In nineteenth century, prior to the discovery of antibiotics and disinfectants, death due to post operative wound infection was very ordinary. Joseph Lister, English Physician, for the primary time employed dilute solutions of carbolic acid (i.e., Phenol) that killed bacteria and he employed to soak surgical dressings. Wounds treated with these materials healed rapidly.   He applied phenol solution into surgical incision and wounds to prevent infection and sprayed phenol in operating room to control infection. The praise of introducing antiseptic agents goes to Joseph Lister. Antimicrobial action of some compound is computed by using phenol as standard and the procedure is termed as phenol-coefficient method. Phenol, phenyl pheno, cresol, hexyl resorcinol are certain phenolic compounds employed as disinfectants. Aqueous solutions of 2 to 5% phenol are employed to disinfect sputum, feces, urine, contaminated utensils and so on. Diluted phenol is employed in detergents to improve disinfection property. The Hexylresorcinol, a strong surface tension reluctant, as a solution in glycerin is employed as antiseptic. The antimicrobial act of phenolic compounds is due to the disruption of cells and leak, inactivation of enzymes and precipitation of cell proteins.  The lethal effect is due to harm to the membrane structures.


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