Ethidium bromide (Et/Br) is the most commonly used stain for detecting DNA/RNA. The reason for this is its sensitivity and yields a low background and detection limit. The image below shows bands in gel with EtBr and how they fluoresce under UV light.
But the major drawback to EtBr is that the it is a potent mutagen and solutions must Be handled with extreme caution and decontaminated prior to disposal.
The correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn this includes wearing the correct gloves for hand protection. The user must wear nitrile gloves but thin disposable gloves (such as 4, 6, or 8 mil blue nitrile) used in the laboratory provide only a contact barrier and you will double gloving is absolutely essential because of the potential of pinholes.
N-DEX Nitrile gloves have been specifically tested against EtBr penetration and are avilable from Camlab.
Whats unique about these gloves is its manufactured to be three times more resistant than thicker natural rubber gloves. They will not become sticky when exposed to chemicals and tape will not stick to them.
After 8 hours of exposure to a light concentration of EtBr during testing there is no breakthrough.
Try these gloves and perform your own self test. If you are concerned the chemical has penetrated the glove, place your hands beneath a standard UV light and if Et Br is present it will show up as a reddish/brown colour on the skin. Benchtops can be monitired similarly.
To view these gloves click N-DEX or call 01954 233110 to speak to a member of our customer services team