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#107581 - 10/02/07 09:45 PM Water purification tabs as a disinfectant?
Tirec Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Rocky Mountain West
In my kits I carry Potable Aqua. According to the manufacturer, it's "a proprietary compound called TGHP (Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide). Each tablet contains 20 milligrams of TGHP, which liberates 8 milligrams (ppm) of titratable iodine." The recommend 2 tablets per quart or liter when disinfecting water.

My questions for the chemist/medical types are, when mixed with water, can this be used for other purposes like a tincture of iodine in disinfecting wounds? If so, how much water should it be mixed with for disinfecting as opposed to water purification?

If able, this could eliminate one thing in the kit, since multiple uses of kit items is desirable.

Thoughts?
Thanks

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#107582 - 10/02/07 10:06 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: Tirec]
eric_2003 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 56
To get a 1% iodine solution, you'd need 10 mg of iodine per ml. So that's 100 mg for a 10 ml disinfection solution.

Which is about 10 tablets into 10 mls to get just under 1% iodine, but perhaps 5 tablets could be used to get a more dilute solution that is less irritating.

I don't know if that many tablets would dissolve into the small amount of water, but I take the reverse approach. I EDC a small vial of poviodine for wound disinfection and water purification, even though poviodine doesn't allow for very accurate calculation of iodine release, as the iodine is stuck to a polymer. I also carry a vial of tincture of iodine (one that has ethanol as a diluent) in my BOB as well.

There is lots of new research with chlorine dioxide being used as a disinfectant, but I haven't had the chance to look at the concentrations used on wounds yet.

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#107639 - 10/03/07 01:38 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: eric_2003]
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
You can just use the tabs as you would do for drinking water:
2 Potable Aqua tabs per 1l of water (1 tab per 1l for the other brands) and use it for the irrigation (flushing)of wounds if your water-supply is contaminated/unrelyable.
I don't think you can use it to make a antiseptic for wounds though. Just for the water..
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#107738 - 10/04/07 04:44 AM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: JIM]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
I seem to recall reading that it was one PA tablet dissolved in an ounce of water. But this was quite a while ago, and the book had some *cough* interesting procedures in it.

For what it is worth. I have no idea what concentration of iodine that would be, or even if it is the right kind of iodine solution.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#107798 - 10/04/07 07:47 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: JIM]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
The issue here is contact time. If your trying to sterilise a wound you might do better to put a sterile dressing over it and then slowly soak the dressing. It should retain enough iodine to have an effect.

Of course, he who does not carry a decent antiseptic in his kit is begging for trouble.


Edited by Leigh_Ratcliffe (10/04/07 07:48 PM)
Edit Reason: Spelling!
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#107802 - 10/04/07 08:56 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: eric_2003]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: eric_2003
To get a 1% iodine solution, you'd need 10 mg of iodine per ml. So that's 100 mg for a 10 ml disinfection solution.

It's been ages since I've taken general chem, but Eric, are you sure of these concentration calculations?

I was doing a little searching on Google and I found this webpage. According to this page, one tablet in a quart/liter canteen gives you an approximately 5% solution. That should be a decent antiseptic strength without the iodine becoming too irritating to the wound.

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#107812 - 10/04/07 11:56 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: Arney]
eric_2003 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 56
From the web-page quoted above:

One Portable Aqua tablet per quart of water gives you a concentration of 5.3mg/liter.

Using that concentration:

5.3 mg/liter = 5.3 mg/1000 ml = 0.0053 mg/ml

Considering that 10 mg/ml = 1%,

0.0053 mg/ml divided by 10mg/ml gives you 0.00053 %

That last percentage is great for drinking but not for disinfection.

For the response to the original question, as long as the quoted amount of iodine per tablet was correct, the concentrations should be right too...

I still like carrying a vial of free iodine better. Just look for 1 or 2% iodine tincture that uses ethanol, not isopropryl alcohol as the diluent.

Eric

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#107917 - 10/06/07 03:47 AM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: Tirec]
asfried1 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Tirec
In my kits I carry Potable Aqua. According to the manufacturer, it's "a proprietary compound called TGHP (Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide). Each tablet contains 20 milligrams of TGHP, which liberates 8 milligrams (ppm) of titratable iodine." The recommend 2 tablets per quart or liter when disinfecting water.

My questions for the chemist/medical types are, when mixed with water, can this be used for other purposes like a tincture of iodine in disinfecting wounds? If so, how much water should it be mixed with for disinfecting as opposed to water purification?

If able, this could eliminate one thing in the kit, since multiple uses of kit items is desirable.

Thoughts?
Thanks


In a word, "yes". Per the consensus of the wilderness medical community, any water that is safe to drink is appropriate for wound cleansing. As far as how to use your disinfectant tabs, use the exact same formula as you would to make your drinking water safe. There is lots of data to support the concept that wound cleansing does not require sterile water - just drinkably clean water.

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#107926 - 10/06/07 12:59 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: asfried1]
eric_2003 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 56
Water that is safe to drink usually is no problem at all for irrigating superficial wounds. As for disinfection though, separate from cleaning, you'd need something a bit stronger.

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#108347 - 10/11/07 02:31 PM Re: Water purification tabs as a disinfectant? [Re: eric_2003]
asfried1 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: eric_2003
Water that is safe to drink usually is no problem at all for irrigating superficial wounds. As for disinfection though, separate from cleaning, you'd need something a bit stronger.


No medical support for that. There is some pretty good evidence that "stronger" stuff will cause tissue injury and result in an increase in infection rates. Good data from major trauma centers speaks to the fact that tap water or safe drinking water is appropriate (even better) than anything else for any wound whatsoever - even deep wounds that require extensive closure or open fractures.

A good reference text for this stuff is Wilderness Medicine by Paul Auerbach (one of the founding fathers of Wilderness Medicine as a discipline):

http://www.amazon.com/Wilderness-Medicin...8247853-3328460

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