Ethidium bromide (EB) is often used as a non-radioactive marker for identifying nucleic acid bands in gel-based acid separation. It is a potent mutagen which means it can cause a genetic mutation. It can be absorbed through the skin so always wear nitrile gloves when handling EB. N-Dex Nitrile gloves are preferred for work with EB, and they are available from Showa Best. EB users should be certain to wash their hands after use even if gloves were worn. The user should also wear personal protective equipment that protects them from contacting EB such as a lab coat, closed toe shoes and safety glasses. Goggles should be worn in place of glasses if there is a chance of splashing.
If there is an ethidium bromide spill in your lab:
Do not attempt to clean up the spill yourself unless you have been trained in the proper procedure.
Call EHSRM, 474-6771 or 474-5617 to report the spill.
Jami Warrick, IAB Laboratory Safety Officer (474-5455, 415A Irving I), has an ethidium bromide spill kit and will assist EHSRM with the cleanup.