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The History of Antiseptics

First used by a surgeon named Dr. Joseph Lister at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, Scotland, antiseptics are one of the most important discoveries for human health. Dr. Lister began to clean his surgical tools and soak wound bandages in carbolic acid (phenol) after reading Louis Pasteur's work on "germ theory.” At the time, carbolic acid was used to help with the smell of sewage and Dr. Lister thought that it might be a way to fight germs, so he decided to try using it in his medical practice. He later became the personal surgeon of Queen Victoria, and his introduction of antiseptics has saved countless lives.

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