Aseptic Plus+ kills microbes by chemically altering certain amino acids that contain sulfur. The amino acids are important building blocks in the proteins that help to form cell walls. When these proteins are destroyed, the cell wall ruptures and the organism dies. In the chemical reaction, Aseptic Plus+ takes on an electron from the amino acid and reverts back to a chlorite ion. The amino acid gives up an electron, which causes oxidation.
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) acts as an oxidizing agent and reacts with several cellular constituents, including the cell membrane of microbes. By “stealing” electrons from them (oxidation), it breaks their molecular bonds, resulting in the death of the organism by the breakup of the cell. By altering the proteins involved in the structure of microorganisms, their enzymatic function is broken and causes very rapid cellular kills. This oxidative attack on many proteins simultaneously is behind the potency of chlorine dioxide and also prevents microorganisms from mutating to a resistant form. Because of the selective reactivity of chlorine dioxide, its antimicrobial action is retained longer in the presence of organic matter than most other decontaminating agents. This is where you have residual kill on surfaces. The residual kill cannot be quantified by time, but is estimated to be 48 hours under “normal conditions”. “Normal” being defined as within general contamination thresholds.
Chlorine dioxide’s special properties make it an ideal choice to meet the challenges of today’s environmentally concerned world and is an environmentally preferred alternative to elemental chlorine. When chlorine reacts with organic matter, undesirable pollutants such as dioxins and bio-accumulative toxic substances are produced. It is a perfect replacement for chlorine, providing all of chlorine’s benefits without any of its weaknesses and detriments. Most importantly, chlorine dioxide does not chlorinate organic material, eliminating the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs) and other chlorinated organic compounds, (that bleach smell). Other properties of chlorine dioxide make it more effective than chlorine, requiring a lower dose and resulting in a lower environmental impact.
How Does Chlorine Dioxide Work?
The reaction process of chlorine dioxide with bacteria and other substances takes place in two steps.
First stage: the chlorine dioxide molecule accepts an electron and chlorite is formed (ClO2-).
Second stage: chlorine dioxide accepts 4 electrons and forms chloride (Cl–). Both chlorate and chlorite are oxidizing agents. Chlorine dioxide, chlorite and chlorate dissociate into sodium chloride (NaCl) or common table salt.
Chlorine Dioxide is a Powerful Disinfectant for Bacteria and Viruses.
Bacteria cells react with chlorine dioxide, causing several cellular processes to be interrupted. Chlorine dioxide reacts directly with amino acids and the RNA in the cell. The production of proteins is prevented.
- RNA (ribonucleic acid) is present in all living things. Acts as message and carries instructions from DNA to create proteins necessary for cell survival. (NOTE: in some viruses RNA versus DNA carries genetic information.)
- Chlorine dioxide affects the cell membrane by changing membrane proteins and fats and by prevention of inhalation.
- The cell wall is penetrated
Viruses are eliminated in a different way.
- Chlorine dioxide reacts with peptone, a water-soluble substance that originates from hydrolysis of proteins to amino acids.
- Chlorine dioxide kills viruses by prevention of protein formation.
- Chlorine dioxide is more effective against viruses than chlorine.
Chlorine Dioxide and By-Products
- Chlorine dioxide does not create Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to your health.
- The use of chlorine dioxide instead of chlorine bleach prevents the formation of harmful halogenated disinfection byproducts, for example trihalomethanes and halogenated acidic acids.
- Chlorine dioxide does not react with ammonia nitrogen, amines or other oxidizable organic matter.
- Microorganisms cannot build up any resistance against chlorine dioxide.
- Chlorine dioxide as a disinfectant has the advantage that it directly reacts with the cell wall of microorganisms.
- In contrast to non-oxidizing disinfectants, chlorine dioxide kills microorganisms even when they are inactive. Therefore, the chlorine dioxide concentration needed to effectively kill microorganisms is lower than non-oxidizing disinfectant concentrations.
Chlorine Dioxide is Effective against Biofilm and Residual Kill
Biofilm is usually hard to defeat. It forms a protective layer over pathogenic microorganisms. Most disinfectants cannot reach those protected pathogens. However, chlorine dioxide removes biofilms and kills pathogenic microorganisms. Chlorine dioxide also prevent bio film formation, because it remains active in the system.
- Chlorine dioxide remains gaseous in solution and can penetrate the slime layers of bacteria because chlorine dioxide easily dissolves, even in hydrocarbons and emulsions. Chlorine dioxide oxidizes the polysaccharide matrix that keeps the biofilm
- During this reaction chlorine dioxide is reduced to chlorite ions. Chlorites left on surface provide a residual kill.
- These are divided up into pieces of biofilm that remain steady. When the bio film starts to grow again, an acid environment is formed and the chlorite ions are transformed into chlorine dioxide. This chlorine dioxide removes the remaining biofilm.