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Investigations on Adsorption of Benzalkonium Chloride U. S. P. by Skin, Gloves, and Sponges

RUTH B. KUNDSIN, M.A.; CARL W. WALTER, M.D.
AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(6):1036-1042. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280180168027.
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Introduction  The wide clinical use of benzalkonium chloride U. S. P. as a germicide makes the investigation of its adsorption on articles immersed in it of practical, as well as theoretical, significance. Sporadic instances of isolation of bacteria from solutions supposedly containing benzalkonium have occurred. Subsequent tests on isolated organisms have shown them to be sensitive to the quaternary, indicating that their survival may have been due to a depletion of the germicide from the original solution.A number of investigators have described the adsorption of quaternaries upon textiles. Goldsmith et al.1 reported that chlorine and benzalkonium chloride are removed from solution by wool and cotton fabrics to a degree, depending on original concentrations. Fischer and Seidenberg2 noted a definite correlation between antibacterial activity of water-soluble substances and their affinity for wool, a greater affinity representing a higher bactericidal action. Two quaternary compounds, Sapamine KW Concentrate (quaternary ammonium

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