An antiseptic is a substance that kills or prevents the growth of bacteria on the external surfaces of the body. It can be contrasted with antibiotics which perform a similar function within the body, and disinfectants which operate on nonliving objects such as medical instruments.
Phenol compounds: Used as a "scrub" for pre-operative hand cleansing. Used in the form of a powder as an antiseptic baby powder, where it is dusted onto the belly button as it heals. Also used in mouthwashes and throat lozenges, where it has a painkilling effect as well as an antiseptic one.
Sodium chloride: Used as a general cleanser. Also used as an antiseptic mouthwash.
Ultraviolet light: Used for sterilization of laboratories, hospitals, and washrooms, as well as to sanitize drinking water.
Furthermore, the presence of gross amounts of blood may interfere with the germicidal action of alcohols, in that their fixative properties may hinder the ability of alcohols to penetrate through the dried organic debris.
Germicide decontamination of spills of blood and other contaminated fluids before and after their clean up forms an essential part of infection control.
Accidental or deliberate exposure of eyes to domestic bleach, a germicide frequently employed in the decontamination of shared disposable needles and syringes, can be quite harmful and has recently caused concerns for the safety of penitentiary staff in particular.
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