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Thread: Tetanus Bacteria and Bleach

  1. #1 Tetanus Bacteria and Bleach 
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    Just a quick question, if somebody were to put a rusty nail in bleach would all the bacteria that reside on it die and therefore not infect a person?


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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on the concentration of the bleach, the length of immersion and the types of bacteria. There is a reason the adverts say "kills 99% of known germs"; they can't commit to destroying everything. (In case someone tries bleaching a rusty nail and then hammering it into their foot.)


    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  4. #3  
    who sees through things
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    1. Try to avoid being around rusty nails.2. If you can't avoid being around rusty nails, try to avoid getting stuck with one.3. If you can't avoid getting stuck with one, make sure you are immunized against tetanus.
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  5. #4  
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    It really depends on the concentration, the toxicity of the certain bleach, and how resistant the bacteria is.
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  6. #5  
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    sorry, it posted twice.
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  7. #6  
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    Even if the bleach did completely sterilise a nail while the nail was immersed in the bleach, the moment it emerges it is then exposed to ordinary air. Ordinary air usually contains both inorganic and organic particles of various kinds. And all the surfaces or wrappings that said nail might contact also carry such molecules. That's the most obvious difference between a rusty nail and, say, a surgical screw or other device that is manufactured in sterile conditions and wrapped in those same highly-expensive-to-maintain sterile conditions - and even then people get infections from such things because it is near impossible to exclude every last such infectious agent from the air of an operating room.

    Remember, many of us have the tetanus organism on our feet and hands anyway, especially when in the garden. It's the penetration by a sharp object that matters - the organism might not be on the nail, rake, hoe that scratches you. It could have been on that patch of skin and the perfectly OK sharp object merely carries the organism into the bloodstream.

    Don't skip tetanus vaccinations. When you injure yourself in these ways, have the vaccination anyway if you haven't got accurate records/memory of when you last had the jab.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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