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Thread: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by rjack  View Original Post
    I've always wondered if that damages the flappers at all?
    Drying in of itself - not. But....if you don't get the spit off the valves, that will eventually distort them, possibly from the glycoproteins in saliva.

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Thanks for the link Claudia, very interesting. I used to play brass instruments in high school and had heard the tale of the dreaded tapeworm in the tuba, and certainly noted all the rank smelling spit that came from my horn spit valves...

    And, please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the following, but musical instruments differ from rebreathers in one distinct way -They do not have scrubbers. And as opposed to the spit and mucous in bag pipes, doesnt the majority of the moisture in the loop come from the ectothermic reaction, and isn't the water generated by the CO2 reaction slightly alkaline, and furthermore wouldn't the excess lime dust that spreads around the loop at the beginning of a new scrubber also react with the 100% loop humidity and raise the PH further? An alkaline environment would then tend to discourage the growth of fungus and bacteria, right?

    I did a search on RBW and the general interweb and could not find any conclusive proof of a CCR causing a respiratory infection, only a few suspicious respiratory symptoms, sometimes, because somebody used too MUCH disinfectant. There was one guy who believed he had reinfected himself after diving with an illness, after sanitizing it but not drying the loop.

    The big question I'm leading to is: If the loop is such a truly nasty place, and probably not everybody tears down their loop every day, especially on multi day trips, which I have seen many times, why aren't more CCR divers getting respiratory infections? -Andy

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamdive  View Original Post
    Drying in of itself - not. But....if you don't get the spit off the valves, that will eventually distort them, possibly from the glycoproteins in saliva.
    I meant having a fan blowing through them for 24hrs after rinsing/disinfecting. Has anyone had issues with that? Seems like that's a lot of flapping and they might seal looser after a bunch of active fan drying days.

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by silent running  View Original Post
    Thanks for the link Claudia, very interesting. I used to play brass instruments in high school and had heard the tale of the dreaded tapeworm in the tuba, and certainly noted all the rank smelling spit that came from my horn spit valves...

    And, please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the following, but musical instruments differ from rebreathers in one distinct way -They do not have scrubbers. And as opposed to the spit and mucous in bag pipes, doesnt the majority of the moisture in the loop come from the ectothermic reaction, and isn't the water generated by the CO2 reaction slightly alkaline, and furthermore wouldn't the excess lime dust that spreads around the loop at the beginning of a new scrubber also react with the 100% loop humidity and raise the PH further? An alkaline environment would then tend to discourage the growth of fungus and bacteria, right?

    I did a search on RBW and the general interweb and could not find any conclusive proof of a CCR causing a respiratory infection, only a few suspicious respiratory symptoms, sometimes, because somebody used too MUCH disinfectant. There was one guy who believed he had reinfected himself after diving with an illness, after sanitizing it but not drying the loop.

    The big question I'm leading to is: If the loop is such a truly nasty place, and probably not everybody tears down their loop every day, especially on multi day trips, which I have seen many times, why aren't more CCR divers getting respiratory infections? -Andy
    Andy,

    Honestly, you can do whatever you think is prudent with your loop. If you think that the alkaline mix from you INHALE side might have an effect on your EXHALE (spit) side then....go for it. This post was not meant to tell people what to do.

    Kevin's post did leave an adequate impression on me and I have heard of other "moldy" issues from people who stored their rebreather's closed over longer periods (some not so clean if I might add). Granted that is all anecdotal.

    In all fairness, in the article, the "bagpiper" has not cleaned his pipe in God knows how many years. He only noticed not feeling sick when he could not play of longer periods of time (being on a vacation).

    I am not sure what (if any) Ph value would prevent the proliferation and would cause elimination of bacteria, viruses and fungi. I am not aware that it is and may reflect my own ignorance on this topic. If increasing Ph is sufficient for disinfection, I wonder why I don't see it in the hospitals.

    I agree with you that we have not heard of too many people getting sick from their loop. But, this guy did not know that his pipe made him sick, either. As divers, we already face pulmonary challenges of various kinds. One of my goals is not to complicate things by inhaling spores, bacilli, etc which may (or may not) cause pulmonary scarring or other pulmonary problems.

    BTW, I don't disinfect my loop daily, either. When I dive a series of days, my loop always gets rinsed after the day's diving and hung up to "dry". It sees disinfectant after about 7 days (unless I decide to run some through sooner). I will ALWAYS disinfect and thoroughly dry my unit before I store the unit (3 days at least...i.e. if I don't dive for at least 3 days, I will disinfect and have it dry as best as possible). That is my personal "thing" and I have no scientific evidence as to" best practice".

    Thank you for your post and your questions.

    Claudia

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamdive  View Original Post
    Andy,

    Honestly, you can do whatever you think is prudent with your loop. If you think that the alkaline mix from you INHALE side might have an effect on your EXHALE (spit) side then....go for it. This post was not meant to tell people what to do.

    Kevin's post did leave an adequate impression on me and I have heard of other "moldy" issues from people who stored their rebreather's closed over longer periods (some not so clean if I might add). Granted that is all anecdotal.

    In all fairness, in the article, the "bagpiper" has not cleaned his pipe in God knows how many years. He only noticed not feeling sick when he could not play of longer periods of time (being on a vacation).

    I am not sure what (if any) Ph value would prevent the proliferation and would cause elimination of bacteria, viruses and fungi. I am not aware that it is and may reflect my own ignorance on this topic. If increasing Ph is sufficient for disinfection, I wonder why I don't see it in the hospitals.

