Wednesday, February 23, 2022

There's sodium azide in the BinaxNOW kits

Via the Miami Herald: 
The chemicals vary among kits and companies, but sodium azide is “the most common chemical,” the center said. 

A small amount of the chemical — a concentration of 0.0125% — is used in the BinaxNOW kit, for example, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Ingestion isn’t the only way people have been exposed to the chemical. In at least one case, a couple dipped their nasal swabs in the reagent liquid and then swabbed their nostrils, causing “irritation of the nose,” according to the National Capital Poison Center.
I did not know that, but I suppose I'm not particularly surprised, seeing as how there's a fair bit of use of azide in biochemical assays...


  1. I remember when I was in grad school, and somebody put sodium azide in the water cooler......

  2. It's a very popular preservative for bioassay reagents (especially antibodies). IIRC, there was an episode of Emergency! where the firemen were called to the hospital after the assay lab sink blew up--the trap under the sink had accumulated the azide, and a slamming door set it off.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20