Strong contamination with ethidium bromide

Yulia Shifrin via (by yulia24 from
Tue Jun 5 08:02:10 EST 2007

Well, I don't think you can do anything with the past contaminations of your
hands. However, from now on I would strongly suggest you to handle Ethidium
bromide and all the equipment that is contaminated with Eth. bromide only
wearing gloves!!  This is just the most basic and essential rule and I'm
surprised and concerned that apparently nobody in your lab teaches new
students basic safety procedures.
You can decontaminate the equipment using this protocol, taken from
Quillardet and Hofnung, 1988.

1) Add sufficient water to make the concentration < 0.5mg/ml.

2) Add 1 volume of 0.5M KMnO4 followed by one volume of 2.5M HCl. Mix
carefully and allow to stand at room temperature for several hours.

*N.B.:* Acidified solutions of KMnO4 are *powerful* oxidising agents.

3) Add 1 volume of 2.5M NaOH. Mix carefully and then discard the solution.
And once again, wear gloves!
Good luck
Dr. Y. Shifrin

On 6/4/07, Undergrad <sylvain.bauer from> wrote:
> Since 3 weeks I am using Ethidium bromide without taking much more care of
> it.  Everyday I used it and I notice that few drops of the stock solution
> were throw on my finger each time I opened the tube. I never washed
> afterwards. I estimated that I have done it at least 10 times. I just read
> how toxic is ethidium bromide and now I am very scared about had
> contaminated myself. Some people says that ethidium bromide fear is
> paranoia
> but if not what should I do? Book a place in a graveyard ?
> --
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