SOP for Ethidium Bromide Use


University of Washington Department of Microbiology

Standard Operating Procedures for Chemicals or Processes

#1   Process

(if applicable)

Ethidium bromide, used in staining DNA.

#2  Chemicals

Ethidium bromide (CAS Registry Number 1239-45-8).  Hazards:  Suspect human mutagen.  Powder is an irritant of the upper respiratory track, eyes and skin.

#3   Personal Protective                        Equipment (PPE)

Lab coat, chemical splash goggles, nitrile gloves.  Use double layer of gloves if working with powder or cleaning up spills.

#4   Environmental /

Ventilation Controls

All operations involving powder or mists of ethidium bromide must be done in a fume hood.  Check for proper operation of the fume hood, prior to use.

#5  Special Handling Procedures & Storage Requirements

Liquid:  Store in the dark and the cold, preferably in a plastic container.

Solid:  Store at the designated area.

#6  Spill and Accident Procedures

If any ethidium bromide contacts the skin, wash with soap and water for 15 minutes.  If powder spilled, mix with water. Absorb solutions with a spill pillow or absorbent (diatomaceous earth), carefully to avoid creating aerosols or dust.  Bag the absorbent and place bagged clean-up materials in another, sealed container and label the container as hazardous waste.  Refer to attached sheets for more information.

#7  Waste Disposal

Contact EH&S for waste material collection.

#8  Special Precautions                       for Animal Use

(if applicable)


Particularly hazardous

substance involved?

  X   YES:

Blocks #9 to #11 are Mandatory


Blocks #9 to #11 are Optional.

#9  Approval Required

Approval from PI prior to first use.

#10 Decontamination

Use copious amounts of soap and water after solution is absorbed.

#11 Designated Area

Fume hood at 351 or 352 for dispensing power.


Name:                                                                                  Title:

Signature:                                                                                              Date:                                    

Environmental Health and Safety, Box 354400                         *to be filled in by PI or Supervisor


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