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What’s the smartest DNA decontamination solution? New study puts them to the test.

The findings of a comparison study conducted at NFSTC’s laboratory have just been released. The DNA decontamination study compares the industry mainstay, 10% bleach solution, to two specialized decontaminants, STERIPLEX SD and Pure Blu. The findings have been compiled into a technology evaluation report. (Note: This report was revised on Oct. 13 to correct information sent from one of the manufacturers; if you downloaded the earlier version, please download this updated report.)

It is imperative for laboratories to decontaminate equipment and surfaces to avoid cross-contamination when working with DNA. Typically laboratories use 10% bleach solution to clean and decontaminate, but bleach comes with a host of drawbacks: It’s caustic and corrosive, and it loses effectiveness after 24 hours, so fresh batches have to be mixed every day. The specialized alternatives last longer, but how well do they decontaminate? Are they safer? And are they worth the extra money?

To download other reports, visit NFSTC’s Technology Evaluations main page, or jump directly to the Biology & DNA, Chemistry and Crime Scene Investigation pages.