Ethidium bromide not a carcinogen in first place....Here i passing you a article which i read long back"
"These in vitro tests, which comprise the entire body of evidence upon which the ethidium bromide hysteria is built, don’t provide any evidence that ethidium bromide can exert a genotoxic effect in anything more complicated than a single cell or an unprotected embryo. In fact there is no direct evidence implicating ethidium bromide as a carcinogen in any animal.
For many years, ethidium bromide has been routinely administered for the treatment of African Sleeping Sickness in cattle. For this purpose, ethidium bromide is administered via subcutaneous or intramuscular injection with no reported increase in incidence of tumor formation or birth defects in the treated cattle. This suggests that ethidium bromide is far less genotoxic to animal systems than is presumed from the in vitro data.
The recommended, apparently non-toxic, dose of ethidium bromide is 1mg/kg of body weight in cattle. In comparison to this, the standard concentration used in molecular biology (around 1 microgram/litre), is low. Rosie Redfield puts it into perspective:
A 50kg researcher would need to drink 50,000 liters of gel-staining solution to get even the non-toxic dose used in cattle.
From this, the risks posed to a scientist handling a very weak solution of ethidium bromide, with a gloved hand (remember the cattle are injected with the stuff) are put into perspective.
A real concern is that the irrational and ill-informed fear of ethidium bromide drives us to solutions that are more dangerous than ethidium bromide itself.
As a matter of fact, EB fluorescence could be excited not only with UV, but with the Vis light as well. This dye if I remember well has the absorption maximum somewhere near 500 nm. Of course, it is less intensive than the UV one (opposite to the case of SYBR Green)
Concerning the phrase in the article: "Sigma-Aldrich claims a similar detection limit for the SYBR stain"... Invitrogen (who byed the Molecular Probes which invented SYBR) claimed that "with a standard 300 nm UV transilluminator and photographic detection, as little as 60 pg dsDNA per band can be detected with the SYBR Green I stain". Is it not higher than the EB sencitivity? By the way it would be good to give the sensitivity data of EB in the article.
Has anyone tried to get rid of ethidium bromide in his lab? SYBR dyes are the alternative.
We use ethidium bromide from time to time. I hate it having in mind it's carcinogenic, so I turned to real-time PCR as quickly as the opportunity came.
Its not a proven fact that EtBr is carcinogen, SYBR dyes on the other hand give a cleaner staining but also "believed" to be carcinogen. We have to start a new thread on cancer causing substances present in labs.