Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 34 – Iodine

Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)


Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.

And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?

So let’s get started this week by talking about a common medical treatment, iodine.


In the thirty fourth episode of The Simpsons, Three Men and a Comic Book (Season 02, Episode 21), after attending a comic book convention, Bart becomes obsessed with purchasing a rare Radioactive Man comic book. However, he doesn’t have enough money to purchase it.

So like any young entrepreneur short on cash, he gets a job doing chores for the elderly Mrs. Glick.Β Unfortunately those chores (such as removing weeds, cleaning the gutters, etc.) often lead to cuts and scrapes.

Mrs. Glick generously, and much to Bart’s chagrin, applies iodine on Bart’s cuts and scrapes. This results in Bart feeling a burning painful sensation. To make matters worse, after numerous hours of arduous labour, Bart is compensated with $0.50.

Eventually with the help of Martin and Milhouse, the three boys pool their money to get the comic book. But they end up buying more than what they bargain for.

But have you ever wondered what iodine is?



Iodine is a halogen antiseptic. Antiseptics are disinfecting agents with sufficiently low toxicity for host cells that they can be used directly on skin, mucous membranes, or wounds.

Iodine in a 1:20,000 solution is bactericidal in 1 minute and kills spores in 15 minutes. Gram positive bacteria and Gram negative bacteria are highly susceptible to iodine. Like spores. acid-fast bacteria are susceptible, but at high concentrations.

As for viruses, lipophilic viruses are susceptible to iodine. However, hydrophilic viruses are resistant to iodine. As for other organisms, fungi are susceptible to iodine, amebic cysts are susceptible to iodine, but prions are resistant to iodine.

The use of iodine as a pre-operative antiseptic dates back to the dawn of the 20th century. Croatian surgeon Dr. Antonio Grossich used it as early as 1908 and British surgeon Dr. Lionel Stretton published his use of iodine in the British Medical Journal in 1909.

Iodine is the most active antiseptic for intact skin. However, it is not commonly used due to serious hypersensitivity reactions that may occur, and due to its staining of clothes and dressings.

One of the more common topical antiseptics used in hospitals is Betadine (povidone-iodine). Betadine is an iodophor, a complex of iodine with a surface-active agent. Iodophors are less irritating and less likely to produce skin hypersensitivity than iodine.


Now that we’ve learned more about iodine, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.

And don’t forget to vote in this weeks Bracket Battle!

Have you ever heard of iodine? Have you ever used iodine? Have you ever done chores/work and got way underpaid? What’s your favourite Simpsons medical reference? What about your favourite Simpsons Bart gets a job episode? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

10 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 34 – Iodine

  1. To quote Dr. Hibbert: “Eh heh heh heh!”

  2. Who else is old enough to remember when practically every meal you were given was topped off with Iodised Salt (aka Iodized Salt)? πŸ™‹πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ

    Yes, the ingestion of iodine in order to prevent “iodine deficiency”, but we had no problem switching to Kosher Salt later on in life! πŸ˜‚

    Betadine (povidone-iodine) – once upon a time, this was the cleaning solution / aftercare of choice when getting a body piercing (20 years later? that would change to Sterile Saline Solution ‘made for wound care’ – when you could find both at your local Sav-on’s, Thrifty Drugs, etc) πŸ˜‰

    I can’t say I wasn’t under paid for anything, but I have put in a notice in order to go work somewhere else (once I secured the other job, of course). ☺️

    Medical Reference in a Simpson’s Episode –

    Practically any time that Dr. Nick Riviera is involved (“Hi Everybody!”), so πŸ€” …. Season 7 Episode 21 “22 Short Films About Springfield” (Dr. Nick needs to handle a Grandpa Simpson in ER!) πŸ˜‚

    Bart Simpson gets a job Episode , oh πŸ€” ….. let’s go with Season 3 Episode 4 “Bart the Murderer” (where Bart Simpson gets hired part time by Mobster Fat Tony as a bartender! – why hasn’t this Event related Character Task shown up in TSTO?)πŸ˜‚

    Once again thanks for the Monday fun, Safi (looking forward to the results in the Celebrity Bracket Challenge). πŸ‘πŸ»

    • Thanks for the comment!

    • Is Andrews Liver salts which can be used for indigestion and I believe constipation (not 100% sure on that 2nd one) by taking 1 teaspoon and mixing quickly into water then drinking all at once whilst it fizzes up the same as what you are referring to?

      • Andrews Liver Salts is a laxative and antacid for mild stomach complaints (considerate on par with Runs, or Rolaids) …. a good choice …… I was referring to typical salt used in cooking, or spicing up your food at the table during a meal (for example Morton’s brand, which for decades was sold as iodized salt “this salt supplies iodide, a necessary nutrient”)

  3. What about iodine for radiation therapy? Or is that just a myth?

    Live long and excelsior!

    • Radioiodine therapy (radioactive iodine) is still used in treating certain diseases of the thyroid gland. πŸ€”

    • Iodine has many uses in other non-topical forms. For radiation therapy and ingestion for thyroid goiters. But I focused on topical iodine, as used by Mrs. Glick in the episode.

      • Is there anything iodine can’t do? Perhaps if we combine it with internal light, bleach and hydroxichloriquin (sp?)?

        Yes, I am sure that would turn out to be quite lethal, so please don’t try that at home 😷

        Live long and excelsior!

        • Phosphorus can reduce “Elemental Iodine” to an Hydroiodic Acid; which is used as a reagent for reducing Ephedrine, or Pseudoephedrine; into Methamphetamine. *

          Because of this, “Elemental Iodine” was designated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (US DEA) as a List I Precursor Chemical under 21 CFR 1310.02 ! 🀫

          * Kids, do not try this (even if the information is online!) the Feds will not think it’s amusing!

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