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Ethidium Bromide Decontamination

Ethidium Bromide Decontamination

N.B.: Ethidium bromide is a powerful mutagen. Protective gloves should be worn at all times when handling solutions containing ethidium bromide.

Decontamination of solutions > 0.5mg/ml

This method reduces the mutagenic activity by ~3000 fold and is 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.

Decontamination of dilute solutions (~0.5ug/ml)

This method is after Bensaude, 1988.

1) Add 100mg powdered activated charcoal for each 100ml solution.

2) Store mixture at room temperature for 1 hour, mixing occasionally.

3) Filter through Whatman filter paper and discard the filtrate.

4) Seal filter paper in a bag and dispose of as for hazardous waste i.e. incineration.

Keywords: ethidium bromide, decontamination

Contact Email Address:

Submitted at 09:25 on 21/2/96 by:

Simon Dawson,
Department of Biochemistry,
University of Nottingham,
The Medical School ,
Q.M.C. ,
Clifton Boulevard,
NG7 2UH,
Tel: +44 115 9249924 Ex.44787,
FAX: +44 115 9422225,

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