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November 1960

Investigations on Dynamics of Bactericidal Action of Two Quaternary Ammonium Salts

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1960;81(5):789-797. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300050111020

Disinfection has been assumed to be a first-order process since Chick published "An Investigation of the Laws of Disinfection" (Chick, 1908). The studies described in this paper were conducted to determine whether 2 quaternary ammonium salts conform with this concept of a first-order reaction and also whether concentration and thermal coefficients can be determined for these compounds.

The quaternary ammonium salts are becoming increasingly popular as bactericidal agents. Because they are be- colorless, stable, and relatively nontoxic, they have lent themselves to clinical as well as industrial uses where efficient bactericides are needed. Current thought, therefore, has been completely focused on in-use applications. This is reflected in the literature in a plethora of articles on the evaluation of these compounds in innumerable situations, while little attention has been given to the basic process of disinfection.

The 2 quaternary ammonium salts were used in a study of organisms exposed to the