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'Traité Des Moyens De Désinfecter L'Air', book, Paris, France, 1802

Louis Bernard Guyton de Morveau (1737-1816) was a lawyer turned chemist who was interested in disinfection. The title of this book translates from French as Treatise On The Means Of Disinfecting The Air. This book gave a full account of his work on disinfection using the vapours of hydrochloric acid (or muriatic acid as it was then known) and chlorine (or oxymuriatic acid). He was confident enough to put his theories into practice. As early as 1773, he famously disinfected the cathedral at Dijon using hydrogen chloride gas. The cathedral was unusable due to the problems created by the decaying bodies of those buried within its walls. For this work and its important benefits Morveau was made officer of the Legion of Honour for services to humanity in 1805.

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Glossary: book

A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. Usually continuous printing or writing.

Glossary: disinfection

A process of cleaning that kills most micro-organisms.