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  1. 1. Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) (ADBAC) Benzalkonium chloride solutions are rapidly acting biocidal agents with a moderately long Benzalkonium chloride, also known as alkyl duration of action. They are active against dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and bacteria and some viruses, fungi, and ADBAC, is a mixture of protozoa. Bacterial spores are considered to alkylbenzyldimethylammonium chlorides of be resistant. Solutions are bacteriostatic or various even-numbered alkyl chain lengths. bactericidal according to their concentration. This product is a nitrogenous cationic surface- Gram-positive bacteria are generally more acting agent belonging to the quaternary susceptible than Gram-negative. Activity is not ammonium group. greatly affected by pH, but increases substantially at higher temperatures and ADBAC chemical case is comprised of 24 prolonged exposure times. compounds that are structurally similar Newer formulations using benzalkonium quaternary ammonium compounds (quats) that blended with various quaternary ammonium are characterized by having a positively derivatives can be used to extend the biocidal charged nitrogen covalently bonded to three spectrum and enhance the efficacy of alkyl group substituents and a benzyl benzalkonium based disinfection products. substituent. In finished form, these quats are This technique has been used to improve salts with the positively charged nitrogen virucidal activity of quaternary ammonium- (cation) balanced by a negatively charged based formulations to healthcare infection hazards such as hepatitis, HIV, etc. molecule (anion). The most common anion for Quaternary ammonium formulations are now the quats in this cluster is chloride. However, the disinfectants of choice for hospitals. This is other anions, such as saccharine and bromide on account of user and patient safety even on are also used. contact with treated surfaces and the absence of harmful fumes. Benzalkonium solutions for It has three main categories of use; as a hospital use tend to be neutral to alkaline, non- biocide, a cationic surfactant and phase corrosive on metal surfaces, non-staining and transfer agent in the chemical industry. safe to use on all washable surfaces. The use of appropriate supporting excipients can also greatly improve efficacy and detergency, and prevent deactivation under use conditions. Formulation requires great care as benzalkonium solutions can be readily inactivated in the presence of organic and inorganic contamination. Solutions are incompatible with soaps, and must not be The greatest biocidal activity is associated with mixed with anionic surfactants. Hard water the C12-C14 alkyl derivatives. The mechanism salts can also reduce biocidal activity. As with of bactericidal/microbicidal action is thought to any disinfectant, it is recommended that be due to disruption of intermolecular surfaces are free from visible dirt and interactions. This can cause dissociation of interfering materials for maximal disinfection cellular membrane lipid bilayers, which performance by quaternary ammonium compromises cellular permeability controls and products. induces leakage of cellular contents. Other biomolecular complexes within the bacterial Although hazardous levels are not likely to be cell can also undergo dissociation. Enzymes, reached under normal use conditions, which finely control a wide range of respiratory benzalkonium and other detergents can pose a and metabolic cellular activities, are particularly hazard to marine organisms. Quaternary susceptible to deactivation. Critical ammonium disinfectants are effective at very intermolecular interactions and tertiary low ppm levels, so excess use should be structures in such highly specific biochemical avoided. systems can be readily disrupted by cationic surfactants. Compiled by Deniz Kaya -1-