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ethidium bromide

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ethidium bromide

Postby becky7787730 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:04 am

I was just wondering if anyone knows anything about the danger of ethidium bromide contamination on clothes. I recently noticed some red splashes (relatively small dots) on my lab coat that had soaked through to the other side. I am worried that this may be (concentrated) ethidium bromide and that now it may be on my clothes. I have thrown away the lab coat and the jumper that I think i was wearing at the time it must have happened, but the jumper was already in my washbasket with other clothes. Will washing the other clothes remove the ethidium bromide that could be on my clothes? or should I throw them away as the ethidium bromide may be too concentrated and pose a hazard. Thanks!
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Postby Vagabond » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:33 pm

I personally would not worry too much. EthBr is a known carcinogen for intercalates into DNA but it does not bind permanently. It is at its most dangerous during cell division. EthBr slips into the DNA and when the cellular machinery comes along it thinks it is a base but does not know which one so it can randomly add a base (causing an insertional mutation). The good thing here is that if it is not inside the cell then it will not affect DNA rep. The other thing is that it is able to be diluted and washed out. Ok, now that I said that defiantly wash your clothes with a large amount of water.

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