Chapter 2: Table of Contents
Quaternary ammonium compounds (i.e. benzalkonium chloride) are slow acting and are neutralized by gauze, cotton, iodine, rubber and anionic detergents and their efficacy can be decreased by other soaps and organic debris. Bacterial killing occurs by cell wall phospholipid destruction and is more effective against gram-positive than gram-negative bacteria. They are poorly effective against viruses, fungi or spores. No residual activity exists after use. Quaternary ammonium compounds may cause mucosal ulceration.