Environmental Health and Radiation Safety, Temple University, ehrs.#Ehrs

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This guide is intended for laboratory personnel.

Please contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 for additional disposal guidance information.

Introduction

Ethidium bromide is commonly used in laboratories to visualize DNA or RNA during or after electrophoresis. Ethidium bromide is handled at Temple University as a chemical waste even though it is not regulated by EPA as a hazardous waste. Ethidium bromide has mutagenic properties that may present a hazard if it is poured down the drain untreated (filtered) or placed in the trash.

Waste Minimization

A concerted effort must be made to minimize all waste streams at Temple University as part of our waste minimization program. The following are some examples of waste minimization techniques:

  • Switching to less toxic alternatives to Ethidium bromide.

SYBR Safe DNA Gel Stain (Product # S37100)

  • Use dilute rather than concentrated solutions
  • Use micro- or semi-micro techniques.

Ethidium Bromide Solutions

Solutions containing heavy metals, organics, cyanides or sulfides or other hazardous chemicals or materials

  • Collect in an appropriately sized container. EHRS can supply a five gallon carboy waste container. The container cap must be closed securely when the container is not in use.
  • Label with a Hazardous Waste Label. Identify all constituents on the label with the approximate percent.
  • Request a pickup-Complete a Pickup Request Form under the Chemical Waste section and submit electronically( E-mail request) or fax to 2-1600
  • Solutions of this type are classified as a Hazardous Waste and are not a candidate for treatment (filtration/deactivation) or allowed to be released down the drain.

Stock Solutions/Buffer Solutions 10 g/ml concentration

  • Solutions containing 10 g/ml may be poured down the drain with copious amounts of water.
  • EHRS strongly recommends that all solutions be filtered prior to releasing to the drain.

Stock Solutions/Buffer Solutions 10 g/ml concentration

  • Solutions containing 10 g/ml may be filtered for disposal as outlined below or they must be treated as chemical waste and processed through EHRS.
  • Treated as Chemical Waste.
    • Collect in an appropriately sized container. EHRS can supply a five gallon carboy waste container. The container cap must be closed securely when the container is not in use.
    • Label as Ethidium Bromide (Mutagen) Waste-Liquid.
    • Request a pickup-Complete a Pickup Request Form under the Chemical Waste section and submit electronically( E-mail request) or fax to 2-1600

Filtrations of Solutions

  • The filtration of Ethidium bromide solutions, free of other contaminants, through activated charcoal or ion exchange resin is a safe and acceptable means of disposal.
    • Filter the solution through the activated charcoal or ion exchange resin. The activated charcoal or ion exchange resin will collect the Eithidium bromide.
    • Discharge the filtered solution to the drain with copious amounts of water.
    • Place the used filter cartridge/resin into a sealable plastic zip lock bag and dispose of as described below under Ethidium Bromide Contaminated Solid Waste.
  • Commercially available kits (see below) are available. Follow the manufacturer s instructions for proper use and ensure the media is replenished as necessary to ensure effectiveness.




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