Literally, the term "aseptic" is synonymous with " substance or material without harmful / pathogenic microorganisms ": by analyzing the word etymologically, the term "aseptic" is composed of the root a- (privative grammatical function) and the ending -sectic - from Greek septikos or from the Latin septicum - indicating a putrefactive condition that favors sepsis. From this analysis, we understand how the term aseptic is widely used in medical language to indicate a substance capable of preventing the transmission of an infection or suppuration.
To better understand the concept, we give some examples:
- An aseptic dressing is a product formulated with substances capable of inhibiting the propagation of microorganisms involved in sepsis (systemic inflammatory response sustained by the body following a bacterial attack).
- An aseptic room (probably better known as a clean room ) is an environment completely free of pathogenic microorganisms, an essential condition for performing, for example, surgical operations.
- The term "aseptic" refers also to production processes aimed at the formulation of sterile products, free of micro-organisms; for example, aseptic packaging of the milk is carried out following some specific procedures: first the food is heated to high temperatures (130-150 ° C) for a few seconds, then the milk is cooled quickly, until it reaches room temperature. This ultra-high temperature system is essential for removing all microorganisms; however, the short duration of the process guarantees the maintenance of many nutrients contained in the food. Subsequently, the product is stored in sterile packaging, in an environment that complies with hygiene regulations.
Metaphorically speaking, an aseptic reasoning is synonymous with a pure argument, devoid of contradictions, double meanings or ulterior motives; even a loss of emotions can be interpreted as an aseptic behavior but, in this case, the term hides a negative meaning.