Porosity of Silicone, again

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Porosity of Silicone, again

Chirple Chirple
I've been having a bit of trouble with the "is silicone porous" thing.


Here's a quote from Kaos Software's FAQ :

"Silicone is not considered microporous - at least, not nearly to the extent of other implant materials like gore-sam. It can retain minute amounts of pretty much any fluid it is exposed to for a long period. Now, this isn't an issue with brief exposures or with soap from washing, and the level at which it absorbs these things is far too small for it to be absorbing microorganisms or anything like that. It happens more at the molecular level (diffusion) from what we understand. You can observe it in larger pieces of transparent silicone after autoclaving - which, through the pressure it uses, forces the silicone to take on water, which can be observed as cloudiness in the silicone. This cloudiness gradually dissipates inward from the outer surface over a period of a couple hours. The main concern of this slight porosity (similar to organics such as wood, bone, stone, horn, etc) is for people to absolutely avoid putting this stuff in a chemiclave or soaking in chemicals, as you will simply be making yourself a piece of toxic jewelry (which is why you don't put organics in a chemiclave, either)."

They use implant grade silicone, by the way.

And here's another one :

"Silicone may be “non-porous” but it can soak up outside chemicals on a molecular level, so exposure to anything toxic such as disinfectant soaks (biocompatible surgical scrubs can be an exception) and chemiclaving should be absolutely avoided. Exposure to toxic chemicals will result in a toxic implant."

LINK


I've kept reading, and I've heard MGS described as unable to support the growth of microbes via Wikipedia.


One thing that worries me is that "silicone" is not just on thing. For instance, the difference between medical and implant grade. I do wonder if the cheaper silicone toys are "skimping" a little. You could still use the label "silicone" and have a much lower-quality product, possibly even a product that is not food-grade (do these things get tested or go through approval ?).

I'm starting to think that "non-porous" means "in comparison with other things".


Now, I'm not freaking out. If it's food-grade, chances are with cleaning it's safe for sexual use, anyway. All good there.

I just love science and I'm curious as to what's actually going on here, and it would be important to note not to soak a toy in cleaning chemicals if it is indeed true here that diffusion can occur.
12/21/2011
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Ghost Ghost
I'll let you in on a little secret that apparently only science people are aware of: nothing is "non-porous" . Nothing in the entire universe. In fact, matter is mostly composed of empty space.

That aside, silicone is considered "non-porous" because the holes are smaller than 0.5 micrometers, which means they are smaller than the average bacteria. However, liquids can still enter the holes (for example, a water molecule is only 0.278 nanometers). The implications of this are that the first layer of silicone can absorb liquids, but cannot harbor bacteria.

Porous toys are a health concern because they harbor bacteria. Silicone is not a health concern because it does not. This is the same for all silicone. The difference between silicones is mainly 1) how it is cured, 2) what plasticizer is used and 3) are there any additives.

My advice: stop worrying and make sure you dry your toys.
12/21/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost
I'll let you in on a little secret that apparently only science people are aware of: nothing is "non-porous" . Nothing in the entire universe. In fact, matter is mostly composed of empty space.

That aside, silicone is considered ...
I agree, it is porous, but nothing that you have to worry about can get into the pores. This is why it is safe to use anally, boil, and use vaginally. No bacteria from the rectum can A) survive the heat topically or B) bury into the material to avoid the hot water.
12/21/2011
Chirple Chirple
I know nothing is totally non-porous, but I was hearing radically different things from two communities about the safety of silicone.

It kept getting put in tiers with wood/bone/horn, which threw me for a bit of a loop.
12/21/2011
Ghost Ghost
Quote:
Originally posted by Chirple
I know nothing is totally non-porous, but I was hearing radically different things from two communities about the safety of silicone.

It kept getting put in tiers with wood/bone/horn, which threw me for a bit of a loop.
Oh, I see. Well, the pores in those materials are also very small and can absorb liquids in a similar way. However, wood is HIGHLY porous and I think that is an inaccurate comparison.
12/21/2011
markwashere markwashere
Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost
I'll let you in on a little secret that apparently only science people are aware of: nothing is "non-porous" . Nothing in the entire universe. In fact, matter is mostly composed of empty space.

That aside, silicone is considered ...
No wonder my silicone still feels a little moist after i wash it off...
12/21/2011
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
That's very interesting.
12/21/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost
I'll let you in on a little secret that apparently only science people are aware of: nothing is "non-porous" . Nothing in the entire universe. In fact, matter is mostly composed of empty space.

That aside, silicone is considered ...
Thanks Elnoa. This matched my assumptions but I didn't have the diameters of bacteria or water molecules handy, and I'm incredibly glad that you did.

(So are we all going to put a "do not chemiclave your silicone toys!" warning in reviews? Because I'm not. I don't get the impression that sex toy users are chemiclaving anything, and that that's mainly applicable for implants.)
12/21/2011
Chirple Chirple
Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost
Oh, I see. Well, the pores in those materials are also very small and can absorb liquids in a similar way. However, wood is HIGHLY porous and I think that is an inaccurate comparison.
Thanks !

Yeah, it just didn't sound right to compare it to wood in terms of safety and porosity and I was having trouble finding any evidence that supported or denied their claims. I was only finding sex toy sites and body mod sites and far and few medical/science sources.

From what I can tell silicone's issues with body mods aren't related to porosity, if it's quality 100% silicone jewellery in question, at least.

@Antipova, I still want to autoclave a stainless steel toy for fun, I admit. xd
12/22/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Chirple
Thanks !

Yeah, it just didn't sound right to compare it to wood in terms of safety and porosity and I was having trouble finding any evidence that supported or denied their claims. I was only finding sex toy sites and body mod sites and ...
Walk into my dentist's office, say "Hi, I have an appointment at 11:30, and could you spin this through the autoclave?" *clunks Eleven down on the counter as I get my parking pass validated.*
12/22/2011
Rawhide Rawhide
Huh, just learned a lot from this thread! Thank you!
12/24/2011
Total posts: 11
Unique posters: 7