Virology: Chemicals for Killing

Surgeon Joseph Lister had never heard of viruses when he began to de velop aseptic surgery a century ago, but he showed uncanny prescience when he picked carbolic acid for the germ-killing spray in his operating rooms. Temple University's Dr. Mor ton Klein has been comparing germi cides, and reports that Lister's phenol, or carbolic acid, is as potent as the fancier formulations of modern chem istry against most viruses; it is actually more potent against some of the small est viruses, which cause many respira tory diseases and polio. Also potent are sodium hypochlorite and near-pure al cohol....

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