The University of Iowa

Toxin Inactivation Information

Chemicala and Heat Inactivation of Toxins

Toxin 2.5% NaOCI + 0.25N NaOH 2.5% NaOCI 1% NaOCI Autoclaving
T-2 mycotoxin Yes No No No
Brevetoxin Yes Yes No No
Microcystin Yes Yes Yes No
Tetrodotoxin Yes Yes Yes No
Saxitoxin Yes Yes Yes No
Palytoxin Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ricin Yes Yes Yes Yes
Botulinum Yes Yes Yes Yes
Staphylococcal enterotoxin Yesb Yesb Yesb Yesb

 a = 30 minute exposure to various concentrations of sodium hypochlorite with or without sodium hydroxide.
 b = assumed inactivation


Conotoxin inactivation depends on the presence or absence of disulfide bonds.

  • For conotoxins with disulfide bonds, incubate with an excess of dithiothreitol (DTT) (usually 10-20mM buffered solution, pH8.7) for at least 1 hour at room temperature or 30 minutes at 50oC.  Add an equal volume of 50-100mM solution of iodoacetamide (buffered solution, pH8.7) and incubate for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • For conotoxins without disulfide bonds, incubate in a closed glass vial with 6N HCl for 24 hours at 90-110oC. 

For skin contact, use soap and water to remove toxin burden.  Mycotoxins are dermally active; however, washing even 1 hour after contact with T-2 can prevent dermal toxicity. 


  • For complete inactivation of T-2 mycotoxin and brevetoxin, all liquid samples, accidental spills, nonburnable waste, and cages and bedding from animals exposed to these toxins, soak in 2.5% NaOCl + 2.25%N NaOH for 4 hours.
  • All burnable waste from toxins should be incinerated at temperatures in excess of 1500oF (815oC).