Rust (as in iron oxide)
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- iron oxide itself is not harmful
- but it happens most in moist places, which also breeds things that are harmful
For example, a a rusty water cooker is no risk, because it's purely rust, and the frequent boiling will kill most anything.
(An iron / cast iron pan will sometimes be doing chemistry, which can matter, but barely so if you clean it well and/or use it frequently. )
Rusty nails and surfaces can be bad, but this is because places that collect rust are typically also dirty and moist, which is a good place for bacteria to grow to large numbers.
So stepping on a rusty nail in an old dirty moist run-down industrial building is a little riskier (and perhaps more likely) than stepping on a rusty nail in your room.
A wound bleeding will will wash things away - that's part of the point. That said, e.g. tetanus is easier to prevent than to cure. At least try to catch it early - stiffness of the jaw and neck are early indicators.
- cooking in cast iron
- you won't get much iron out of an iron / cast iron pan unless you cook something acidic in it
- note that treating your iron pan carefully (oiling it before and after) helps.
- iron itself is insoluble in water -- but with acid around, it will react. Which is why (cast) iron pan instructions tend to mention tomatoes and perhaps applesauce
- if you cook spaghetti every day, you may want to use another pan -- but even the amount of iron that releases seems to be within safe levels(verify)
- You need a little iron, for your blood to carry oxygen. A deficit is anemia
- an iron pan can work as an additive(verify) - but you are probably getting enough already, from eggs, beans, some fruit, some grains, some fish.
- your body does excrete excess iron, but only slowly, so avoid structurally getting too much iron
- rather more iron in your diet usually causes nothing worse than fatigue, headaches, possibly anorexia or such.