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disinfectant, agent that destroys disease-causing microorganisms and their spores. Disinfectants, or germicides, are sometimes considered to be substances applied to inanimate bodies, whereas antiseptics, not so potent, are agents that kill microbes on living things. Mercuric chloride, carbolic acid (phenol), and chlorinated lime and other chlorine releasing compounds are disinfectants used on contaminated objects. Formaldehyde and some other disinfectants suitable for use in sprays are also used as deodorants and as airborne disinfectants, or fumigants, in large enclosed spaces. Certain substances such as mercury toluene sulfonanilide are used for disinfecting seeds to protect against soilborne plant diseases. Some disinfectants, especially chlorine and chlorine compounds, are also used as preservatives for leather and other materials. In weaker solutions some disinfecting chemicals may be used on the skin. Disinfection of contaminated objects can also be accomplished by boiling, where appropriate.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the destruction of pests and causative agents of plant diseases by means of toxic vapors and gases. Fumigation is carried out with the aid of devices called fumigators and is applied in warehouses, mills, grain elevators, hothouses, hotbeds, vegetable storehouses, containers, rooms, special chambers, pits, and tents made of canvas or synthetics. Soil and rodent burrows may also be fumigated. The process is used to protect cuttings and such crops as grains, vegetables, tea, and fruits, including grapes and citrus fruits.

During fumigation the toxic gases and vapors act on the respiratory organs of pests under airtight conditions, causing the harmful organisms to die from poisoning within a certain amount of time—from a few hours to several days. The method, length of time, and effectiveness of fumigation depend on the properties of the fumigants and pests, as well as on the degree of infestation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Figure 5A suggests a hybrid strategy that fumigates heavily contaminated rooms (>100 spores/[m.sup.2]) and uses the HEPA/vaccine approach for lightly contaminated rooms (<100 spores/[m.sup.2]).
Pest controllers had to be called in to fumigate offices after a suspected outbreak of fleas at a North East hospital.
Since log age was implicated in the development of gray stain, it might be important to fumigate red beech logs in a fresher condition to further improve stain control by elimination of enzymes or precursors produced in parenchyma cells.
The primary use for this chemical is to fumigate soil to destroy soilborne pests.
The National Food Authority (NFA) said last week that it had to fumigate 330,000 of bags of rice it imported from Thailand and Vietnam as these were infested with weevils.
He further said that after reports of 17 deaths in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab due to Cango virus, the department has taken emergency step to fumigate all the cattle market as well as the cattle.
Do the people who run the bus companies fumigate the buses to try and get rid of the germs that are carried by passengers?
Special equipment used to fumigate containers by Merseyside company Eleberts Pestforce
CLEAN and fumigate the greenhouse to prevent any lurking pests and diseases from hibernating.
warehouses fumigate three or four times a year to control moths and other stored product insect pests.
This has happened before and suppliers fumigate the rice at no cost to the government,' Estoperez said.
Police officials who are investigating the case said that the Indian pest control company owner said to police that they informed the neighbours that they intended to fumigate the apartment in question.