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Thread: Micron Filter Questions: What Can Get Through?

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    Micron Filter Questions: What Can Get Through? 
    #1
    I've been wondering lately about the worst ingredients in pills (tablets, dispersibles, capsule powder, etc) and solutions and whether there are particular binders, fillers and inactive ingredients that are too small to be caught in a micron filter ('wheel filter') or are soluble themselves and thus make it through to the final solution. Many ingredients in pills are fairly benign (Lactose, confectioners sugar), but some are simply made to do damage to IDU (Injecting Drug Users).

    What do you need to know about a particular chemical to know if it will carry over to the end solution if pushed through a micron filter?

    A rundown from wiki:

    In scientific applications, the most common sizes available are 0.2 or 0.22 Ám and 0.44 Ám pores. These sizes are sufficient for HPLC use. Membrane diameters of 10 mm, 13 mm, 25 mm are common as well. Some syringe filters for small volumes may be not resemble a wheel at all.

    . . .

    Syringe filters may be used to filter injectable illegal drugs such as heroin, methadone (Physeptone)*, amphetamines, ecstasy or benzodiazepines. The filter still lets the drug through, but gets rid of many impurities such as fungal spores, bacteria or 'filler' used in the drug. The use of wheel filters is strongly recommended when illicit drug users seek to inject prescription medications such as morphine and benzodiazepines that come in tablet form.

    Pills like prescription opiates or benzodiazepines which are often converted by users into crude injectables, have ingredients such as chalk and wax as a 'filler', and illicit drugs are often adulterated with fillers to increase profits. Correctly used, wheel filters greatly reduce these impurities entering the blood stream and will help avoid vein problems such as collapsed veins, abscesses, infections, embolism, 'dirty tastes', disease and septicemia.

    While wheel filters are the most effective filter available for injecting drug users along with luer lock syringe tip filters, other more common types of filters used include cotton wool, tampons, and cigarette filters. While these can serve as basic filters, they have a greater risk of bacterial infection or contamination from pieces of the filter itself. The condition known as cotton fever is caused by bacteria present in cotton used as a filter.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_filter

    In particular, the products I am most worried about are:

    [-1-] OxyContin
    [-2-] Temazepam
    [-3-] Cyclizine
    [-4-] MS-Contin
    [-5] Methadose
    [-6-] Ritalin
    [-7-] Suboxone
    [-8-] Subutex
    [-9-] Roxanol Concentrated Oral Solution
    [-10-] Methadose Concentrated Oral Solution

    The inactive ingredients present in all of these products:

    (1) OxyContin

    ammonio methacrylate copolymer, hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 400, povidone, sodium hydroxide, sorbic acid, stearyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

    The 10 mg tablets also contain: hydroxypropyl cellulose.

    The 20 mg tablets also contain: polysorbate 80 and red iron oxide.

    The 40 mg tablets also contain: polysorbate 80 and yellow iron oxide.

    The 80 mg tablets also contain: FD&C blue No. 2, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and yellow iron oxide.

    The 160 mg tablets also contain: FD&C blue No. 2 and polysorbate 80.


    http://www.drugs.com/pro/oxycontin.html

    (2) Temazepam

    7.5 mg Capsules
    Inactive Ingredients: FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide.

    May also include: n-butyl alcohol, iron oxide red, shellac, shellac glaze, SD-35A alcohol.

    15 mg Capsules
    Inactive Ingredients: FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide.

    May also include: n-butyl alcohol, FD&C Blue #1 / Brilliant Blue FCF Aluminum Lake, iron oxide red, isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, shellac, shellac glaze, SD-35A alcohol, SD-45 alcohol.

    22.5 mg Capsules
    Inactive Ingredients: FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide.

    May also include: n-butyl alcohol, FD&C Blue #1 / Brilliant Blue FCF Aluminum Lake, iron oxide red, isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, shellac, shellac glaze, SD-35A alcohol, SD-45 alcohol.

    30 mg Capsules
    Inactive Ingredients: FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide.

    May also include: n-butyl alcohol, FD&C Blue #1 / Brilliant Blue FCF Aluminum Lake, iron oxide red, isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, shellac, shellac glaze, SD-35A alcohol, SD-45 alcohol.


    http://www.drugs.com/pro/restoril.html

    (3) Cyclizine

    Inactive Ingredients: Anhydrous Lactose, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Magnesium Stearate, Cellulose (Powdered), Pregelatinized Starch, Silicon Dioxide

    http://www.planetrx.com/shop/detail.cfm/sku/ad124

    (4) MS-Contin

    MS Contin« Controlled-release Tablets 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg contain the following inactive ingredients: cetostearyl alcohol, hydroxyethyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, talc and titanium dioxide.