    I agree with you that we have not heard of too many people getting sick from their loop. But, this guy did not know that his pipe made him sick, either. As divers, we already face pulmonary challenges of various kinds. One of my goals is not to complicate things by inhaling spores, bacilli, etc which may (or may not) cause pulmonary scarring or other pulmonary problems.

    BTW, I don't disinfect my loop daily, either. When I dive a series of days, my loop always gets rinsed after the day's diving and hung up to "dry". It sees disinfectant after about 7 days (unless I decide to run some through sooner). I will ALWAYS disinfect and thoroughly dry my unit before I store the unit (3 days at least...i.e. if I don't dive for at least 3 days, I will disinfect and have it dry as best as possible). That is my personal "thing" and I have no scientific evidence as to" best practice".

    Thank you for your post and your questions.

    Claudia
    Hi Claudia, to be clear, I'm obviously guessing/speculating about the PH level in the loop. And yes, I do believe that the moisture which originates on the inhale side gets passed around the loop with the gas and hence through the exhale side too. I only meant to introduce the possibility that even a small increase in PH, as may be present in an active loop, may retard growth of the nasties, and maybe that is why there isn't more illness.

    And yes, obviously the things we don't know about RB diving-deco/breathing elevated PO2 and its effects on our respiratory cycle/CO2 etc are very important and reason to be both inquisitive and wary... -Andy

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by silent running  View Original Post
    Hi Claudia, to be clear, I'm obviously guessing/speculating about the PH level in the loop. And yes, I do believe that the moisture which originates on the inhale side gets passed around the loop with the gas and hence through the exhale side too. I only meant to introduce the possibility that even a small increase in PH, as may be present in an active loop, may retard growth of the nasties, and maybe that is why there isn't more illness.

    And yes, obviously the things we don't know about RB diving-deco/breathing elevated PO2 and its effects on our respiratory cycle/CO2 etc are very important and reason to be both inquisitive and wary... -Andy
    Andy,

    again thank you for your post. I am totally with you about being inquisitive and wary. May I also add: critical of information presented.

    I have put your question/suggestion regarding Ph values affecting mold growth on my list of things to conduct a lit. search on. Hope to have an update in a week or so. I consider time to be a luxury - one I never seem to have enough of.

    To be revisited...

    Claudia

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamdive  View Original Post
    Andy,

    again thank you for your post. I am totally with you about being inquisitive and wary. May I also add: critical of information presented.

    I have put your question/suggestion regarding Ph values affecting mold growth on my list of things to conduct a lit. search on. Hope to have an update in a week or so. I consider time to be a luxury - one I never seem to have enough of.

    To be revisited...

    Claudia
    Hi Claudia, thanks very much for your interest in the idea, i will be very interested in whatever you find out. I'm sure all other active CCR divers will be too! -Andy

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Quote Originally Posted by silent running  View Original Post
    Hi Claudia, thanks very much for your interest in the idea, i will be very interested in whatever you find out. I'm sure all other active CCR divers will be too! -Andy
    Hello Andy,

    Was able to run a preliminary search and this is what I found:

    As you were stating, it appears that most pathogens prefer a slightly acidic environment. But there are always exception. Candida overgrowth occurs in alkaline environments. Molds are quite resilient and can grown in pH values from 2-9 (some literature).

    I was unable to find out what pH the exhale side in contrast to the inhale side of the loop is. I suppose we can run litmus paper on a bunch of different diver's loops (inhale and exhale) to get an idea. If that is being done, one would have to control for the type of sorb used (since some produces more dust than other), rebreather type...

    That being said, I suspect that just because you inhale some sorb dust making the inhale side more alkaline, by the time you exhale you might not see the same value. In any event, it could be an entertaining test. Perhaps somebody has already done it, I am just finding anything.

    I am also including a study measuring exhale pH values. There they mentioned that decreased pH levels can be seen in people who suffer from gastric reflux, infection or having an inflammatory process. This suggests that acidification of the exhale side is possible and may favor pathogen growth more so than normal.

    Anyway, thanks for your interesting question. If you find anything, please keep us posted.

    Exhale breath condensate pH assays
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858452/

    Fact about Mold and Dampness
    http://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

    See Appendix 4 for Ph values for molds and bacterias
    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/Gu.../UCM252447.pdf

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    Hi Claudia, thanks for the links, will take a look and also see if I can find anything more.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamdive  View Original Post
    I suspect that just because you inhale some sorb dust making the inhale side more alkaline, by the time you exhale you might not see the same value.
    But to be clear, my point about the sorb dust in the loop and it possibly elevating the PH level in the loop further, pertains to whatever dust may settle on the inside surfaces of the loop and thereby dissolve as the moisture from the reaction builds up to 100% humidity in the loop. The main question is whether the moisture generated from the scrubber's reaction contains a higher PH to begin with, than say, tap water. The sorb dust would only potentially elevate the PH more and make it harder for fungal and bacteria growth to take hold on the surfaces inside the loop. The next question is whether our respiratory process would change the PH of the moisture in the inspired gas and cause a lower PH in the moisture still contained in our exhaled breath. Of course this is all speculation on my part as I have no great understanding of physiology. I'm just trying to figure out why more people aren't getting sick if the loop truly is a potentially great incubator of such nastiness, as it would seem logically to be... -Andy
    Last edited by silent running; 29th August 2016 at 10:39.

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    Re: This is why you want to disinfect your loop!

    My guess is that it are also only your own "germs " that are in the loop, the ones your body already knows and build a defense against.


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