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My lab has an older large Fotodyne tabletop UV transilluminator for visualizing gels. It has a UV blocking cover that hopefully reduces UV that passes through, but I've always been suspcious as to how effective it is. Obviously this part can be replaced with a new one, but short of guessing on the recommended 50 hr lifetime, how would one know the level of UV passsing through? I considered simply placing a gel on top, but that is far from quantitative. I am really just curious if there is an easy to make and/or obtain sensor that could be used to know when UV expose could be considered dangerous.

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Is there a more appropriate tag than DNA? – Rory M Feb 16 '12 at 23:23
Agreed, I'm still below the threshold for creating tags. Safety or visualization would have been remotely closer. – bobtheowl2 Feb 17 '12 at 2:03
I'm not sure this is on topic in its present state. It's more about safety procedures than the formulating or running of gels. – jonsca Feb 17 '12 at 4:03
@jonsca safety procedures should surely be included within experimental design? – Rory M Feb 17 '12 at 9:56
@bobtheowl2 sorry about that, didn't even consider your rep! – Rory M Feb 17 '12 at 10:04
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The instrument you are looking for is probably an UV-meter.

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That does seem obvious after looking at products available in a google search. Maybe one the reusable ~6 level color changing sensors would be adequate or even one of the ~$30 handheld digital models. Spending several hundred dollars is out of the question though. I was just hoping someone would say, oh yea all labs in the world use this cheap x sensor to warn us of excessive exposure (analogous to radiation badges). – bobtheowl2 Feb 17 '12 at 22:21
@bobtheowl2 I did try and find a radiation badge style dosimeter for you but it seems the only ones they have at present are for 24/7 exposure studies and tend to be quantitative rather than a qualitative red light approach – Rory M Feb 20 '12 at 9:48

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