    MS Contin« Controlled-release Tablets 15 mg also contains FD&C Blue No. 2, lactose and polysorbate 80.



    MS Contin« Controlled-release Tablets 30 mg also contains D&C Red No. 7, FD&C Blue No. 1, lactose and polysorbate 80.



    MS Contin« Controlled-release Tablets 60 mg also contains D&C Red No. 30, D&C Yellow No. 10, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and lactose.



    MS Contin« Controlled-release Tablets 100 mg also contains black iron oxide.



    MS Contin« Controlled-release Tablets 200 mg also contains D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Blue No. 1, and hydroxypropyl cellulose.


    http://www.drugs.com/pro/ms-contin.html

    (5) Methadose

    Each tablet also contains Dibasic Calcium Phosphate USP, Microcrystalline Cellulose NF, Magnesium Stearate NF, Colloidal Silicon Dioxide NF, Pregelatinized Starch NF, and Stearic Acid NF.

    http://www.drugs.com/pro/methadose.html

    (6) Ritalin

    Inactive Ingredients. Ritalin tablets: D&C Yellow No. 10 (5-mg and 20-mg tablets), FD&C Green No. 3 (10-mg tablets), lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, starch (5-mg and 10-mg tablets), sucrose, talc, and tragacanth (20-mg tablets).

    Ritalin-SR tablets: Cellulose compounds, cetostearyl alcohol, lactose, magnesium stearate, mineral oil, povidone, titanium dioxide, and zein.


    http://www.drugs.com/pro/ritalin.html

    (7) Suboxone

    Each tablet also contains lactose, mannitol, cornstarch, povidone K30, citric acid, sodium citrate, FD&C Yellow No.6 color, magnesium stearate, and the tablets also contain Acesulfame K sweetener and a lemon / lime flavor.

    http://www.drugs.com/pro/suboxone.html

    ( Subutex

    Each tablet also contains lactose, mannitol, cornstarch, povidone K30, citric acid, sodium citrate and magnesium stearate.

    http://www.drugs.com/pro/suboxone.html

    (9) Roxanol Concentrated Oral Solution

    Inactive ingredients: ascorbic acid, citric acid, FD&C Blue
    No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, flavors, glycyrrhizin, propylene
    glycol, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate,
    sodium gluconate, sodium phosphate dibasic, and sorbitol
    solution.


    http://www.ethex.com/pages/pdf/58177088601_PIS.pdf

    (10) Methadose Concentrated Oral Solution

    Other ingredients of Methadose Oral Concentrate: Artificial cherry flavor, citric acid anhydrous USP, FD&C Red No 40, D&C Red No 33, methylparaben NF, polaxamer 407 NF, propylene glycol USP, propylparaben NF, purified water USP, sodium citrate dihydrate USP, sucrose NF.

    http://www.drugs.com/pro/methadose-conc.html

    When looking over commonly injected pharmaceutical products that were not meant to be injected, several ingredients overlap. Unfortunately, it seems that several of these ingredients are more harmful than the others. Specifically, the following inactive ingredients I am most concerned about passing through a micron filter:

    -Silicone Dioxide
    -Titanium Dioxide
    -Magnesium Stearate
    -Povidone
    -Hydroxypropyl Cellulose
    -Sorbitol
    -Propylene Glycol
    -Microcrystalline Cellulose

    Can anyone give me some assurance that a micron filter will filter out most if not all harmful inactives (specifically those listed above) from products being prepped for injection?

    We commonly recommend people buy and use micron filters, and say that they take out everything except the active chemicals (street drugs, pills, syrups, everything). I find this hard to believe without more information.
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    #2
    I dont have time to check all the listed ingredients, but I can tell you that a 22um or 45um will defnitely filter out bacteria. I often filter steroid solutions made from raw powder, gradeseed oil and benzyl alcohol/benzoate, and it is prepped for IM injection and has never given me any issues.

    Povidone would probably be filtered out quite easily.

    Propylene glycol (PG) would make it thru the micron filter. However, because diazepam is made for injection with PG I wouldn't think it was too harmful.

    Microcrystalline Cellulose is probably the worst of all the inactives, so I'd be interested to know whether it was filtered also.

