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Topic of the month

Antiseptics & Disinfectants 101

Definitions
 Sterilization:
A process used to render an object free from all living organisms.

 Disinfection:
A process used to reduce the number of, micro-organisms but not usually of bacterial spores; the process does not necessarily kill or remove all micro-organism, but reduces their number to a level which is not harmful to health.

 Cleaning:
A process that removes contaminants including dust, soil, large number of micro-organisms and the organic matter (like blood). Cleaning is an always useful, sometimes essential prerequisite to disinfection and sterilization.

 Decontamination:
A general term for the destruction or removal of microbial contamination to render an item safe. This will include methods of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization.

 Chemical Disinfectant:
A compound that can destroy vegetative organisms and most viruses. The term "antiseptic is used for non-toxic disinfectant which are applied to the skin or living tissues. A sterilant: Is a chemical disinfectant which can, under certain stringent conditions destroy bacterial spores, viruses and vegetative organisms.

Types of Chemical Disinfectants:

1. Environmental Disinfectants
2. Skin Disinfectants
3. Disinfectants for Instruments

Safety in Chemical Disinfection
Properties of some chemical disinfectants :
 -Irritants
 -Flammable
 -High pressure
 -Nasal irritation and sensitization (gluteraldehyde) ….   Asthma, dermatitis

Disinfection Policy
Choice of Disinfectant
 - It should have a wide range of microbicidal activity and,     if used for surface disinfection, should be rapid in action
 - It should not be readily neutralized or inactivated by    organic matter, soap, hard water or plastics
 - It should be relatively non-corrosive at use-dilutions
 - It should be non-irritant if to be applied to the skin
 - It should be inexpensive

 

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