The Power of Chlorine Dioxide

Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a broad-spectrum biocide with proven efficacy against a range of microbial organisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, yeasts, mycobacteria, and bacterial spores. Although commonly used in water treatment and food industries, Tristel is the only company to adopt ClO2 for the high-level disinfection of medical devices in human healthcare.

ClO2 is an oxidizer, which means it reacts with microorganisms by taking electrons, damaging the cell wall, changing chemical bonds in key proteins, and ultimately creating a molecular imbalance that destroys the microorganism.

This mode of action means microorganisms cannot build resistance to chlorine dioxide.

There are two characteristics that make ClO2 the optimum chemistry for medical applications: oxidation potential and oxidation capacity.

Oxidation capacity refers to the number of electrons one molecule can obtain from other molecules. ClO2 has an oxidation capacity of 5 electrons, meaning one molecule can react 5 times, obtaining 5 electrons from surrounding microbes. In turn destroying the microbe.

Chlorine (Cl2), another common oxidizer, has an oxidation capacity of 2 electrons. This means ClO2 works over twice as efficiently as Cl2, and that the ppm of ClO2 can be far lower without compromising on efficacy.

Oxidation potential is the energy change required to obtain electrons from nearby microorganisms. With a higher oxidation potential, oxidizers are more likely to produce harmful by-products and have a greater chance of corrosion to the materials it contacts. ClO2 has a low oxidation potential. It does not produce harmful by-products and is widely compatible with materials and medical devices.

High oxidation capacity combined with a low oxidation potential gives ClO2 an excellent safety and compatibility profile when compared to alternative high-level disinfectants.

Tristel decontamination products, which use ClO2 to achieve the high-level disinfection step, offer a simple solution to a complex challenge. Use one chemistry, which will achieve all the required efficacy in one short contact time, without damaging medical devices or leaving harmful by-products behind.