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Ethidium Bromide Waste Disposal

Ethidium bromide is a known mutagen and should be disposed of properly to prevent impacts to aquatic life. Also, if not dried or in sealed containers, gels can decay and cause nuisance odors in labs and dumpsters.

Ethidium Bromide Disposal Procedure:

  • Due to the toxicity of ethidium bromide, empty containers must also be collected and disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • Do not discard any ethidium bromide down the sink drain or in the trash, unless the waste has been deactivated or filtered.
  • Dry the gels in a chemical fume hood in an open container before disposing into a proper waste container.
  • Collect ethidium bromide gels, contaminated gloves, pipette tips, and other waste materials separate from other hazardous chemical waste. Research Safety Affairs prefers the use of puncture-proof, sealable, and disposable containers to store ethidium bromide waste. Please note that these containers will not be given back to you (they are for one time use), nor does Research Safety Affairs supply these containers. You may purchase these containers from general stores or they can be found through regular lab supply routes. A completed hazardous waste label must be affixed to the container.
  • Do not put ethidium bromide waste into biological waste “red” bags.

Last Published: Mar 12, 2021