Compound which inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
Compound which destroys or inhibits
the growth of microorganisms which is designed for application to living
tissue. Antiseptic hand soaps are an example.
Association of Official Analytical Chemists
(www.aoac.org) - An
organization of independent analytical scientists that develop the test
methods used by the EPA and other laboratories to verify a disinfectant's
Extremely small, unicellular microorganisms
that multiply logarithmically by cell division and whose cell is typically
contained within a cell wall, occurring in spherical, rod-like, spiral,
or curving shapes and found in virtually all environments.
An agent or process that kills bacteria.
inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
of bacteria on a moist surface that forms a slimy, glue-like film. A
biofilm can be formed by a single bacterial species but, most often,
biofilms consist of many species of bacteria as well as fungi, algae
and protozoa. The inside of a clogged drain pipe is a good example of
a biofilm. Disinfectants generally are not effective against a biofilm
without mechanical agitation.
The suffix used to designate a killing treatment.
The word's prefix indicates the type of organism affected, such as bactericidal
Term used to describe the amount of time a
disinfectant should remain on a hard surface before it is rinsed or
The removal or destruction of pathogens from
inanimate objects. Nonpathogenic environmental organisms may not be
completely eliminated through disinfection.
The test results of the AOAC use dilution
test method for disinfectants. Available in Essential Industries' Research
An agent that kills fungi. Athlete's Foot
(Trichophyton mentagrophytes) is one example.
Multicellular organisms that include
molds and mildews.
An agent that kills microorganisms.
Gram-negative bacteria are a type of bacteria
that includes many pathogenic types, such as Escherichia coli (E-coli).
They differ from gram-positive bacteria in that they contain an outer
membrane in additon to a cell wall. Gram-negative bacteria appear bright
pink to red when they are "gram-stained". Quats are moderately
effective on gram-negative organisms.
Similar to gram-negative bacteria, but they
do not contain an outer membrane. Staphylococcus is one example. Gram-positive
bacteria appear dark purple when they are "gram-stained".
Quats are highly effective on gram-positive organisms.
A widely used method for classifying bacteria
that was invented in 1884 by Danish physician, Christian Gram. First,
violet dye and iodine is used, followed by alcohol and a counter stain.
As a result, either a gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria emerges.
A class of disinfectants that include chlorine,
bromine, iodine and fluorine and kill bacteria through oxidation.
Water which contains ions of Magnesium
(Mg++) and Calcium (Ca++). Hard water ions make some disinfectants less
The ability of a disinfectant to function
properly even when diluted with hard water. Most quaternary disinfectants
tolerate 400 PPM hard water or greater.
A product that is shown to be effective
against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella cholerasesuis and
Term used to describe iodine-containing compounds.
A class of disinfectants that include copper,
zinc, arsenic, mercury and silver. Almost never used in modern disinfecting
of hard surfaces since they are toxic and create difficulties in waste
The addition of 5% blood serum to the standard
AOAC use dilution test. Used to gauge a disinfectant's effectiveness
since most encounter soil in addition to microorganisms.
The ability of a disinfectant to function
in a dirty environment. Quats exhibit good organic soil tolerance. Halogens
(bleach and iodine) and Phenols exhibit poor organic soil tolerance.
The measure of hydroxyl (OH-) or hydrogen
(H+) ions in a solution. Acids contain varying levels of hydrogen ions,
bases contain hydroxyl ions. A pH of 7 is neutral, but for cleaning
purposes, a pH of 5-9 is considered to be in the neutral
range. Below 5 is acidic and greater than 9 is alkaline.
Carbolic acid compounds used for disinfection.
Very effective on vegetative bacteria, including Mycobacteriam tuberculosis
Stands for parts per million.
Short for quaternary ammonium chloride compounds.
Commonly used for general disinfection of hard surfaces.
The cleansing of inanimate objects to reduce
the microbial count to a safe level.
The active ingredient in bleach that ranges
from 5.25% to 12%. Expressed as NaOCl.
The suffix used to designate inhibitory treatments
such as bacteriostatic or fungistatic.
The destruction of all life forms from an
object or surface. Usually done through heat or radiation, although
a handful of chemicals exhibit sterilization properties such as Gluteraldehydes.
An agent that kills viruses.
A microorganism that needs a host (human,
animal or other living organism) to propagate.