Household Antiseptics and Disinfectants

Household Antiseptics and Disinfectants

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Selection of four commonly available antiseptic liquids. Each of these differ in their active ingredients and in some of their applications. From left to right, the first antiseptic is based on phenol and hydrogenated phenols, the second, cetrimide and chlorhexidene glucomate, the third, cetylpyridinium chloride, and the last chloroxylenol. All are recommended for the cleansing of minor skin wounds such as cuts, grazes, insect stings etc, and to protect against bacteria and infection. It is necessary to carefully check how they should be used as the active ingredients are dangerous in excess, producing different allergic effects depending on the chemical agent used. Thus particular attention should be given to the dilution, the dosage and whether they can be used orally as as, for instance, in a mouthwash.

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Keywords: allergy, antiseptic, bacteria, bites, cetrimide, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidene glucomate, chloroxylenol, cuts, disinfectant, grazes, hydrogenated phenols, infection, insects, liquid, mouthwash, phenol, poisons, stings, wounds

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