    This is a really good thread Tchort. I'll post more when I know more
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    #3
    BL Ambassador Captain.Heroin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchort View Post
    -Silicone Dioxide
    -Titanium Dioxide
    -Magnesium Stearate
    -Povidone
    -Hydroxypropyl Cellulose
    -Sorbitol
    -Propylene Glycol
    -Microcrystalline Cellulose
    I did some research:

    Quote Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_stearate
    Magnesium stearate, also called octadecanoic acid, magnesium salt, is a white substance which is solid at room temperature. It has the chemical formula Mg(C18H35O2)2. It is a salt containing two equivalents of stearate (the anion of stearic acid) and one magnesium cation (Mg2+). Magnesium stearate melts at about 88 ░C, is not soluble in water, and is generally considered safe for human consumption. Because it is widely regarded as harmless, it is often used as a diluent[1] in the manufacture of medical tablets, capsules and powders.[2] In this regard, the substance is also useful because it has lubricating properties, preventing ingredients from sticking to manufacturing equipment during the compression of chemical powders into solid tablets; magnesium stearate is the most commonly used lubricant for tablets.[3] It is used to bind sugar in hard candies. It is also a common ingredient in baby formulas. In pure powder form, the substance can be a dust explosion hazard,[4] although this issue is effectively insignificant beyond the manufacturing plants using it.
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    #4
    The one I am most worried about is Silicone Dioxide. This is the ingredient in Diconal/Wellconal/Cyclizine tablets that causes rapid degeneration of veins, scar tissue, vein collapse, vein hardening/blockng, leading to lots of people needing amputations. The horrible reputation of Diconal tablets being injected is almost entirely from this one ingredient.

    The reason I'm worried about Propylene Glycol is I'm not sure how much is present in Methadose syrup vs how much is present in a Diazepam ampoule.
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    #5
    BL Ambassador Captain.Heroin's Avatar
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    povidone K30
    I found out that this is soluble in cold water from the link below.

    http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Poly...e_K_30-9926650 <-- Povidone K30 Material Safety Data Sheet

    It appears to be a skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain.Heroin View Post
    I found out that this is soluble in cold water from the link below.

    http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Poly...e_K_30-9926650 <-- Povidone K30 Material Safety Data Sheet

    It appears to be a skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant.
    That description reminds me very much of what is written about chemicals that are known to cause a 'Dirty Hit' a.k.a. 'Dirty Rush' when IV'd.

    http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthrea...rty+hit%2Frush

    Thanks for the links. I have bookmarked some links on the topic since I posted this thread yesterday, I will update with some more information later on today.

    I'm nervous about recommending micron filters so heavily. It definitely is the best option for injecting drug users, but I think theres a misconception of how it works. I was on that bandwagon up until yesterday.

    Maybe BL could benefit from a FAQ on micron/wheel filters to put in the Drug FAQs forum? If not a FAQ, possibly a Megathread for questions about them, with a FAQ style write up in the first few posts listing info from threads like this one (what inactives are in commonly IV'd pills, what they do when IV'd, which size wheel filters filter out which ingredient, etc) as well as names of companies/brands who make them, where to get them, how to use them, etc.
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    #7
    Bluelighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain.Heroin View Post
    I found out that this is soluble in cold water from the link below.

    http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Poly...e_K_30-9926650 <-- Povidone K30 Material Safety Data Sheet

    It appears to be a skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant.

    Why would they put that in the pills?

    Also, with the wheel filters - I used to "piggy back" them. I would have a course one, then a fine one, then a very fine one all connected to each other.

    Handy for the MST's if you can't be fucked with the bicarb/AA method.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Eight0Eight View Post
    Why would they put that in the pills?

    Also, with the wheel filters - I used to "piggy back" them. I would have a course one, then a fine one, then a very fine one all connected to each other.

    Handy for the MST's if you can't be fucked with the bicarb/AA method.
    I've never used anything more than q-tip tops, but I don't see the point in using 3 different filters when you could use just one very fine one and end up with the same stuff in the end result? Or if you are worried about not everything getting through because of how many things would clog the filter (which I'm not sure if that would even happen, but it sounds logical) I still don't see the use for 3. I think a fine one and a very fine one would be overly zealous as it is.

    Just my thoughts, please let me know if I am incorrect.
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    #9
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    Some pills are too shitty to go through just the very fine one.
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    #10
    So basically it's that if you tried to use the very fine one of the bat you'd just be unable to get anything through the filter anyways? In which case, I'd see your point with the piggyback, but you sure you still need the first one? (I guess if the pill has enough fillers...)
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    #11
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    You would get something through the very fine one - but it would be difficult and the filter would likely completely clog before all the drug was through.

