Rusty nails, and basically anything that has rust, are what I thought caused tetanus infections. That's what I was told by most people. But rust has nothing to do with it.
But counter to what rusty nail warnings might have you believe, the disease has nothing to do with iron oxide, the chemical compound more commonly known as rust.
Rather, tetanus is a product of the bacteria Clostridium tetani, which is in dirt, dust, and feces—in other words, everywhere.
It can enter your body through puncture wounds, yes, but also through superficial cuts, bug bites, surgical procedures, and any other rupture to your skin. It can come from stepping on a rusty nail, or tending the soil in your garden.
(Image credit: CJ/Pixabay)