Chlorine Dioxide: Use, Functions And Health Risks

November 3, 2021

Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a greenish-yellow gas, composed of neutral chlorine, very different from elemental chlorine, both in its chemical structure and in its behavior. One of the most important characteristics of chlorine dioxide is its great solubility in water, especially in cold water. Chlorine dioxide does not hydrolyze, when it comes into contact with water, it remains as a gas in solution. Chlorine dioxide is approximately 10 times more soluble in water than chlorine.

Like ozone and chlorine, chlorine dioxide is an oxidizing biocide and not a metal toxin. This means that it kills microorganisms by interrupting the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane, not by interrupting the metabolic process. Chlorine dioxide is protected in aqueous solutions. Adding acid to a required concentration activates the disinfectant.

Chlorine dioxide is a chemical solution of 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water. It is usually used as a deep chemical bleach, in addition to decontaminating industrial surfaces. It is a chemical that is often used in homes to clean floors and furniture, very similar to bleach.

Table of Contents

Uses and benefits

An advanced disinfection in water treatment
Chlorine dioxide is a disinfectant. When added to drinking water, it destroys bacteria, viruses and some types of parasites that can cause disease, such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates that the maximum concentration of chlorine dioxide in drinking water is not greater than 0.8 parts per million (ppm).

Strictly as a disinfectant, ClO2 has the following advantages:

  • Its bactericidal potential is relatively independent of the pH between 4 and 10.
  • It is better than chlorine for treating spores.
  • It requires little contact time.
  • It has good solubility.
  • There is no corrosion in high concentrations, which reduces maintenance costs.
  • Does not react with ammonia or ammonium salts.
  • Improves coagulation.
  • Removes iron and manganese better than chlorine.

Industrial and manufacturing uses

Chlorine dioxide chemistry is used in a wide variety of industrial, oil and gas, food, and municipal applications

  • Food and beverage production
    Can be used in water as an antimicrobial agent for poultry processing and for washing fruits and vegetables.
  • Medical applications
    In hospitals and other healthcare settings, it is used to sterilize laboratory and medical equipment, surfaces, rooms, and tools. The researchers found that in the appropriate concentrations, chlorine dioxide is “safe and effective” in killing Legionella bacteria in hospital settings, as well as Legionnaires’ disease, a life-threatening type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila.

Chlorine dioxide  is not a cure or treatment  for medical ailments, including but not limited to autism, HIV, malaria, hepatitis viruses, flu, common colds, and cancer. Claims that ingesting this chemical, often advertised as “Miracle Mineral Solution” or MMS, will cure these or other ailments are false. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that MMS should not be consumed

Health Risks

In its pure form, chlorine dioxide is a dangerous gas, but it is “unlikely” that people breathe air that contains dangerous levels, as it does not occur naturally in the environment. For workers who use this gas, the US Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) regulates the level in the workplace air for safety reasons. OSHA has set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 0.1 parts per million (ppm), or 0.3 milligrams (mg) per cubic meter (m3) for workers who use chlorine dioxide for general industrial purposes. . OSHA also established a PEL for the construction industry. Chlorine dioxide is always made where it is used.

Treatment for Covid-19

The search for a miracle cure against the coronavirus is leading many to promote the use of a controversial chemical formulation: chlorine dioxide.

However, no health institution recognizes it as a medicine and now that the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting the world, it appears again as something capable of stopping the effects of the virus. The list of dangers is long and various authorities have issued strong warnings against its use.

Consumption of this chemical can cause:

  • Irritation of the esophagus
  • Stomach irritation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe poisoning
  • Serious hematological (blood) disorders
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Kidney disorders

No health organization has demonstrated the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide as a medicine and emphasizes its toxicity and its health risks, remember IT IS NOT A MEDICATION

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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