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Old 04-09-2003, 11:43 PM
TheOtherOne TheOtherOne is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arrestafield County
Posts: 406
Inahling rust...Tetanus?

I was sanding down some rusted steel CO2 tanks today at work, and realized that I had inhaled quite a bit of dust that consisted mainly of rust particles. I haven't been able to find any information regarding the dangers of this situation, and my tetanus shot is up to date, but how risky is this anyway?
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Old 04-09-2003, 11:51 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 25,042
Tetanus is caused by a bacteria that lives in soil and fecal matter. It doesn't live on rust, and contact with rust won't cause tetanus (there are other reasons you might not want to inhale rust particles). Also, I don't believe you can get tetanus from inhalation anyway, but only from contact with an open wound.
Old 04-09-2003, 11:59 PM
dauerbach dauerbach is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,335
Rust has nothing to do with tetanus. The rusty nail stuff started because that is indeed a decent way to innoculate yourself with tetanus spores. Being an anaerobe, a deep puncture wound is the best place for them to grow. Most nails you would step on have been on the ground for awhile and are rusty. Rust itself will not cause tetanus. Inhaling foreign materials is not a good idea however, next time use a mask.
Old 04-10-2003, 12:48 AM
TheOtherOne TheOtherOne is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arrestafield County
Posts: 406
Ahhhh...I have been enlightened.

Case closed. Thanks.
Old 04-10-2003, 09:19 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 40,912
Further, IIRC, tetanus is anaerobic (one reason it shows up in deep punctures). Even if you inhaled the spores, the oxygen in your lungs would kill it once it started to grow.
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