
> From: "el" <elsbeau3 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: ethidium bromide contamination on clothes
> To: methods at net.bio.net
> Message-ID: <1140237357.755607.66830 at f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> the other day i was transfering a gel from the eletrophoresis box to a
> tray to take it to the UV light box (while wearing gloves ofcourse)and
> accidentally spilled some buffer on the front of my lab coat. I
changed
> my lab coat and went about the lab doing some stuff. then i realized
> that some buffer may have gotten on my pants but wasn't really
> concerned about it because i didn't realize that the buffer became
> contaminated with ethidium bromide while you run it (i just assumed it
> stayed in the gel). The amount in the gel was probably 1 to 0.5
> micrograms per ml when i found out a couple of days later that there
> was a small amount of ethidium bromide in the buffer i examined the
lab
> coat on the UV light box and there didn't appear to be any
> contamination (ie there was no visible florescence where the buffer
had
> been spilled). I consulted the MSDS about my jeans and  it just said
to
> wash contaminated clothing before reuse so i threw my jeans in the
wash
> with regular detergent separately for a 30 minute cycle. I assumed
this
> would take care of removing any residual ethidium bromide but now i am
> worried that i didn't based upon looking online.  the jeans (after
> being washed) got mixed up with my other laundry and went into the
> dryer with them when i meant to keep them separate. after being
> paranoid i just threw the jeans out but could i have contaminated the
> rest of my clothes with ethidium bromide or should i not worry about
it
> because it was such a small amount???
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 04:48:24 GMT
> From: dk at no.email.thankstospam.net (DK)
> Subject: Re: ethidium bromide contamination on clothes
> To: methods at net.bio.net
> Message-ID: <dt68un$6qn$1 at news.doit.wisc.edu>
>
> In article <1140237357.755607.66830 at f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"el" <elsbeau3 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >the other day i was transfering a gel from the eletrophoresis box to
a
> >tray to take it to the UV light box (while wearing gloves
ofcourse)and
> >accidentally spilled some buffer on the front of my lab coat. I
changed
> >my lab coat and went about the lab doing some stuff. then i realized
> >that some buffer may have gotten on my pants but wasn't really
> >concerned about it because i didn't realize that the buffer became
> >contaminated with ethidium bromide while you run it (i just assumed
it
> >stayed in the gel). The amount in the gel was probably 1 to 0.5
> >micrograms per ml when i found out a couple of days later that there
> >was a small amount of ethidium bromide in the buffer i examined the
lab
> >coat on the UV light box and there didn't appear to be any
> >contamination (ie there was no visible florescence where the buffer
had
> >been spilled). I consulted the MSDS about my jeans and  it just said
to
> >wash contaminated clothing before reuse so i threw my jeans in the
wash
> >with regular detergent separately for a 30 minute cycle. I assumed
this
> >would take care of removing any residual ethidium bromide but now i
am
> >worried that i didn't based upon looking online.  the jeans (after
> >being washed) got mixed up with my other laundry and went into the
> >dryer with them when i meant to keep them separate. after being
> >paranoid i just threw the jeans out but could i have contaminated the
> >rest of my clothes with ethidium bromide or should i not worry about
it
> >because it was such a small amount???
>
> No need to be that paranoid. EthBr is very soluble and was washed
> away in your washer just fine. Besides, the amounts you are talking
> about are incredibly negligible to begin with.
>
> And that is not to mention that EthBr is not particularly mutagenic
and
> it's carcinogenicity is entirely putative. A single smoked sigarette
> contains 100X more mutagenes than the amount of EthBr you are
> talking about.
>
> DK
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 05:19:37 GMT
> From: Aawara Chowdhury <aawara at FEMA-trailer.org>
> Subject: Re: ethidium bromide contamination on clothes
> To: methods at net.bio.net
> Message-ID: <J7yJf.48257$697.15457 at bignews3.bellsouth.net>
>
> In <dt68un$6qn$1 at news.doit.wisc.edu>,
>  DK <dk at no.email.thankstospam.net> wrote:
>
> > No need to be that paranoid. EthBr is very soluble and was washed
> > away in your washer just fine. Besides, the amounts you are talking
> > about are incredibly negligible to begin with.
> >
> > And that is not to mention that EthBr is not particularly mutagenic
and
> > it's carcinogenicity is entirely putative. A single smoked sigarette
> > contains 100X more mutagenes than the amount of EthBr you are
> > talking about.
>
> Does ethidium bromide even cross the plasma membrane of intact cells?
>
> AC
> --
> Email: echo 142322093203359315271794620168064975321554275890186P | dc
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> Methods mailing list
> Methods at net.bio.net
> http://www.bio.net/biomail/listinfo/methods
>
> End of Methods Digest, Vol 9, Issue 18
> **************************************
>


--
Sidharth Parida
Senior Faculty
Center for biotechnology and Research
Neelachal Inst of Medical Sciences
O.C.H.C building , Near Ram Mandir
Bhubaneswar-3
ORISSA
09437089337(M)
sidharth4 at gmail.com

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