Science: Deadly Soap

When bacteria are killed by carbolic acid or iodine, they stay dead; their tissues are destroyed by corrosive chemical action. But some modern soaps, though so bland that they are used for softening luxury fabrics, are a hundred times more toxic to bacteria than is carbolic acid.

No one knew why soaps had this deadly effect until Dr. E. I. Valko and Mr. A. S. DuBois of Onyx Oil & Chemical Co. of Jersey City explained it to the American Chemical Society this week. Actually the soaps do not kill bacteria, they permanently "narcotize" the germs. The bacteria show no signs of...

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