a1 Departments of Bacteriology and Child Health, University of Bristol and United Bristol Hospitals
In a maternity hospital in which the umbilicus and trunk of healthy newborn infants were treated with 0·33% hexachlorophane dusting powder, the hexachlorophane content of blood was measured in mothers before delivery, in infants' umbilical samples at birth, and at 8 days of age in capillary blood samples. One mother and her baby had rather high blood concentrations of hexachlorophane, probably derived from a toilet preparation used before admission to hospital. Hexachlorophane was absent or barely detectable in the other mothers' blood and in the infants' umbilical blood. The hexachlorophane concentrations in the blood of 8-day-old infants ranged from nil to 0·166 μg./ml. (mean 0·066 μg./ml.). These were much less than the concentrations reported to be toxic in animals.
In a previous trial now reported here, a dusting powder containing chlorhexidine instead of hexachlorophane was found to delay the separation of the umbilical cord.
(Received April 08 1974)