Don't try this at home: According to New Scientist magazine, a researcher has determined that oven cleaner could be just great for treating ... glaucoma.
Oven cleaner in the eye? This sounds, at first blush, like a rather surprising remedy.
It also begs the question of how the discovery was made. Was there some kind of "it's-high-time-we-cleaned-that-laboratory-oven" mishap? Scientific breakthroughs do happen that way sometimes. Saccharin famously was discovered when a sloppy chemist spilled some coal tar he'd been working with onto his hands, then later on noticed they were sweet. And Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin after some mold contaminated his experiments.
But no, the oven cleaner breakthrough didn't happen that way. According to New Scientist (www.newscientist.com), Sudipta Seal of the University of Central Florida "was testing cereum oxide nanoparticles, or nanoceria, for use as a catalyst to remove grime from oven walls, when he realised they might have medical applications." To make sure the particles weren't toxic, he conducted animal tests — and found the particles, if anything, could protect eyes from light damage. They also penetrate deep into the cornea, making them a good way to shuttle needed medicines there.
Seal's now testing that idea. It might take some time. So — back away from the Easy Off and go here instead for information on treating and preventing glaucoma: www.glaucoma.org/treating/.
— Rosie MestelCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times