Why is hypochlorous acid a better disinfectant?

  • It is safe

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is an endogenous agent found in all mammals and is naturally formed by white blood cells. When used at the proper pH and concentrations, HOCl is completely safe, non-irritant, and non-allergenic to humans and animals. This agent does not irritate the skin or eyes, and is also harmless if unintentionally swallowed.

Using traditional chemicals usually requires special training, personal protective equipment (PPE), and spill containment materials in the event of an accident. Choosing hypochlorous acid as a disinfectant eliminates the need for specialized PPE and training while ensuring everyone’s safety.

According to an article in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, “the US Environmental Protection Agency has recommended numerous disinfectants against COVID-19 including hypochlorous acid (HOCl)”[1] (2020).

  • It is more effective

Hypochlorous acid has been shown to be effective against a wide variety of microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria. Besides that, HOCl has limitless applications that go from wound care to multi-surface disinfection.

If compared with other concentrated products, hypochlorous acid-based disinfectants are the preferred option because they are ready-to-use (RTU) products. Concentrated disinfectants can be problematic due to a) the additional labour required for dilution; b) the exposure of users to a concentrated, often toxic chemical product when diluting; and c) the potential for errors with incorrect dilutions – ex. poor efficacy.

Last but not least, hypochlorous acid is considered to be among the most inexpensive disinfectants in the market. In fact, HOCl can be produced on-site as required, ensuring new, constant-potency solutions. Transporting and storing other conventional chemicals can be dangerous, necessitating additional space and creating logistical challenges.

  • It is green

The procedure for producing hypochlorous acid is straightforward. You only need water, salt, and electricity to produce the disinfectant, which means no chemicals are used in the process, making it environmentally friendly. Hypochlorous acid does not leave any residues or emit poisonous vapours, making it superior to chemical-based disinfectants.

The environmental consequences are huge, and companies are now being held to account for their environmental footprint. Therefore, it makes more sense to use the cleaner and safer option.

 

[1] US Environmental Protection Agency List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2. Accessed May 17, 2020

References:

  1. Rowan, B. S. Block, M.(2020). Hypochlorous Acid: A Review. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons 1.e1-1.e6, 2020

 



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