Phenol, especially when used as a disinfectant.
- As a butcher and farmer, Garrett would have handled carbolic acid regularly as a disinfectant.
- It was obviously impossible to kill microbes in the wound by means of heat as Pasteur had shown in his experiments, so Lister developed chemical methods to destroy the bacteria, initially carbolic acid.
- They knew how disease was contracted and spread and how to disinfect surgical instruments and wounds with carbolic acid.
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