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Federal scientists invent a possible new way to disinfect surfaces, without the harmful side effects

August 20, 2021

Modern disinfectant products work really, really well at killing disease-causing microbes. But they bring problems along with them, from possible long-term environmental damage to antibiotic resistance. But what if you could create a chemical that was just as good at killing bacteria, but neutralized itself into harmless natural molecules after it did its job? Researchers at the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service think they may have done just that. William Hart-Cooper is an ARS research chemist in Albany, California.