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Ethidium Bromide in gel?

  1. Jul 21, 2004 #1
    How dangerous is ethidium bromide in a hardened gel? I touched it (the hardened gel) with my bare hands (accident) and immediately proceeded to wash thoroughly with soap and water. haha am i going to be fine? This was 6 micro liters of EtBr in a 300 mL solution. Thx a lot in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2004 #2


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    Oddly, the OSHA web site has no exposure guidelines regarding ethidium bromide, but I think you should be safe at that dilution. If it was pure, you'd be in trouble.
  4. Jul 21, 2004 #3


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    Since it was already diluted and mostly trapped in the gel and you washed your hands right away (and I'm assuming you just bumped it lightly if it was an accident), you should be fine.

    As a general note (in case you didn't already know this), if you do expose yourself to something and want to wash it off, use warm water, not hot or cold, and mild handsoap, not strong detergent...you don't want to irritate or break the skin, which would make the exposure worse.
  5. Jul 21, 2004 #4
    If you weren't fine, why would you laugh like that ?

    PS>I know Ali means Ant in Japanese but since only crazy alpha creatures, I supposed I called ants, will always use or follow people's style like "detective oo7" where it should be "007" instead.
    Ideas ?
  6. Jul 21, 2004 #5
    Did anyone understand what she just said?
  7. Jul 22, 2004 #6
    apparently anaylsing both your nickname and your post..

    hey, you're still alive! Must be ok then lol
  8. Jul 22, 2004 #7
    lol, she lost me w/ the alpha animals. anywho, I'm just afraid of being mutated or something, but it was just in a gel, so i guess its all good. Thx a lot for the advice you guys.
  9. Aug 2, 2004 #8
    Probably nothing will happen. Skin on hands is relatively thick and has high stratum corneum. Potential genotoxic effect is not relevant in case of dead desquamating cells. I am sure You have already washed it with soap and warm water, don't worry

    Probably You have seen this:
    http://www.ehs.washington.edu/updates/TipsEthidium.htm [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  10. Aug 2, 2004 #9
    I think the above link's *personal protection* is what you should read more carefully. :wink:
  11. Sep 1, 2004 #10
    how would someone know whether they had been contaminated with ethidium bromide. what would happen to the skin?
  12. Sep 2, 2004 #11
    does anyone know? please tell me
  13. Sep 2, 2004 #12


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    Ethidium bromide binds to DNA. You use it in gels to label the DNA (it will fluoresce under UV light). So, the danger is if you expose yourself that you will either kill cells by binding up the DNA or mutate them. Nothing would be immediately obvious about the exposure to skin, but if exposed in large amounts, it is toxic. Just always wear gloves when handling ethidium bromide or gel apparati that has been used with ethidium bromide (just to be extra careful in our lab, we even keep a separate flask just for making gels in case there is any ethidium bromide residue on it, we all know to wear gloves to touch that one, even if it should be clean).
  14. Sep 3, 2004 #13
    thx moonbear i'm just a little shaken after working with it so much. i always have gloves on but i'm not sure if my skin had ever been exposed to it. :(
  15. Sep 3, 2004 #14


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    Don't worry if you've been wearing gloves, just remember to consider things contaminated if you're not the only person dealing with equipment.
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