Strong contamination with ethidium bromide

Jayakumar, R via (by R.Jayakumar from
Tue Jun 5 11:33:15 EST 2007

You could probably try amputating your finger tips or hope that
localized tumors develop for the sake of science.   Anyway, Ethidium
bromide is a suspected mutagen (being DNA intercalating), there has been
no report of anybody actually having developed tumors or cancer because
of it at the levels we use in the lab (maybe in mice).  If you develop
one, you could probably study it and publish a paper in nature.  There
is always a good side to everything.
   On the more serious side, exercise great caution while handling it.
Wear gloves (nitrile is very good) and decontaminate the area of
spillage as per your instituttes guidelines (I wipe it down with butanol
several times and then use RED-Z to remove the washates (prevented if
you use plastic backed desk protectors). Dispose solid and liquid wastes
carefully as per environmental guidelines. Even if you are careless,
don't let your carelessness affect others in the lab and your family. So
wear protective gear and report spillages to everyone in the lab.


-----Original Message-----
From: methods-bounces from
[mailto:methods-bounces from] On Behalf Of peter
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 9:08 AM
To: methods from
Subject: Re: Strong contamination with ethidium bromide

On Jun 4, 6:05 pm, Undergrad < 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 ?
> --
> View this message in
> Sent from the - Methods mailing list archive at

Don't worry you will be fine...EtBr has been investigated as a drug
against cancer in the past, not very effective ....

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