Hydrogen Peroxide

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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Quick question. Does anyone have experience using this in sterilizing applications? Have used with catalysts? Suggestions on useful concentrations? Materials or situations where it is ineffective?
 

luke_31

Forum Asst. Chief
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Never used it as a sterilization agent. Bleach is a much better alternative if you’re looking at common household agents. Peroxide I’ve only used to remove bloodstains from my uniforms or equipment, but I wouldn’t call it sterile after removing blood with it.
 

akflightmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
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Dr. Sumner pointed out that household bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is the gold standard of household disinfection, as it has the broadest antimicrobial spectrum of any household disinfectant and nothing seems to match that; but there is a place for natural products that reduce germs in the environment. It is possible to use products such as hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to knock down germ levels to the point where they won’t cause infection, but it just isn’t possible to sterilize with them.


 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Quick question. Does anyone have experience using this in sterilizing applications? Have used with catalysts? Suggestions on useful concentrations? Materials or situations where it is ineffective?

and in case you were wondering why hydrogen peroxide bubbles....
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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If I remember correctly you need around a 30% solution (like 10 times what you can get at a grocery store) to be even close to an effective germicidal agent but that still isn't very effective as just an aqueous solution. I can't remember how long you had to leave it on a surface but I think it was a pretty long time compared to other agents.

It isn't very stable and degrades quickly even if stored properly, and higher concentrations degrade relatively quicker than lower solutions. It is pretty reactive to a lot of substances making it difficult to be selective to its germicidal properties. In concentrations that are actually useful in the lab it's a decently potent oxidizer so you have to be careful about storage.

I haven't used it (outside of 3% to get blood out of uniforms) since o-chem back when I did my bio degree, it just isn't a great chemical. If you do use it on uniforms you need to rinse it out as soon as you see the RBCs get reduced as the hydrogen peroxide will also begin to degrade most organic materials and leave holes in your clothes. For anyone interested in more nefarious applications using it in this manner still leaves plenty of RNA and DNA (as well as many other chemicals that can be identified with LC/HPLC/UHPLC...), it only reduces the red appearance of the blood so that the stain is no longer present.

As a use in medicine all bacterialcidal agents also inhibit new skin growth which can result in scarring (this is naturally balanced with the scarring resulting from untreated infection), however this is especially present with H2O2. You end up with a very poor cosmetic appearance without any real antibiotic effectiveness.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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No silver bullet with H2O2 then. Anyone into head banging this?

Ongoing third world problem
- Locals in S.E. Asia are extremely sensitive to odors. Will not use Chlorine bearing chemicals even when mandated.
- Water treatment is commonly aeration only.
- Potable water is subjected to UV treatment but unfiltered, thus high turbidity which defeats UV. When filtered it is 5 u or worse. Spores are typically 2 u. (Polypro filters, .5 u ceramic is required to trap spores.
- Spores are commonly present in all water, with Stachybotrus - (neurotoxic spore product) often present.
- Commercial sterilizing agents are either not trustworthy or exorbitantly priced imports. Mislabeled or active ingredients not listed or known problematic chemicals such as carcinogens often present.
- Most sterilizing agents leave a toxic residue which has to be rinsed off with water - vicious circle.

So I thought of H2O2 at least as a rinsing agent. I can buy 50% concentration for $5 per gallon and dilute as required.

Patient transport vehicles, cleaned thoroughly after every run and rinsed out, become coated in black mold in very short order. Upper respiratory problems associated with mold are extremely common and very often ignored since it is almost impossible to treat.
(Persistent recurrent sore throats, chronic sinus headaches, weakened immune systems)

Additional. I have been experimenting with H2O2 in our mold growth incubator, aka bathroom. It is simply not wet enough in any concentration. Mold when attacked goes from black to light brown - tan instantly, but H2O2 spray only attacks maybe 5%. Dipping a toothbrush into H2O2 and scrubbing increases effectiveness to around 25%. Thus my inquiry into catalyst agents. But scrubbed treated areas resist mold regrowth often for 72 hours or more.
Water treated with H2O2 appears to be mold free but it is a very limited and normally unavailable process on a large scale and WHO points out neurotoxins will still be present.
 
