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[Health] Infections, HIV and earings!

OK - Ive done the research, phoned GP’s, friends in the medical
profesion, AID’s Hotlines and everything else.

  1. The HIV virus will not last very long out of the body and
    certainly not on an earwire. Alcohol is sifficient to kill it off

  2. Some other bacteria may last on earwires for a time. Hepatitis,
    for example. This will also be killed off with alcohol or a strong
    bacterioside such as dettol or listerine.

  3. Bleach is very effective. If you sell stones that are treated with
    dye this may cause discoloration (“oiled” emeralds, dyed turquoise

  4. A few, rare, weird bacteria may be able to survuve in pure alcohol

  • but not for long.

5)Those medically qualified people who have written saying that
alcohp; is not a sufficient cleaner for surfaces are quite correct.
Alcohol evaporates rapidly from surfaces and will not be sufficient.
Dropping an earing into pure alcohol will be.

So the reccomendations I have form practicing theatre nurses,
surgeons and HIV experts is.

  1. Drop the earing into a container of pure alcohol (rubbing alcohol
    will do as long as it’s not adulterated with water.)

  2. Leave it there for 3 or four minutes

  3. dry it using a clean, new tissue, discard the alcohol.

If you are using material that has been dyed you may find that the
alcohol dissolves the dye.

This is as informed an opinion as I can offer.


Tony, thanks for taking the trouble to research and report on this
topic. Lots of interesting stuff there. In particular, the
recommended procedure of three or four minutes immersion in pure
alcohol is a lot more aggressive, if that’s the right word, than a rub
over with an impregnated wipe.

Kevin (UK)