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99% of all known germs

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dhdgsn
759925.  Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:43 pm Reply with quote

I always thought the reason for the disclaimer of only 99% of all known germs is that most commercial bleaches and disinfectants cannot kill endospores. Endospores are produced by bacilli (e.g. Bacillus anthracis - causes anthrax) and clostridia (e.g. Clostridium tetani - causes tetanus) and are incredibly tough. They are the reason humanity had to invent canning and autoclaving because you need thirty minutes at 121oC with 15 pounds per square inch steam pressure to kill them. Endospores have been isolated from preserved medical specimens that have spent literally centuries in formaldehyde preservative. Endospores can only give rise to replicating bacteria once they germinate, like a plant seed.

 
Arcane
759926.  Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:08 pm Reply with quote

Very interesting.

I thought that the disclaimer was more for legal reasons - that if someone were to have consequences from less than 100% of germs being killed, ie, became sick from something these germ killers are supposed to protect against, then they could sue the manufacturing/advertising company of that product.

I must say the new soap pump that you don't have to touch because of the EEEEEE germs strikes me as a rather WTH? kind of product.

 
suze
759930.  Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:45 pm Reply with quote

Arcane, I'm guessing that what with being in Brisbane you haven't seen last night's show yet. A lot of people think that the 99% claim is made for the reason you suggest, but they are mistaken and would have received a klaxon.

 
aTao
759933.  Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:08 pm Reply with quote

Surely the reason 99.99% is claimed because there are germs that are known that are unaffected by bleach. Extremophile organisms that thrive in all sorts of conditions: high temperature, pressure, acid, alkali, low temperature etc.

 
Arcane
759983.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:18 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Arcane, I'm guessing that what with being in Brisbane you haven't seen last night's show yet. A lot of people think that the 99% claim is made for the reason you suggest, but they are mistaken and would have received a klaxon.


Suze my dear, we're so far behind they're still showing the B series on the ABC :-( On that basis, I don't think we'll ever catch up!

And that was also based on the premise that having worked in the medical industry, no one could claim a 100% success rate etc for curing a disease or performing surgery, and I understood in general life a 100% rate could not be claimed in ANYTHING.

 
mckeonj
760019.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:09 am Reply with quote

.....except in sport and showbiz

 
Leith
760032.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:14 am Reply with quote

aTao wrote:
Surely the reason 99.99% is claimed because there are germs that are known that are unaffected by bleach. Extremophile organisms that thrive in all sorts of conditions: high temperature, pressure, acid, alkali, low temperature etc.

And radiation - as demonstrated by Deinococcus radiodurans, also known as 'Conan the Bacterium'.

This character is of particular interest to scientists looking for life on Mars, who are keen to ensure any spacecraft sent to look for signs of life are not contaminated with microbes from Earth, especially not species that could conceivably survive the journey.

The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) sets stringent guidelines on cleanliness levels of spacecraft visiting planets or other bodies that might support extraterrestrial life, using concentrations of Bacillus spores as a metric. For example, Mars landers in general are required to have fewer than 300 spores per square metre of surface area. Landers visiting "special regions" of Mars where liquid water might be present must have, on average, fewer that 0.3 spores per mē. In comparison, a clean kitchen floor will typically host thousands of millions of microbes.

Sources:
- ESA News: No bugs please, this is a clean planet!
- Astrobiology Magazine: Keeping It Clean
- NASA Planetary Protection: Mars

 
Arcane
760039.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:48 am Reply with quote

With regards to household products however, would you normally expect to find anthrax, tetanus and extremophile bacteria on your benchtops however? XD THAT'S why I was of the belief it had to do with not being able to legally claim to kill 100% of germs, since you wouldn't typically find them...

Also, most ads say "99.9% of GERMS". Do the advertisers generally make a differentiation between "germs" and "bacteria"?

 
aTao
760076.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:34 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Do the advertisers generally make a differentiation between "germs" and "bacteria"?


Ohh yes, for sure. Germs are bad bacteria, not to be confused with good bacteria (which they will also sell to you)**



**In ad land that is.

 
dhdgsn
760083.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:51 am Reply with quote

[quote="Arcane"]With regards to household products however, would you normally expect to find anthrax, tetanus and extremophile bacteria on your benchtops however? quote]

Bacillus and Clostridium endopores are very common in soil. That is why you have to have tetanus vaccination if you have a deep puncture wound and come in contact with the soil, e.g. in a road accident. Your house and my house will be covered in endospores.

 
RLDavies
760086.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:56 am Reply with quote

Arcane wrote:
I must say the new soap pump that you don't have to touch because of the EEEEEE germs strikes me as a rather WTH? kind of product.

I agree, the scare adverts for that thing are ridiculous.

On the other hand, the actual soap pump is on our next shopping list. I want to switch to liquid soap because the pumps leave the sink a lot cleaner than bars of soap. But Col can't use a normal pump -- literally can't, for physical reasons. This one, he can just cup his hands underneath and get a dose of the stuff.

Years ago in a book about marketing, it was predicted that with the baby-boom generation beginning to hit their 50s and 60s, there will be a tremendous increase in products that make life easier for people with physical and sensory impairments -- but at the same time they might not use this as an overt selling point. This auto-pump might be one of those products.

 
Posital
760092.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:25 am Reply with quote

They usually say "known germs". I'm guessing that we know of less than 0.01% of all possible germs...

so perhaps it only actually kills 1% of all germs?

 
Leith
760142.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:16 pm Reply with quote

Arcane wrote:
With regards to household products however, would you normally expect to find anthrax, tetanus and extremophile bacteria on your benchtops however?

Deinococcus bacteria turns up in processed meat and house dust, so I'd imagine it wouldn't be unusual to find it on kitchen worktops (though whether bleach resistance is actually among its survival traits, I don't know).

See:
AGAINST ALL ODDS: The Survival Strategies of Deinococcus radiodurans
J R Battista, Annual review of microbiology

 
Arcane
760205.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:10 pm Reply with quote

The selling point of the "No touch pump" is that there are germs harbouring on the pump (nasty things).

However, you wash your hands next, surely thereby removing the germs from your hands? The logic in that device therefore fails me.

 
Spud McLaren
760207.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:22 pm Reply with quote

The logic (from the adman's point of view) is that, if you use enough words like harmful, bacteria, family, etc, many people will rush to buy this saviour of a product without actually giving the matter some thought.

As RLD points out, though, it does have valid applications in a niche market; but that doesn't sell enough units.

 

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