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RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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If anyone wants an easier challenge. Explaining to locals:
1. Hog pens must always be downhill from all human habitation and sanitary measures must be taken between servicing hog pens and returning home.
2. Chickens may not free range around human habitation. Chicken runs may never instersect pathways to and from human habitation. Chickens may never be allowed inside human habitation to clean up debris/detritus and insect infestations.
Problematic: language barrier and misunderstanding in communication. Lack of available sterilizing agents.
I have tried going the H2O2 disinfection route with the above. Rule 1, do not trust rural/tribal locals with concentrated chemicals.

(In case you have wondered why swine and bird flu along with a galaxy of microbes is a constant ongoing problem in Asia and elsewhere)
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
87
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PS I was saddled with heading up infection control in a hospital for a while. It sure is easy with all the chemicals possibly needed readily available and P&Ps covering every last detail. But even there sometimes something slips through the cracks. A Pseudomonas we chased around the departments for months before finding the source comes to mind.

Pseudomonas infection: It wasn't infection control or nursing or lab that nailed it but the QA dept., Soc Serv and the part time programming from a person in CS. He ran a cross reference database with certain patient conditions and time factors. Finally came up with a burn patient who returned regularly to the hospital for outpatient treatment.
 
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Summit

Critical Crazy
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3rd world cultural barriers to basic sanitation and public health... highly concentrated H2O2 is dangerous

Bleach works but yea it smells, and everything else is expensive

PS I was saddled with heading up infection control in a hospital for a while. It sure is easy with all the chemicals possibly needed readily available and P&Ps covering every last detail. But even there sometimes something slips through the cracks. A Pseudomonas we chased around the departments for months before finding the source comes to mind.

Pseudomonas infection: It wasn't infection control or nursing or lab that nailed it but the QA dept., Soc Serv and the part time programming from a person in CS. He ran a cross reference database with certain patient conditions and time factors. Finally came up with a burn patient who returned regularly to the hospital for outpatient treatment.
That's good detective work
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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Bleach works but yea it smells, and everything else is expensive
When bleach is strongly/sternly advocated, the hygiene -health professional is seldom welcomed back and often becomes a pariah. Health care workers are often called upon to be expert sociologists and competent psychologists.

That's good detective work
The ultimate solution was a solution, a little free form thinking. Resolved when I added wet water from the local FD to a strong citric acid solution and let stand over the weekend in the hydro-therapy tub. A follow up with a sanitizing agent from CS - surgical prep resulted in a no-growth from path.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
87
7
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Stachybotrys Chartarum, black mold, on wall. Source is municipal water supply. The wall was sprayed with H2O2 about 2 weeks ago. Similar growth is common in ambulances.
The door to the right was painted with the maximum recommendation of zinc chromate added. I don't know why but nothing grows in the presence of zinc.


Mold growth on perimeter of cat's ear. Albino cat - poor profusion


Increasing concentrations of H2O2 used on towel until no mold regrowth was evident.


PROBLEMATIC: Common fungicides proven effective in this region contain carbamates, highly toxic carcinogens, and similar. Recommendation is all treated surfaces should be thoroughly rinsed. Full circle.
Use of water free of spores is availability and cost prohibitive. Common filtration is polypropylene filter, 5 micron and UV. Spore size is 2 micron and UV is not effective on this type of fungi spores. Spores also survive up to 300-500 F.
 
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johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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Never use bleach on skin only on materials like rubber or leather or other products.
and I work in a place that has used 50 and 100% bleach concentrate for decontamination of equipment before. Which is fun to work EMS coverage in case someone is exposed to it.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
87
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and I work in a place that has used 50 and 100% bleach concentrate for decontamination of equipment before.
Why in heck would you use such high concentrations? Trichloroisocyanuric? Sodium hypochlorite? Other? Sounds like an extreme circumstance measure. As I understand it, about 10% chlorine is as high as it effectively gets under normal circumstances since chlorine bearing liquids loose wetting properties. Big clunky molecules.
 
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