What Are Biocides?
Biocides are non-antibiotic agents used as preservatives, disinfectants, or antiseptics. Although most biocides are chemical agents, microorganisms can also be used as biocides to suppress the growth of other organisms. Biocides act either by killing microorganisms or inhibiting their growth. Biocides can be further classified by their intended application. Preservatives are added to products to increase their shelf-life by preventing microbial decomposition. Disinfectants are agents that are applied to inanimate objects and surfaces, whereas antiseptics are agents applied to living tissue such as mucous membrane or skin. In today’s world, biocides are frequently encountered. Preservatives are ubiquitous and are found in a diverse array of products ranging from food, beverages, and cosmetics to pharmaceutical drugs, biological samples, and research products. Likewise, the use of disinfectants has increased dramatically in response to the worldwide pandemic, and antiseptics are increasingly important in hospital settings.