A report from the Center for Disease Control1 noted two outbreaks of idiopathic neonatal hyperbilirubinemia associated with the use of a phenolic disinfectant detergent, when used in higher than recommended concentrations. These outbreaks were examined in more detail by Wysowski et a12 at the Atlanta Center for Disease Control, confirming a temporal relationship between the excessive utilization of the phenol and neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Daum et al,3 on the basis of these reports and their own in vitro experiment, concluded that the results thus far warranted removal of concentrated phenolic detergent solutions from newborn care areas, or the assurance of the proper dilutions. There are as yet, however, no reports examining the effects of this detergent on the neonate when used in recommended concentrations. Since a phenolic disinfectant detergent (Superphen, Rebco Chemicals, Burlington, Ontario) was already in use in all areas where newborns are housed at this hospital (in the manufacturer's recommended dilution of 1¼ oz/gal, applied daily to floors and once a month to walls), a prospective study was designed to compare the incidence of significant physiologic neonatal jaundice when either a phenolic (Superphen) or nonphenolic (Quaternary Ammonium, Quad "detergent sanitizer" formula no. 1492, G. H. Woods Company, Toronto, Ontario) disinfectant detergent was used in the nursery areas.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Two nurseries in Women's College Hospital (designated nursery I and II) were included in the study. In nursery I, the use of Superphen was continued as usual for the first six months of 1976, and the Quad compound used for the second six months.
- Received January 30, 1978.
- Accepted February 8, 1979.
- Copyright © 1979 by the American Academy of Pediatrics