i am writing because me and my friend both work in a medical lab for the summer. And two weeks ago, we were dealing with ethidium bromide, and long story short, my idotic friend ingested ethidium bromide along with food. I got really worried and told him to get a check up but he keeps saying that there are no harmful effects on human because they didn't prove it so. I wish I could force my friend to a doctor, but he keeps telling me that it's not that bad(not as bad as people talk about it). Last I checked, ethidium bromide is very mutagenic right? It can cause oesophagal and stomach cancers no and then metastize? If it's taken in through ingestion, can it not get into the lymphatic system and as such cause some real bad problems? I just want to know to be sure that he's not doing anything stupid by not going to a doctor.
as you know, ethidium bromide is a fluorescent dye that intercalates into dna (that is why you are able to use ethidium bromide to visualize dna). Ethidium bromide is mutagenic in bacteria, and possibly animal cells.
There have been many cases of people accidentally being exposed to ethidium bromide without dire consequenses. The thing is, if your friend was to go and see a doctor right away then maybe they would have given him something at the time, but in terms of going now to check if he has cancer I do not know if that will be productive. Cancers have a long latency period and often require more than one hit to develop. It is likely that your friend will walk away unscathed, but please be careful in the future!
Why did your friend ingest ethidium bromide!?! Was he/she eating in the lab, did he/she run a gel and then have lunch without washing their hands? What sort of a quantity are we talking about?
I am worried I might have ingested a trace amount of ethidium bromide. I am always really careful around it but I touched my lab book and the printouts from the scanner with the same gloes I'd been using for the gel, forgot, and took them back to my desk to interpret while I ate lunch. Its really easily done.
Hi your blog is strangely relevant to a concern Ive been having. I used to work in a lab that used ethidium bromide. And ever since I heard about its carcinogenic properties I just really didn't want to go anywhere near it even though some other people in my lab used it. (to help justify my paranoia a family member of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer soo)
I mean how toxic is it? I have not and probably will not handle it because it is not in my field, but I'm just afraid of exposure because lets say someone wearing a glove that has ethidium bromide on it touched my clothes or just like being around it in lab in general. I mean even the amount on the clothes is probably trace, but then stuff touches stuff bladibla, are like trace of trace amounts of it dangerous?? if its a one time occurance its fine right?