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02-25-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
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How to disenfect lenses?

Ok maybe I am over reacting but the weather has been erratic and my family has already gotten sick several times over the last month or two (so have many people at work). I don't care for another bout of it.

I won some lenses on ebay. The seller was a little slow to respond about the invoice (nothing that concerned me at all but I did sent a message about him maybe not getting my response as ebay messaging can be buggy, so I was sending it as a new message). The response was sorry I have a horrible cold and went to bed early. He fixed the invoice, mailed it and provided tracking that morning (more than I expected, I can understand being sick). So now I'm envisioning him all sick and sneezing, hands covered in snot, packing my stuff. I didn't mean to rush him like that and didn't know about him being sick. Maybe I should have waited longer to send a message, lol. It's kind of funny in a way but I do feel sorry for the guy.

So how to disinfect them as I don't want yet another cold spreading through my family (or am I just being an alarmist)?
Maybe just wipe them down with rubbing alcohol? He is in the next state over so ship on saturday, receive on monday. I can see a cold living in a box that long? Believe it or not, this is a new one to me. I was thinking of just spraying the stuff with lysol by that might not be the best for the glass or anything else it gets into?

Out of curiosity, have you ever had someone ask such a strange question (first for me).

02-25-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Probably a legitimate concern, but I've just looked a t two sources that say about 48 hours is tops that a cold germ can live outside the body. Still it would not hurt to put some alcohol on a cloth and wipe them down, just go light on the alcohol and it evaporates fast.
02-25-2012, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
Ok maybe I am over reacting but the weather has been erratic and my family has already gotten sick several times over the last month or two (so have many people at work). I don't care for another bout of it.

I won some lenses on ebay. The seller was a little slow to respond about the invoice (nothing that concerned me at all but I did sent a message about him maybe not getting my response as ebay messaging can be buggy, so I was sending it as a new message). The response was sorry I have a horrible cold and went to bed early. He fixed the invoice, mailed it and provided tracking that morning (more than I expected, I can understand being sick). So now I'm envisioning him all sick and sneezing, hands covered in snot, packing my stuff. I didn't mean to rush him like that and didn't know about him being sick. Maybe I should have waited longer to send a message, lol. It's kind of funny in a way but I do feel sorry for the guy.

So how to disinfect them as I don't want yet another cold spreading through my family (or am I just being an alarmist)?
Maybe just wipe them down with rubbing alcohol? He is in the next state over so ship on saturday, receive on monday. I can see a cold living in a box that long? Believe it or not, this is a new one to me. I was thinking of just spraying the stuff with lysol by that might not be the best for the glass or anything else it gets into?

Out of curiosity, have you ever had someone ask such a strange question (first for me).

I think you're overreacting and perhaps paranoid. Sorry for being very frank and direct.

Cold germs don't live that long in the air and besides how do you know that people that handle other packages or your stuff wasn't sick as well? I hope you don't use public transportation or public washrooms since they are even worse. People using those get sick and they don't usually tell you...
02-25-2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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My wife is a Registered Nurse and she shoot her head when I read this to her. Your family is getting sick because they have been in contact with someone else that has been sick. It never hurts to clean your gear but in this case they are not getting sick from your lens. Practice good hand washing skills, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest.

02-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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Agreed with all above, but most importantly, don't lick your lenses!
02-25-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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Haha I usually give the lens body a good and thorough wipe down with a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water. I don't go with straight up alcohol, just in case it may be too strong for whatever materials on the lens body. For me, it's not so much being paranoid about the previous owner being sick, but more so a cleanliness and hygiene thing. For example, in my workplace alone, I've seen quite a few people who go to the toilet and NOT wash their hands right after. Now, if I were to buy a lens from them.....
02-25-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Just wipe everything with a clean damp cloth will do. Most germs won't survive w/o the hosts. Think about it, just how do you avoid all the germs outside your home? Or inside? Carrying a 4 gallon backpack and disinfect everything in your path?
02-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Wow. Misinformation is an amazing thing. How long do viruses live outside the body? It varies, depending partly on the media involved. The NIH says that "experiments with specific cold and flu germs have shown potential survival times ranging from a few minutes to 48 hours or more." The important part of that sentence is "or more". How long such germs remain capable of infecting you in day-to-day life is harder to say. Germs generally remain active longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces than on fabric and other soft surfaces. Other factors, such as the amount of virus deposited on a surface and the temperature and humidity of the environment, also have effects on how long cold and flu germs stay active outside the body.

