The Detroit Post
Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Is Rust Harmful

Christina Perez
• Monday, 19 October, 2020
• 11 min read

Iron and its related alloys react to oxygen and water in a specific way. We know this coat as rust, but its full chemical formula is iron(III) oxide, or Felon.

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Typically, a piece of iron can take days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years to get that first coat of rust. It’s an extremely common reaction, since iron tends to react easily when it comes into contact with oxygen.

The intensity of rusting will be affected by the amount of exposure the piece of metal gets to water and oxygen. Jewelers and people who work with optical components often use a compound called rouge,” also known as “jeweler’s rouge” or “red rouge.” The compound contains a fine ferric oxide powder capable of giving different surfaces a shiny finish after a good polishing session.

Though not as potent and fast as other polishing products, rouge is still widely used by many jewelers and opticians; you can even use a specific type of rouge called a “stropping compound” on leather strops to help sharpen knives and razor blades better. Average rouge is sold as either paste, powder, polished or laced cloths, or a single solid bar.

Producing steel and iron alloys requires a lot of feedstocks, i.e. raw unfiltered material. For instance, 0.5% of iron(III) oxide makes up calamine lotion, which we use for itches and irritation.

In addition, the lotion gets its famous pinkish hue as a result of the reddish rust mixed with zinc oxide. Since our bodies already produce iron naturally, there are no real dangers to us adding a bit extra.

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In other words, if your body accumulates iron too quickly, then it’s probably a good idea not to drink water that’s literally full of it. Tetanus is caused by the bacteria called Clostridium retain, found in animal feces, soil, and dust.

If you were to actually swallow a rusty nail or a large piece of metal with lots of rust on it, you might get a lower form of tetanus. People who weld, solder, or mine tend to inhale lots of rust dust, which in turn can lead to sclerosis.

However, the disease takes years to fully develop, and we can prevent contracting it by using proper protection like masks. After all, if we use rust in cosmetic and medical products regularly, there’s no real reason to fear if we swallow a bit of it.

Well, from what I’ve learned, there are quite a few households that have pots, pans, silverware, and cups that have some minor rust on them. Moreover, there are often images floating around online of what typical water pipes look like, and they are almost always rusty on the inside.

Therefore, enjoy your meals and don’t worry about ingesting some iron(III) oxide; it might even be good for you. Metals containing iron, such as most kinds of steel, will rust when exposed to air and water.

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It makes them weaker, by replacing the strong iron or steel with flaky powder. Some oxides on some metals such as aluminum form just a thin layer on top which slows down further corrosion, but rust can slowly eat away at even the biggest piece of iron.

If a piece of iron's strength is important for safety, such as a bridge support or a car's brake caliper, it is a good idea to inspect it for rust damage now and then. Rusty car mufflers sometimes develop holes in them, and the sheet steel making the outer bodies of cars will often rust through, making holes.

Rust is an insulator, meaning that it doesn't conduct electricity easily, unlike iron, which is a metallic conductor. Rust is formed when an iron surface is exposed to oxygen in the presence of moisture.

Many metals oxidize when exposed to the atmosphere, but iron has particular problems with rust. Aluminum, for example, forms a thin very tough sapphire-like oxide coat.

It's very protective for most purposes, but it's electrically insulating, which is why there are big problems with aluminum wiring. Rust is the result of a complex chemical reaction involving iron, water and oxygen from the air.

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Used also as a pigment for earthy paint colors, rust dust appears as tones in muted shades of yellow, orange, red, brown and black. When rust dust forms, sometimes parts of the iron begin to peel and flake as well.

Government regulatory bodies set exposure limits for chemicals in the workplace, including for ferric oxide. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a limit of 5 mg of iron oxide dust or fumes per cubic meter of air or m^3.

This limit is the maximum average concentration of ferric oxide in air that a worker can inhale without requiring protective equipment over the course of a workday. If a worker is exposed to ferric oxide in air at levels of up to 50 mg ÷ m^3, Nosh recommends using a respirator equipped with a particulate filter.

I use water from a metallic tank to cook, bath and do other household chores. Now I noticed there is a lot of rust in the tank that won't come off after washing it severally.

Here's a link describing what the Institute of Medicine thinks about iron in the diet:. And the batteries were old and rusted, I didn't think about it but I put my fingers in my mouth and felt a scratchy feeling in my throat.

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I'm currently breastfeeding, is it going to hurt me or my son?- Kayla (age 25)Peoria, Illinois, US While tetanus is a potentially fatal infection of the nervous system, it's caused by bacteria (spores of the bacterium Clostridium retain, to be specific), not by rust itself.

So if for some strange reason your bakeware has been exposed to those particular elements (and if you're not up to date on your tetanus vaccinations) it's probably better to replace the rusty item outright. In fact, with a few simple tools and a little elbow grease, there are plenty of ways to thoroughly remove rust from cast iron.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. The idea that even if a utensil is clean, the rust can collect in the body, however, is almost never true.

The amount of rust needed to be ingested would be extremely large, or you would have to have a particularly awful immune system. There have been reports of people ingesting a large amount of rust from other means, but never from off of any type of utensil.

Steel cleaning kits use special chemicals in which you soak the utensils and remove rust. Another method of rust removal would be to go to any local sheet metal shop and ask them to use a fine steel wool scrubber.


