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Insulin induced plastic degradation

chance discovery may lead to breakthru
  [vote for,

I store my used insulin needles in plastic bags before handing them over at the doctors office for bio-hazard disposal.

I noticed that within a month the plastic, with a minute amount of insulin fumes only, becomes brittle and disintegrates in parts.

I wonder if this can be a whole new field of industry and controversy, after they discover it causes fish and bird mutations, is abused somehow by terrorists and causes people to speak irrationally.

Anyway: after touching my skin, it causes that location to become "dry" and the skin to peel away about a week later.

I'm not sure these two effects are known or have have been given any attention before.

pashute, Jan 20 2016

Meta Cresol http://www.chemical...ty_EN_CB7852747.htm
[bs0u0155, Jan 21 2016]

Phenol http://www.chemical...iesCB4362168_EN.htm
look at reactivity profile [bs0u0155, Jan 21 2016]

No mention of solvent... http://uspl.lilly.c...log/humalog.html#pi
[pashute, Jan 21 2016]

1981 research on solvents (bicarbonate content) for insulin http://www.ncbi.nlm....gov/pubmed/7009285
[pashute, Jan 21 2016]

Humalog http://www.rxlist.com/humalog-drug.htm
just under the structure [bs0u0155, Jan 22 2016]

Smells like band aids? http://diabetes.san...ell-like-band-aids/
[bs0u0155, Jan 22 2016]


       It's not the insulin. There's no mechanism I can think of that would make insulin do anything other than sort of loosely associate with plastic. Proteins don't really vaporize either. Anyhow, common preservatives in injectable drugs such as phenol and meta cresol both interact with plastics. See links.
bs0u0155, Jan 21 2016

       thanks. I wonder why my pharmacist who is a PhD in the topic and obviously an expert in chemistry didn't know to tell me...   

       Wait so the distinctive smell of insulin is actually one of those two?   

       Interestingly they never mention the contents of the solvent. Only that they have versions of 100ul or 200ul (per ml of solvent).
pashute, Jan 21 2016

       Insulin is a small protein, and won't smell of anything. What does your injection smell of?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2016

       Time for an experiment! 1: bag with needles. 2: bag with drops of insulin. 3: bag with needle hubs only, steel clipped off (that is my bet) 4: bag of steel needles only.   

       In any case you should be keeping needles in something more durable than a bag. If you shove that bag in your pocket the needles will poke you! Maybe an old bean can or jelly jar.
bungston, Jan 21 2016

       Radiation can make plastics brittle & flaky fairly quickly. I'd suggest checking your storage area for common radiation hazards: old smoke detectors, radio-isotope thermal generators, first or second generation fission warheads, spent fuel rods, decommissioned reactors & submarine parts...   

       It can also explain the skin conditions. Try getting really, really angry and looking in the mirror.
lurch, Jan 22 2016


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