So, glass, plastic, and metal lenses? Hmmm. They retain the viruses longer, which is a downside, but they also are easier to disinfect, which is the upside. I'd wipe them down because it can't hurt and it could help.

02-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #9
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Part of it probably comes from working retail, and seeing people do disgusting things when they are sick and right before they had you the money. Thats probably how a lot of germs get brought home to my house although having young children going to school is probably a prime source too. Its not like you can avoid it happening but I figured a little prevention her and there doesn't hurt.
02-26-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by arsn.r3d Quote
Haha I usually give the lens body a good and thorough wipe down with a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water. I don't go with straight up alcohol, just in case it may be too strong for whatever materials on the lens body. For me, it's not so much being paranoid about the previous owner being sick, but more so a cleanliness and hygiene thing. For example, in my workplace alone, I've seen quite a few people who go to the toilet and NOT wash their hands right after. Now, if I were to buy a lens from them.....
I've just retired from 32 years repairing sewage treatment machinery, I was the guy with the spanners, not the desk jockey. And in all that time I have never contracted anything that I can put down to that job. I worked across a large area from a van, so washing facilities were very often lacking at remote sites. I carried wet wipes, and some days that was all we had to clean our hands with before we tucked into our lunch box.
I'm sure the reason we didn't die from horrible diseases was that we'd built up immunities, which I believe is a good thing. As kids we ate dirt and worms, we ate food without washing our hands, and we rarely got ill - ill attributable to 'poor hygeine'.
I see kids today who's parents are terrified of letting them get dirty, and I think it's wrong.
02-26-2012, 01:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
I've just retired from 32 years repairing sewage treatment machinery, I was the guy with the spanners, not the desk jockey. And in all that time I have never contracted anything that I can put down to that job. I worked across a large area from a van, so washing facilities were very often lacking at remote sites. I carried wet wipes, and some days that was all we had to clean our hands with before we tucked into our lunch box.
I'm sure the reason we didn't die from horrible diseases was that we'd built up immunities, which I believe is a good thing. As kids we ate dirt and worms, we ate food without washing our hands, and we rarely got ill - ill attributable to 'poor hygeine'.
I see kids today who's parents are terrified of letting them get dirty, and I think it's wrong.
Haha funny enough, growing up in a third world country for a good half of my life, cleanliness and hygiene wasn't really the status quo either. A lot of times (for males, anyway) if you needed to go to the toilet, you just went to the side of the road, do your thing, and be on your way (I'm talking about doing "#1", but I know other people have done "#2" as well ). And maybe even high-five a buddy on the way back.

I'm sure my old self would probably just laugh at me now, and I know you can never avoid everything that happens out there (that's just impossible). But at least I can do my part, on the factors that I can control. It's really just one extra step. Be it washing hands, using wet wipes/sanitizer, or in this case cleaning your lens (haha). Besides, I'm gonna clean the glass anyway, might as well get the rest of the body up to par.
02-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #12
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I also believe that hyper disinfecting your environment can be detrimental to your immune system. I have no proof of this it is just the way my common sense works. I like to keep my immune system robust by licking bathroom door handles every chance I get.
02-26-2012, 02:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by thebigcat Quote
I also believe that hyper disinfecting your environment can be detrimental to your immune system. I have no proof of this it is just the way my common sense works. I like to keep my immune system robust by licking bathroom door handles every chance I get.
You're gonna live forever !
02-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #14
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So, you know about this one guy who has a cold and may not be washing his hands....

How many people do you come into contact with on a regular basis? You say you go to work. Do your kids go to school? Those are much more immediate threats to your health -- coworkers and fellow students -- than an inanimate object sent in the mail. Everyday, you encounter millions or billions of germs, including cold germs from people you don't even know, people you pass in the street, people at work, people at the market, people everywhere.

If you are this concerned about cold germs on a lens, you really need to recalibrate your personal risk perceptiveness, because it is way out of whack. Here's one good book on the subject.

QuoteQuote:
The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner
From terror attacks to bursting real estate bubbles, from crystal meth epidemics to online sexual predators and poisonous toys from China, our list of fears seems to be exploding. Yet we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Why are we so worried?
Just a very slightly damp cloth will physically remove any "snot" that you may receive. But you really should worry about the real people you encounter in daily life, rather than some stranger a state or two over mailing you something, if you want to be worrying about the most likely sources of infectious germs.
02-26-2012, 06:21 PM   #15
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Like the usa mid-westerner who gets an email from her mongolian friend asking "are you absolutely certain letting my butterfly flap its wings won't cause a tornado there?"
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