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Definition : Chemical agents intended for killing and/or total inactivation of microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and their spores (i.e., germicides). Germicides typically consist of one or a mixture of gases or liquids typically used in sterilizing units that include a closed chamber in which the time, temperature, and/or concentration of the germicide during the sterilization process are controlled. Germicides are usually toxic and must be eliminated after the sterilization cycle is complete; the residual chemicals should be drained and the volatile compounds eliminated (usually by aeration or rinsing with filtered water). They are widely used to sterilize heat-sensitive surgical instruments and other reusable supplies including garments. Gas germicides such as chlorine dioxide and ethylene oxide as well as liquid (e.g., glutaraldehyde) germicides are available.

Entry Terms : "Sterilants" , "Disinfectants"

UMDC code : 18159

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