Engineering | Safe Engineering

Week 3 of National Safety Month – Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Lab Safety: Electrophoresis Safety

Safety is part of everyone’s job and class description. It takes everyone making proactive choices to keep everyone safe. ASU’s EH&S is focusing on the subject of electrophoresis safety this month.

Electrophoresis work can pose several dangers, including electrical and chemical hazards. The standards unit operates at 10 volts, which can provide a lethal shock of 25 milliamps. The chemicals uses to prepare the buffers and the solutions can contain ethidium bromide, acrylamide, phenol, and chloroform. These are all hazardous chemicals that should be treated as such, with the user being familiar and trained on how to properly handle and dispose of them.

It’s important to remember these tips:

  • Make sure all of the electrical components are properly labeled and inspected. Use safety features like power chords that are properly insulated, not damaged, and can resist a sudden change in power.
  • When connecting the leads, be careful and don’t leave it unattended. Wear proper PPE like dry gloves and making sure the power is turned off if you are handling any part of the configuration.
  • Be familiar with the instructions from the manufacture on proper set up, set, and disassembling.

At ASU, we provide training on lab safety, hazardous waste management, fire safety, and more. If you ever feel like you need specific training or don’t feel comfortable with something, please contact someone at the Engineering Office and Health and Safety and we will be more than glad to help you. Stay safe!

And as always – don’t forget to check us out on Twitter  (@ASUFultonSafety) and Facebook (/ASUFultonSafety) for more information, tips, and stories!