Friday, May 17, 2019

The Myths and Misconceptions of Chlorine Dioxide Gas


Chlorine dioxide gas has been recognized as a disinfectant since the early 1900's, and it has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many applications in a variety of industries. It has been demonstrated effective as a broad spectrum, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal agent, as well as a deodorizer. Even though chlorine dioxide has been around for over a century, there is still a surprising amount of inaccurate information and misconceptions. We would like to take the opportunity to address some of those misrepresentations.

CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
Although chlorine dioxide has "chlorine" in its name, its chemistry is radically different from that of chlorine. When reacting with other substances, it is weaker and more selective, allowing it to be a more efficient and effective sterilizer. For example, it does not react with ammonia or most organic compounds. Most importantly, chlorine dioxide oxidizes products rather than chlorinating them, eliminating the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs) and other environmentally undesirable chlorinated organic compounds.

SAFETY
The very reason decontaminating agents are used is for the purpose of killing organisms. As such, no agent can truly claim to be safe. However, chlorine dioxide gas is the safest fumigant available, due to its physical attributes and process advantages. Chlorine dioxide is not classified as a carcinogen by any health agency. Chlorine dioxide does have an odor similar to chlorine, which is beneficial because chlorine is such a recognizable smell. The odor detection level is very similar to the OSHA 8-hr safety level of .1 ppm allowing you to detect any gas leakage quickly. Cycle times are shorter with CD gas due to its faster aeration time to safe levels. This means that a potentially unsafe condition exists for a far shorter time when using CD for room decontamination.

WATER SOLUBILITY
Unlike many decontaminating agents, chlorine dioxide has the unique ability to retain its sterilization capacity in water. Chlorine reacts with water to form hydrochloric acid, but chlorine dioxide does not, maintaining a neutral pH in water. Gaseous CD is the only decontaminating fumigant that penetrates water, decontaminating both the water and the surface beneath.

MATERIAL COMPATIBILITY
The leading liquid chlorine dioxide solutions are produced through the mixing of an acid and a base. It is this acid which makes the liquid chlorine dioxide solution highly corrosive. ClorDiSys, however, does not produce chlorine dioxide gas in this same way. The method of generation ClorDiSys uses is a completely dry process where a 2% chlorine, 98% nitrogen gas flows through a matrix of sodium chlorite to produce producing 100% pure chlorine dioxide gas. The chlorine dioxide gas generated through the ClorDiSys process has an oxidation potential that is 1.5 times less that of vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP), making it technically less corrosive. Because ours is a pure and dry process, our chlorine dioxide gas doesn’t leave a residue and does not require additional cleanup.

MORE COMMONLY USED THAN YOU THINK
Chlorine dioxide is widely used as an antimicrobial and as an oxidizing agent in drinking water, poultry process water, swimming pools, and mouthwash preparations. It is used to sanitize fruit and vegetables and also equipment for food and beverage processing. It is also employed in life science research laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities, and the healthcare industry to decontaminate rooms, passthroughs, isolators, and ductwork as well as product and component sterilization. It is also extensively used to bleach, deodorize, and detoxify a wide variety of materials, including cellulose, paper-pulp, flour, leather, fats and oils, and textiles. Approximately 4 to 5 million pounds are used daily.

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