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• Definitions
• Uses of disinfection
• Types of disinfection
• Disinfecting agents
• Disinfection of water
• Disinfection of Well
• Disinfection of swimming pool
• Disinfection of Sputum
• Disinfection of Urine & feces
• Disinfection of Blood
• Disinfection
– Disinfection is killing of the infectious agents (Except spores)
outside the body by direct exposure to chemical or physical
• Sterilization
– It is a process of destroying all life including all spores.
• Disinfectant
– Substance which destroys harmful microbes with object of
preventing transmission of disease (suitable for application only
to inanimate objects.
• Antiseptic
– Substance which destroys or inhibits the growth of
microorganisms and it is usually a disinfectant in low dilutions
that can be used on skin or Living tissues.
• Decontamination
– It is combination of processes used to make a re-usable item
safe for further use.
Removal Of Microbial agents

Microbes Microbes & Spores

Inanimate Surfaces Animate Surfaces

(Skin & Mucous membranes)

Disinfectants Antiseptics

Disinfection Sterilization

Note : Some disinfectants may have sporicidal action as well.

Uses Of Disinfection

• Preventing Spread of infection.

• Control of communicable diseases.
• Disinfection of Surgical and other instruments.
• Treatment Of few bacterial and fungal infections of skin and
mucous membrane.
• As Preservatives to prevent over growth of bacteria and fungi
in pharmaceutical products, laboratory sera, cosmetic
products and contact lenses.
• Appropriate use indirectly helps in avoiding microbial
Types Of Disinfection
• Concurrent
– Disinfective measures which are taken immediately after
the discharge of infectious material.
Eg: Of Urine, Stool, Vomit, Contaminated clothes, etc.
Most commonly practiced method.
• Terminal
– Disinfection after other hospital isolation practices had
been discontinued.
– It is considered adequate along with airing and sunning of
rooms, furniture and bedding.
• Precurrent
– It is Prophylactic disinfection.
Eg: Chlorination of water pasteurization of milk and hand
Disinfection Agents

Natural Agents
– Sunlight
• UV rays of sunlight are bactericidal and viricidal.
– Air
• Acts by drying.
• Both are not reliable.
• Physical Agents
– Burning
– Best method ,done in an incinerator.
Eg: contaminated dressings rags & swabs.
– Hot Air
– Good disinfectant but lacks penetrating power it is
done in hot air oven 160-1800C for one hour
Eg: Articles such as glassware syringes oils & sharp
– Limitation
Not suitable for bulky articles
and delicate substances.
– Boiling
• Temperature requirements varies for different articles.
Disinfection Of Water
• It is synonymous to chlorination (large scale).
• Chlorination is only a supplement not a substitute to filtration
• Agents used for chlorination are chlorine gas, chloramines and
• Other agents are ozonation and UV radiation.
House hold disinfection of water
• Rolling Boil for 5-10 minutes.
• Stabilized bleaching powder.
• Chlorine solution.
• High test hypochlorite (HTH) – 60-70% available chlorine.
• Chlorine tablets (NEERI, Nagpur) – 15 times more effective
than ordinary halozone tablets. 0.5grs is sufficient to disinfect
20 liters of water.
• Iodine – 2 drops of 2% Iodine in alcohol for 1 litre of water(30
• Potassium permanganate kills Vibrio cholera (not used now).
Disinfection Of Well

• Chlorination.
– Find the volume of water in well.
– Calculate the amount of bleaching powder required –
Horrock’s apparatus.
(approx 2.5grs in 1000 liters of water)
– Dissolve bleaching powder in a bucket of water.
– Deliver this chlorine solution in to well.
– Leave for a period of 1 hour (Contact period).
– Perform orthotolidine arsenite (OTA) test to estimate
residual chlorine.
Disinfection Of Swimming Pools
• Disinfected using chlorination.
• 1 mg per liter of free residual chlorine provides adequate
protection against bacterial and viral agents.
• Water has to be replaced every 6 hours
• The bacteriological quality should reach the standards
prescribed for drinking water.
Disinfection Of Sputum
• This is best received in gauze or paper handkerchiefs and
destroyed by burning. If not sputum should be collected in a
container and it should be always kept close.
• If the amount is considerable sputum can be disinfected by
boiling or autoclaving for 20min at 20lb pressure.
• When collected in a cup add 5% of cresol to equal volume of
sputum and wait for 1 hour before disposing.
• Absolute alcohol 10times the quantity of sputum (for 10
hours) is the most reliable method.
• The most easiest method is collecting the sputum in cartons
and burning it in a safe place.
Disinfection Of Feaces and Urine
• General principles
– Faeces and urine should be collected in impervious
vessels and disinfected as

Disinfectant Amount per liter Percent

Bleaching powder 50 gr 5

Crude phenol 100 ml 10

Cresol 50 ml 5

Formalin 100 ml 10
• Cholera
– Patient stools and vomitus, clothes, other personal items
contaminated, the toilets, patients home and
neighborhood should be disinfected thoroughly.
– Both concurrent and terminal disinfection.
– Coal tar disinfectant with RW coefficient of 10 or more(
e.g. cresol), bleaching powder of good quality
• Typhoid
– Stools and urine disinfection should be disinfected using
5% cresol for 2 hrs.
– Clothes and linen should be soaked in a solution of 2%
chlorine and steam sterilized.

• Hepatitis – A
– Same as above .
– 1 mg per liter of free residual chlorine causes destruction
of virus in 30 min at PH 8.5.
Limitations Of Disinfection
• Are expensive.
• Hazardous to health.
• They may also get contaminated by resistant organisms
specially spores, pseudomonas, serratia and thus
transmit infection.
• For good results correct dilutions must be used for correct
• They have general biocidal activity and may accumulate with
regular long term use.
• Most topical antiseptics interfere with wound healing and
cause drying, irritation and sensitization of skin.
• many disinfectants though more potent are easily inactivated
by organic matter and hence if proper prior cleaning
measures are not taken renders disinfection a watse.
• Definitions
• Uses of disinfection
• Types of disinfection
• Disinfecting agents
• Disinfection of water
• Disinfection of Well
• Disinfection of swimming pool
• Disinfection of Sputum
• Disinfection of Urine & feces