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detection of trace amount of ethidium bromide - How? (Sep/24/2003 )

Hi All,

How can I detect trace amount of EB? I want to determine if there is contamination of my work area by EB and tried using a hand held UV light which is not sensitive enough. Any hints?

Thank you.


When working with ethidium bromide, try to minimize the potential for spills. Where practical, purchase ready-made stock solutions from chemical manufacturers in lieu of mixing your own solutions. If you prefer to mix your own solutions of ethidium bromide, protect yourself by doing this process in a fume hood. Perform all processes that generate ethidium bromide dusts or mists inside the fume hood to minimize inhalation exposures. Prevent accidents by transporting small quantities of ethidium bromide in a secondary container instead of carrying large quantities.
Spills of ethidium bromide solutions should be absorbed and decontaminated with soap and water. Avoid raising dust when cleaning up solid spills by mixing with water and then absorbing the solution. All spill cleanup materials and absorbents should be bagged or placed in a sealed container with a hazardous waste label.

Ethidium bromide is a strong mutagen and a possible carcinogen or teratogen. Please do not forget this!

Good Luck,


Thank you for your reply. It's very informative.