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Old 04-11-2004, 09:02 PM
saluki_fan saluki_fan is offline
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What Can't Lysol Kill?

What is the .1% germ that survives from Lysol's brutal disinfectant blast? Will this .1% germ one day rise up and become a problem for our society?
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2004, 09:42 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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Have you heard about antibacterial resistance in medicine? This is the same idea. For various reasons, when bacteria reproduce some might develop a mutation which will make them resistant to a particular antibiotic. This is basically a freak occurance, but seeing as how many bacteria are in a single colony (and multiply this by the liklihood of having many other strains of bacteria present) and you end up with about 0.1% (according to Lysol's tests) of cells that are not killed.

The use of different anitbacterial products might kill those residual cells, but might not kill 0.1% of another type, and so on and so on.

It is, theoretically, possible that these resistant bacteria could become problematic for us. As it is, many common strains are resistant, but not dangerous to us. If one happened to be dangerous AND resistant to a whole battery of drugs, we could be in trouble. I don't know about numbers, though.
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Old 04-11-2004, 10:07 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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The 0.1% survival number for lysol may not even involve resistant bacteria. With a liquid disinfectant, there will usually be some tiny cracks in the targeted surface that are simply too small (via surface tension etc.) for the disinfectant to get into.
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Old 04-11-2004, 11:19 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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When you're talking about microbiology, there's just no such thing as 100%. Ever. You do anything to a large enough sample of bacteria, and some of them will survive. That's just the way of things.
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:51 AM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Well.....that's true, but the 99.9% figure is language from the federal reg about disinfectants. The EPA, who oversees them, requires that anything sold as a disinfectant needs to pass a test showing a 99.9% kill rate, or better.

Note that germicides, sanitizers, and such don't have to meet the same standard. So, that hand soap won't necessarily kill all that stuff, but it's not as hard on your skin as a disinfectant would be.
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:54 AM
neuroman neuroman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeghead
When you're talking about microbiology, there's just no such thing as 100%. Ever. You do anything to a large enough sample of bacteria, and some of them will survive. That's just the way of things.
Oh come on, what if I put them in boiling water for an hour, or send them on a space probe aimed into the heart of the sun?

Gotta be careful using words like anything
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Old 04-12-2004, 01:12 AM
aesth aesth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuroman
Oh come on, what if I put them in boiling water for an hour, or send them on a space probe aimed into the heart of the sun?

Gotta be careful using words like anything

Thermus Aquaticus would have a fair chance at surviving in that vat of water. Many more species are able to form spores which would probably survive in a vacuum. The heart of the sun bit might be a little difficult.

On topic, there are some things which would destroy pretty much any bacterium - a nice long wash with Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate would probably do the trick. Basically, anything which fundamentally disrupts the cell's lipid bilayer, or denatures all protein, would eventuially destroy every cell we've ever found, regardless of any advantagious mutations that they sport. The problem is finding all of the suckers.
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:26 AM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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There are other bacteria and even mulitcellular organisms that survive near underwater thermal vents at degrees in the range of 80-120C (for example, pyrolobus fumarii which lives at about 113C). Some of those multicellular organisms are things like 10-foot long tube worms, foot-wide clams, shrimps and mussels.

The fact is, there are parts of "life" that are incredibly resistant, and we aren't even close to having found and identified any huge fraction of what's out there, let alone all the conditions they can survive in.

As for "a nice long soak in SDS" - well, once that's done, be sure not to touch, place anything on, sneeze near, allow air circulation over, or do anything else to affect the surface you just cleaned, because the moment you do, those pesky bacteria will be back! You really can't get away from the little buggers, and frankly, you don´t want to! Many of them help you out, doing everything from eating your dead skin cells (you don't want them, do you?) to helping you digest your food, to creating weird and wonderful compounds used as drugs (birth control) or food additives (MSG, anyone?). Wash with soap and water, use antibacterial stuff if you must, but don't go crazy with it. You can never kill them all, and they can be good for you!
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2004, 08:30 AM
missbunny missbunny is offline
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Lysol doesn't kill ringworm. Practically nothing kills ringworm.

Although it's a fungus, not a bacteria, so it might not be part of the answer you were looking for.
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