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What does insulin smell like?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Lisa P., Mar 29, 2009.

  1. kimmcannally

    kimmcannally Approved members

    Feb 28, 2010
    Smells like hospital to me.
  2. Kaylas mom

    Kaylas mom Approved members

    Apr 14, 2010
    I thought it had a metallic or plasticy smell to it but I think bandaids fits it too.
  3. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
  4. LJM

    LJM Approved members

    Mar 10, 2008
    I agree, definitely the band-aids of my childhood. The old kind.
  5. bgallini

    bgallini Approved members

    Feb 23, 2008
    That commercial always cracks me up! Dh seems a bit put off by it and my reaction.:D:rolleyes:

    And insulin smells like bandaids.
  6. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    Now that you mention it, my husband wasn't laughing near as hard as I was. . . . I guess women still do most of the antiperspirant buying in this country. .. .
  7. Mom211

    Mom211 Approved members

    May 3, 2009
    I love your attitude!!

    and I think insulin smells like a bandaid.
  8. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Nov 21, 2007

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha, Oh my! This is really funny! Thanks.

    I'm on a horse! Hahahahaha
  9. Daniel's Mom 1993

    Daniel's Mom 1993 Approved members

    Dec 31, 2007
    Thats what I have always thought too.
  10. AKA

    AKA Approved members

    Aug 7, 2010
    Don't drink the insulin (see link below)! I think they put the phenol in it to keep bacteria from growing in it. Last time I checked, only Novolog has phenol. By the way, I think they need to find better perservatives for the insulin. All of the ones I've seen can cause tissue damage or worse.

  11. Zoe'sMom

    Zoe'sMom Approved members

    Jul 17, 2008
    A while ago, one of the tires on our ride-on lawnmower had a flat, so my husband brought it inside the house. The smell of that tire was VERY similar to insulin (and not the same smell as regular car tires).

    So: ride-on lawnmower tire.
  12. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    That's an original answer!
    You'll have me outside sniffing our mower. . . .what will the neighbors think. . ..nevermind, they think it already. . . . .:p
  13. Alexis Va

    Alexis Va New Member

    Apr 6, 2012
    Insulin smells like...

    Insulin smells like bandaids, and railroad ties, and creosote, and hospitals because...

    "HUMALOG is a sterile, aqueous, clear, and colorless solution. Each milliliter of HUMALOG contains insulin lispro 100 units, 16 mg glycerin, 1.88 mg dibasic sodium phosphate, 3.15 mg Metacresol, zinc oxide content adjusted to provide 0.0197 mg zinc ion, trace amounts of phenol, and Water for Injection. Insulin lispro has a pH of 7.0 to 7.8. The pH is adjusted by addition of aqueous solutions of hydrochloric acid 10% and/or sodium hydroxide 10%."

    MetaCRESOL (from creosote?!) and trace amounts of PHENOL - both are ingredients in Humalog.

    A long time ago, my dad told me that insulin smelled like creosote. I didn't even know what that was until later. I thought it smelled like bandaids. Turns out we were both "right".

    Now I'd like to know what those ingredients that some sources refer to as "toxic" and "carcenogenic" are doing to all of the people who have to inject that stuff every single day. Not a pleasant thought.

    I started researching this because creosote builds up in chimneys. My dad told me long ago that insulin smelled like creosote. Recently, immediately after changing the reservoir and infusion set in my pump (and fumbling it terribly in the airport public restroom!), I and my luggage were thouroughly searched and swabbed because my hands tested positive for some type of residue. I had just left the restroom and washed my hands! I remembered what my dad said and wondered if insulin indeed had creosote in it and if, by some bizarre chance, that had set off the machine at the airport. I still don't know, but it is interesting.
  14. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

    Jun 1, 1995

    Especially the health effects section:

    Most exposures to cresols are at very low levels that are not harmful. When cresols are breathed, ingested, or applied to the skin at very high levels, they can be very harmful. Effects observed in people include irritation and burning of skin, eyes, mouth, and throat; abdominal pain and vomiting; heart damage; anemia; liver and kidney damage; facial paralysis; coma; and death.

    Breathing high levels of cresols for a short time results in irritation of the nose and throat. Aside from these effects, very little is known about the effects of breathing cresols, for example, at lower levels over longer times.

    Ingesting high levels results in kidney problems, mouth and throat burns, abdominal pain, vomiting, and effects on the blood and nervous system.

    Skin contact with high levels of cresols can burn the skin and damage the kidneys, liver, blood, brain, and lungs.

    Short-term and long-term studies with animals have shown similar effects from exposure to cresols. No human or animal studies have shown harmful effects from cresols on reproduction.

    It is not known what the effects are from long-term ingestion or skin contact with low levels of cresols.

    The harmful effects noted come from high exposures. Tiny amounts in insulin are not high exposures.

    No where is there any mention of it being carcenogenic -- a good thing because it's the active ingredient in Lysol cleaner.
  15. Caldercup

    Caldercup Approved members

    Oct 8, 2008
    That's what I smell. Bandaid. Or maybe a strong-smelling school paste.
  16. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
  17. MamaLibby

    MamaLibby Approved members

    Oct 30, 2011
    To my husband and I it has a positive smell. that bandaid-plasticy smell means life for Ella.
    My kids however, especially Ella, hate the smell of it. She says it smells like hospital, which doesn't bring back good memories for my family.
  18. Debdebdebby13

    Debdebdebby13 Approved members

    Dec 15, 2011
    Another vote for bandaids.
  19. jessicat

    jessicat Approved members

    Jan 10, 2012
    Smells like hospital to me too!!
  20. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

    Nov 10, 2010
    My wife posted her opinion on her blog back in March:


    Here is what she wrote:

    "Again, 3 am. I'm struck by a familiar smell as I walk up the stairs for what's become a nightly ritual. What is it? It smells like band-aides? I realize it is the smell of life or death. A wave of sad gratitude washes over me, my stomach churns as a wave of nausea rises. I remember I used to hate that smell. It smelled sterile, like a hospital, the smell of dependence, unknown implications for the future. Tonight though, a different feeling quells my churning stomach. In my hand is the source of the odor, a little clear liquid. Liquid that balances in a drop on the very tip of the needle, like a bubble about to float away. I love that smell now, the smell of insulin means everything to me, as it means life for my little girl. Reaching the top of the stairs, I peek through her bedroom door and watch her sleep. I think how when she sleeps, she looks just like she did as a baby. I'm brought back to those middle of the night rendezvous with her. Leaning over and scooping her up out of the cradle right next to my bed, laying her in the crook of my arm and looking down on her little innocent face before a feeding. I remember life before diabetes. Sometimes I walk by pictures in the hall, of just a year ago, and I stop. I remember life before diabetes and I cry, but tonight ? I'm grateful. I love that smell. As I close my eyes to breath it in, a guttural, aching groan escapes my chest. I love that smell now, it means life."

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