Question
Asked 26th Feb, 2013

What is the best way to dispose of ethidium bromide solutions and gels?

Is there a way to remove EtBr from solutions and then drain the 'cleansed' solution down the drain?

Most recent answer

27th Feb, 2013
Sunil Kumar Sahu
Beijing Genomics Institute
Solutions containing EtBr can be deactivated, neutralized and poured down the drain with copious amounts of water. Deactivation may be
confirmed using UV light to detect fluorescence. Apart from above mentioned methods by different experts, there are mainly three ways of Chemical Neutralization:
1) Armour Method
2) Lunn and Sansone Method
3) Quillardet and Hoffnung Method
More details on this method can be obtained in the following link (http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/chemwaste/etbr.html)
However, as mentioned by Abhi Rama, u can opt for Lunn and Sansone method.
If u are looking for an alternative of EtBr then u can go for "GelRed" from Biotium which is also non-mutagenic.
Environmental + personnel safety is in your own hand :-)
7 Recommendations

Popular Answers (1)

27th Feb, 2013
Sunil Kumar Sahu
Beijing Genomics Institute
Solutions containing EtBr can be deactivated, neutralized and poured down the drain with copious amounts of water. Deactivation may be
confirmed using UV light to detect fluorescence. Apart from above mentioned methods by different experts, there are mainly three ways of Chemical Neutralization:
1) Armour Method
2) Lunn and Sansone Method
3) Quillardet and Hoffnung Method
More details on this method can be obtained in the following link (http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/chemwaste/etbr.html)
However, as mentioned by Abhi Rama, u can opt for Lunn and Sansone method.
If u are looking for an alternative of EtBr then u can go for "GelRed" from Biotium which is also non-mutagenic.
Environmental + personnel safety is in your own hand :-)
7 Recommendations

All Answers (13)

26th Feb, 2013
Nadine A. Gund
G-RS
Hi, in your institute must work a safety inspector: ask him how to handle it! Cheers, Nadine
26th Feb, 2013
Abhirama Krishna
for gels you can use strong NaOH solution(over night ! )
1 Recommendation
26th Feb, 2013
Abhirama Krishna
if you want more power-full method
Lunn & Sansone Method: For each 100 ml of
aqueous EtBr solution:
• Add 5% hypophosphorous acid.
• Add 12 ml of 0.5 M sodium nitrite.
• Stir briefly and let stand for 20 hours.
• Adjust pH to 7-9 using sodium hydroxide.
• Pour down drain with copious amounts of water.
or you can try Armour Method ( Lunn, G.and E. Sansone) old method but which i found easy
4 Recommendations
26th Feb, 2013
Christian Praetorius
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden
For solutions its sufficient to filter them through a column with activated charcoal.
2 Recommendations
26th Feb, 2013
David Bateman
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
For solutions its best to use activated charcoal. You should have some around anyway just in case you have a spill. Also gels do need special disposal, so using alternatives to EtBr is most desirable.
2 Recommendations
26th Feb, 2013
Zezhi Yuan
University of Alabama
There should be facility that is responsible for collecting and dealing with these carcinogen. What we do is to get a big bottle and dispose all the EtBr waste in it and call to ask the facility to collect them.
You may also use alternatives to EtBr, not very expensive.
1 Recommendation
26th Feb, 2013
Hendrik Gremmels
University Medical Center Utrecht
If you're lazy go for the magical teabags (DeconBags or knockoff thereof). Less hassle than charcoal or columns. I don't really trust 'em so better pour down drain with lots of water, check sewer for giant mutant lizards periodically.
2 Recommendations
27th Feb, 2013
Pradeep Bulagonda
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
You could use a filter paper filled with activated charcoal for filtering the solutions with ethidium bromide.Activated Charcoal will bind to EtBr and the filtrate is free of it and can be safely discarded down the drain
4 Recommendations
27th Feb, 2013
Tarun Kant
Arid Forest Research Institute, India
@Pradeep Bulagonda -Once EtBr binds to activated charcoal, how do you dispose the contaminated activated charcoal?
2 Recommendations
27th Feb, 2013
Pradeep Bulagonda
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
that has to be very carefully packed in a special bag and needs to be disposed off the same as agarose gels with EtBr by inceneration
3 Recommendations
27th Feb, 2013
Pradeep Bulagonda
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Also, you can use the activated charcoal on a filter paper for a very very long time (may be 6 months to a Year) even when you run more than 10 to 15 gels per day. so disposing it off shouldn't be a big problem
1 Recommendation

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