Sparkling, clean, clear and refreshing water is a desired commodity. Small amounts of rust won't warm the body because oxidized iron is a nutrient.

Iron can be healthy for the body because it helps transport oxygen to the blood. The Department of Natural Resources mainly considers rust in water an “aesthetic contaminant” because it is more likely to harm clothing in the laundry by staining it, than a person drinking it 3.

Rust and mineral deposits begin to build, oxidize and can flake off. If mold in pipes or sinks gets into drinking water, it will make the person sick.

For years, researchers in Colombia have been engaged in a little-known battle against a disease that could disrupt coffee drinking everywhere. Coffee rust is a disease with the power to cripple, or even wipe out, the country’s national product, the base of one of its biggest industries, and one of its most important sources of foreign currency.

When a tree gets infected by it, its leaves produce a brown, thin powder when scratched, pretty much like iron rust. The disease, caused by the fungus Emilia testatrix, also decorous the bush’s leaves from a bright green to a brownish yellow.


In the late 19th Century, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and other countries in Southeast Asia were the major exporters of coffee in the world. Luckily for Asian producers, Britain was eager to switch its taste when their coffee supply vanished.

Its seed gives a delicious and delicate brew that sells at good prices in international markets. It has a more rough and bitter taste; not very appealing for coffee connoisseurs and not as appreciated by the market as its gentler brother.

“Venice is what has allowed us to remain competitive and lower our risk”, explains Hernando Tuque, technical director of Federate. Its research helped domesticate and make viable many of the high-quality varieties that the country grows and the world enjoys.

To get rated as a premium quality grade, farmers must focus on small details (Credit: Getty Images) To save Colombia’s coffee, Venice scientists in the 1960s realized that they needed to breed new varieties that could inherit both the distinctive taste and aroma of Colombian ‘beauty’, and the resistance genes of the ‘beast’.

Somewhere on this small island on the Indian Ocean, halfway between Indonesia and Australia, the ‘beauty’ and the ‘beast’ had an affair of sorts. It is not really a great tasting berry, but it had a crucial feature: unlike normal robust, it can be bred again with arabica varieties, which means that it can transmit its rust resistance to them.


Colombia’s coffee industry employs around 730,000 people, most of them on the deprived rural areas of the country (Credit: Getty Images) It was called Colombia, and it was good enough for it to be well accepted by growers and buyers, to the point that it still is around in many of the country’s coffee farms.

Emilia testatrix has since evolved, and found a way to infest some formerly immune coffee bushes. Temperatures in the coldest part of the year are rising, which some scientists believe reduces the time the rust fungus takes to attack the leaves once it gets to the tree.

In coffee flavor tasting, a score of more than 80 out of 100 is considered 'specialty' grade (Credit: Getty Images) By increasing the gene pool, coffee scientists also aim at protecting the crops from other risks.

Almost all bananas you can buy today in most parts of the world are clones from a single parent plant called Cavendish, initially bred in Britain in the 19th Century. It was not the tastiest fruit, but it was resistant to the fungus that wiped out the world’s most popular variety in the mid-20th Century, the Grow Michel.

The fungus mutated and now it can kill Cavendish, which means that the extinction of the banana as most of the world knows it is on the cards. In the distant future when rust finally defeats Castillo and Colombia, hopefully other varieties will keep up the fight.

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Colombia’s coffee industry employs around 730,000 people, most of them on the deprived rural areas of the country. Intelligentsia’s Sheridan spent many years deep inside Colombia as a development worker.

That is why he believes varieties like Castillo made coffee viable for many small farmers, who now have a reasonably priced and less risky option. A single coffee bush can bear fruit at peak productivity for up to eight years, which means that most new seeds are not immediately adopted by cultivators once they are released.

They know the quirks of their trees, their ebbs and flows, and the precise ways they behave in the particular environments of their farms. Even when Castillo is grown in very similar way to Catarrh, for some farmers planting a new seed can feel like hosting a stranger in your house.

If rust takes hold, can Colombian coffee’s distinct flavors survive intact? As a team of Latin American coffee researchers wrote in a recent paper about the rust epidemic, variety replacement requires a large initial investment, and returns “now or very low yields for at least the first two years, and thus a greatly reduced income”.

Federate offers subsidies and loans to farmers for helping them buy resistant seeds, and technical advice on growing. And while other countries have seen their crops halved in recent outbreaks, Colombia maintains a single-digit prevalence of the disease.

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Beyond that, it’s the confirmation of the growers’ mastery in their craft, the score that puts them among the elite of coffee producers. “You have to take care of a lot of small details.” In 2016, only 17% of the coffee exported by Colombia reached that mark.

He backs up his claims on a study he performed in the 2014 crop in Nariño, one of Colombia’s coffee growing states, where expert coppers blind tested both varieties and did not find any significant difference. While he is cautious to assert that this research cannot be extrapolated to other regions of Colombia and to other years’ crops, he claims that the market is giving many signs of appreciation for Castillo.

“It’s increasingly difficult in Colombia, when sourcing small holders’ coffee, to find batches that do not have some Castillo in them,” he says. He is a Colombian entrepreneur who has a stall in the Borough Market in London, where he sells the coffee he roasts in his garage in Brighton.

One of them was complex and worth sipping many times: its fruit-like acidity and sweetness were in a dance of sorts, where each flavor did not cancel but complement and enhance each other.

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