A Treasure of Free Homemade Gold Prospecting Equipment Plans and Commentary: Good Hygiene Gold Panning in Stagnant Water Can Prevent Harmful Infections

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Good Hygiene Gold Panning in Stagnant Water Can Prevent Harmful Infections

I had a recent experience that has prompted this post. At one of my club claims where I was fortunate enough to find PUDDLES of water that I could use to gold pan, I did something folks may not think of. That water standing still in little depressions in an arroyo may be contaminated. When the weather is warm and water stands, microbes can develop. I have seen sections of lakes in Arizona cornered off due to the growth of harmful microscopic critters that could infect a person should they bathe in it or swallow some by accident. The same thing goes for puddles.
I always have rubber gloves for cleaning dishes - the kind your wife may use in the kitchen. I don't use them in the kitchen - I know the water is safe. But I do use them when panning in stagnant water. An open cut being submerged in mucky water can easily be infected with staph or strep or even more exotic germs that can cause real damage to your body. If you don't have any open nicks on your body (I nick very easily) you could cut yourself while attempting to gold pan and then the dirty creatures enter your system. There are special gloves that are rubber lined that you can buy at the mining stores, but dish washing gloves are cheaper. You can get them for anywhere from $1 to $2 at a dollar store.
I always keep neomycin cream, triple ointment, or bacitracin in my truck. If you do get cut on anything outdoors, treat yourself right away - it's easy to do and could save you a lot of pain and money. I have found that the ointments also seem to promote clotting, so even if you don't have a band-aid,  clean it and rub that ointment in. Better safe than sorry.
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