    By piggy backing them the drug comes out clean, with ease.

    *I forgot to say. I always used to run a bit of cold water through the filter once I had done the main "push" just to flush out any dregs of good stuff that may be left.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Eight0Eight View Post
    You would get something through the very fine one - but it would be difficult and the filter would likely completely clog before all the drug was through.

    By piggy backing them the drug comes out clean, with ease.

    *I forgot to say. I always used to run a bit of cold water through the filter once I had done the main "push" just to flush out any dregs of good stuff that may be left.
    What are the sizes for the 3 wheel filters you use in this fashion? Do you know what brand they are, and if so would you recommend them?

    Here is some information on Silicone Dioxide:

    Density 2.634 g/cm3

    Solubility in water 0.012 g/100 mL
    That means that it is barely soluble in water, right?

    Reading this makes me even more worried about this horrible garbage:

    The chemical compound silicon dioxide, also known as silica (from the Latin silex), is an oxide of silicon with a chemical formula of SiO2 and has been known for its hardness since antiquity. . . It is a principal component of most types of glass and substances such as concrete. Silica is the most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_dioxide
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    #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchort View Post
    What are the sizes for the 3 wheel filters you use in this fashion? Do you know what brand they are, and if so would you recommend them?
    ]
    Oh god.

    I can't remember the brand, or the sizes - it was a long time ago I was into MST's/homebake.

    I remeber they came in 5 colours. I'm sure we used to use the blue, brown and red ones.

    Thats all I can really remember. I know the finest one was "0.2" and the medium was "0.45".

    Its a pity exchanges don't tend to stock them (outside of NZ/AUS) as they are really good.
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    #14
    this is a very important discussion to have; a fantastic idea for a thread!

    i've used a 0.22 micron wheel on many powder and pill solutions, including: ritalin (20mg), suboxone (8/2mg), oxycontin (80mg), morphine sulfate (abg 60mg), adderall IR, adderall XR (20mg), concerta and more i can't think of right now or are not relevant.

    Propylene glycol (PG) would make it thru the micron filter. However, because diazepam is made for injection with PG I wouldn't think it was too harmful.
    good point. however, i've tried to filter a diazepam ampoule solution (5mg/ml) through a 0.22 micron wheel but because of the viscosity of the PG it offered considerable resistance and did not filter properly. I have also attempted to filter (0.22 micron) non-dilute PG in several other instances with only minimal success and great difficulty.

    of the pills i mentioned, concerta was by far the most difficult to try to push through a 0.22 micron wheel. the resultant solution was nowhere NEAR as 'gel-like' as it was prior to filtering but it was still not convincingly 'pure' enough (by visual/tactile observation) to put in my veins.

    also, all pills MUST be crushed to a very, VERY fine dust-like powder before being put in solution and filtered, especially the ones with extended-release preparations (adderall XR, oxycontin). in fact i would recommend cotton-filtering the solutions BEFORE micron filtering (with ALL pills) not only for the sake of more effective filtering but so that the wheel filter has less chance of being clogged.

    in my experience even a 0.22 micron wheel will not be able to filter all the dyes in a pill. for example, a 0.22 micron filtered suboxone solution will be translucent-orange in appearance.

    i do believe, however, that a 0.22 micron filtered pill solution is safe for IV use, and does indeed filter out the VAST majority of harmful (and benign) pill ingredients. this is based solely on my personal experience, BUT my reasoning is that:

    a.) i have missed shots of 0.22 micron filtered pill sol's with no complications whatsoever (knock on wood!) and
    b.) (this is the main reason i have such faith in the safety of the 0.22 wheel) i have evaporated the h20 from these sol's, weighed the crystals and found the yields to be consistently accurate with the drug dosage of the pills i had used.

    when i have time though, i'll do some research and hopefully be able to contribute some solid, scientific information to this thread but for now... i hope my personal experience has at least helped a bit! but again, GREAT thread to have!
    Last edited by CretiNation; 19-07-2009 at 04:17. Reason: it was wayyy f'd up
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    #15
    Thanks everyone for the informative responses. My initial worry about non-water soluble particles making it through a fine / very fine micron filter is pretty much gone, I am much more worried about the unwanted cuts and pill/syrup ingredients that are somewhat or very water soluble

    I suppose that would be a much better way to determine which substances to worry about when using a micron filter to inject street drugs or pharmaceutical pills/syrups/etc.
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    #16
    Bluelighter TheDankaholic's Avatar
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    Plus micron filters are fun! Not just good for your health. I always feel like a scientist in the kitchen, a couple different sterile spoons, different syringes, .45 and .22 filters, etc. Mixing up a cure for pain... ;-) Ever since I started using microns i've always kept a supply. They are worth there weight in gold. .45's and .22's is all I ever buy though
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    #17
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    Everything soluble in your solution (eg water) will get through. Micron filters can only intercept non soluble particles, typically things you can "see" floating around or lying on the bottom, although "invisible" bacteria will also be intercepted. Minimal-size filters (0.2) should be used whenever possible.

