Updated 10/5/07 MDR


Gels and Dry Laboratory Wastes: Including Gloves and Papers

  • Materials that do not fluoresce under UV light may be disposed of directly in the biohazardous waste bin
  • For materials that DO fluoresce under UV light: deactivate the dye, dry the solids, and dispose of in the biohazardous waste bin

Non-Flammable Liquids

  • Aqueous dye solutions that do not fluoresce under UV light may be washed down the drain with water
  • For liquids that DO fluoresce under UV light: deactivate the dye then wash the solution down the drain

Flammable Liquids and Concentrated Mutagenic Dyes

  • Mutagenic dye waste that contains flammable liquid (such as butanol) and unusable concentrated mutagenic dyes (such as those concentrated by adsorption onto filter media) should be submitted to Cornell Environmental Health and Safety for hazardous waste disposal



  • nitrile gloves
  • lab coat
  • goggles
  • face mask
  • UV face shield
  • stirring rod
  • bleach
  • water
  • transilluminator
  • secondary containment and/or utility cart to transport materials between lab and room 123


  1. Work in the chemical fume hood
  2. To convert ethidium bromide to the physiologically inactive product 2-carboxybenzophenone, add 10mL of household bleach for every mg of ethidium bromide. (For dry gels, use a solution of water:bleach 1:3)
  3. Let sit for 2 hours, stirring frequently
  4. Check for fluorescence under UV (use the transilluminator in room 123). If the material does not fluoresce, dispose of it according to the methods outlined above. If the material does fluoresce, allow more time with frequent stirring and/or add more bleach