    To remove soluble solutes, physical (eg evaporation) or chemical (eg solvent treatment) means are needed.
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    #18
    depends on the micron... smaller ones will filter out things as small as bacteria and most particulates if not essentially all of them....

    in the grand schme of things your filtering out far more than you would with a bit of cotton....
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    #19
    This is an awesome thread. To jamaica: We know the various sizes of pores in each micron filter, that info is provided. Of course pore size determines what gets through.

    I guess what it really comes down to, the important question is going to relate to the geometry of each water soluble compound. I'm under the impression (as a layman) that most individual molecules (edit: that we're interested in) are in their longest measure still much smaller than .2 Ám

    But that could be a whole mess of wrong. Presuming (as math people do!) that my assumption isn't wrong: anything soluble in the injection solution is likely to pass through the filter.

    There's a lot of solubility data in this thread (cheers! a good thread!) and elsewhere. There may not be a lot of info available on the physiological consequences of injecting various ingredients in pills/other questionable substances. I'd consider emailing the manufacturer of these pills/formulations and ask them, their PR people, whoever answers emails for this specific information. If anyone should have it, or know where to get it, it'd be people affiliated with the R&D of each specific formulation. There is no reason why they shouldn't share this data, and you're not incriminating yourself by asking for it unless you're a total tool with words.

    Ooh I'm so subscribed.
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    #20
    Most all bacteria will be filtered out by the small pore micron filters but viruses will always make it through FWIW.
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    #21
    Everything soluble in your solution (eg water) will get through. Micron filters can only intercept non soluble particles, typically things you can "see" floating around or lying on the bottom, although "invisible" bacteria will also be intercepted.
    you sure about this xxl? i thought syringe filters worked essentially on the same principle as reverse osmosis...
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    #22
    BL Ambassador Captain.Heroin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight0Eight View Post
    Why would they put that in the pills?
    Gives them a reason to charge out the ass for an already patented drug (buprenorphine).

    I found I would vomit, every morning I took suboxone, if I took it sublingually. It goes without saying I no longer care to utilize a ROA that causes skin, eye, and gastrointestinal tract irritation!
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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CretiNation View Post
    you sure about this xxl? i thought syringe filters worked essentially on the same principle as reverse osmosis...
    Microfiltration (= using micron filters) is said to filter out bacteria but not viruses. Now viruses can be regarded as macromolecules (= very big molecules), much bigger than soluble cuts. Note that bacteria get filtered out only if you use 0.2 filters, not filters with bigger pores.

    0.2 is also necessary to filter out talc, a common hasardous cut.
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    #24
    BL Ambassador Captain.Heroin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    0.2 is also necessary to filter out talc, a common hasardous cut.
    ^^ This is really useful information, thank you for posting this. I personally didn't know this, but I also don't IV anything with talc in it. This is really useful for those who do though, thank you.

    As Tchort posted, talc is in OxyContin, Morphine Sulfate, and Ritalin. If you IV any one of these, you need a 0.2 micron filter to filter out the talc so you don't end up clogging your lungs up with it.
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    #25
    Microfiltration (= using micron filters) is said to filter out bacteria but not viruses. Now viruses can be regarded as macromolecules (= very big molecules), much bigger than soluble cuts. Note that bacteria get filtered out only if you use 0.2 filters, not filters with bigger pores.

    0.2 is also necessary to filter out talc, a common hasardous cut.
    yeah we used 0.22 micron wheels to sterilize solutions in a lab where i worked, my post was referring to this:

    To remove soluble solutes, physical (eg evaporation) or chemical (eg solvent treatment) means are needed.
    i always thought micron filters worked the same way reverse osmosis did... meaning even a solute that is larger than 0.22 microns will not penetrate the membrane (filter); only solutes (as well as insoluble particles) <0.22 microns in size can pass through the filter.

    is this wrong or am i just misunderstanding what you wrote?
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