The Coronavirus pandemic has caused massive health care and economic disruption world-wide since it’s discovery in late 2019 in China, and it’s massive spread in 2020 to nearly every corner of the globe. Everywhere, companies, medical facilities, schools, and any business that hosts a gathering of people have been scrambling to react and defend against the spread of this virus. It is widely believed that with proper screening and discretion, enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, and adequate personal protective equipment, there is a lower probability of becoming infected until there’s a widespread availability of a vaccine. One of the most effective means of disinfection, both on hard surfaces, as well as the air in a facility, is the use of Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl).
This blog will discuss the beneficial effectiveness of two great products, Disinfexol, a newly registered List-N HOCl disinfectant, and the Genesis 2.6 HOCl fogger. These two products will provide a safe, effective, and efficient means of disinfection in nearly any environment. First we must learn a bit more about HOCl. Time for a short chemistry lesson!
The active ingredient in Disinfexol, Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl), has been known for 150 years. In fact, our white blood cells naturally produce HOCl to fight infection in our bodies. HOCl is amazingly effective and carries a neutral charge, which is naturally attracted to negatively charged bacteria and viruses.
HOCl is a species of chlorine and is the most effective disinfectant. Chlorine in water splits into two forms, HOCl and Hypochlorite (OCl-). At the high pH range, which is the chlorine solution provided by bleach, chlorine is in the OCl- form and offers less germ killing power. Disinfexol is produced in the 5.5 to 6.5 pH range (see scale below), where HOCl comprises 100% of the free available chlorine. HOCl has 80 -100 times the killing power of OCl- and is safe and will not harm the environment and life. It has only a faint scent and contains no salt, lye, scents or other toxic ingredients. Disinfexol is produced with a membrane cell electrolysis process and is 99.935% reverse osmosis water and .065% HOCl.
100 Times More Effective Than Bleach
You’ll see this research everywhere you look on the Internet. NIH says HOCl is 80-200 times more effective (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6255518/). Why is this the case? (Don’t worry, this is not a chemistry lesson, and I am not a chemist, but we need to know just the basics) It really all comes down to pH. The pH scale runs from 0-14. Zero is acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 is alkaline. Bleach is made at a very high pH (12-14), and has a negative charge, as its OCl- formula indicates. HOCl, on the other hand, is made somewhere between 5-7 pH and has a neutral charge. This simply means that HOCl is able to easily penetrate and disrupt the negative charge of most bacteria and OCl- takes much longer to do so. A negative charge repels from another negative charge. A neutral charge is attracted to a negative charge. That’s all there is to it.
Disinfection and Fogging with HOCl
Now that we’ve addressed the benefits and the neutral charge of HOCl, we can discuss applications for it’s use. Using Disinfexol at full strength for hard, non-porous surface disinfection is recommended. However if you are going to disinfect the ambient air and surroundings you can dilute Disinfexol 2 to 1, so long as you are fogging at an approximate particle size in the 20-50 μm (microns) range. This means that the relative value and cost per gallon decreases exponentially if you are fogging. Enter the Genesis 2.6 Fogger. This latest fogging technology allows the user to efficiently fog large areas quickly and efficiently, using the appropriate concentration of HOCl (200ppm).
From the NIH article linked above:
A fogger takes a solution and creates a small aerosol mist, ideally less than 20 μm in size, to disinfect an area. HOCl fogs are highly effective in the microbial disinfection of surfaces. The fogging process can alter the physical and chemical properties of the disinfectant. It was found that fogging reduced the AFC concentration by approximately 70% and increased the pH by approximately 1.3, making the solution slightly more basic; it is speculated that the loss of chlorine resulted from evaporation of chlorine gas.56 , 57 Because the changes in the properties of hypochlorous fogs are predictable, pre-fogging adjustment of the concentration and pH of the solution makes it possible to control the concentration levels to the desirable range to inactivate pathogens after fogging.40 When the appropriate concentrations are used, a study found 3 to 5 log10 reductions in both the infectivity and RNA titers of all tested viruses on both vertical and horizontal surfaces, suggesting that fogging is an effective approach to reduce viruses on surfaces”.
Perhaps the most groundbreaking facet of HOCl fogging is the chemistry lesson behind its effectiveness. For centuries, chlorine has been used as a disinfectant, typically in the form of a bleaching agent. But not all forms of chlorine are equally effective. Unlike chlorine bleach, which carries a sodium hypochlorite ion with a negative electrical charge, HOCl has a neutral charge. This neutrality, as well as its relatively low molecular weight, allows it to effectively penetrate the protective wall of a negatively charged germ.
Additionally, because fogging atomizes the HOCl into an ultrafine mist, it begins disinfecting and killing pathogens in a matter of seconds, whereas wipes and sprays may take up to 30 seconds.
The speed at which HOCl begins working, as well as the power and convenience of the Genesis 2.6 HOCl Fogger’s delivery system, helps teams maintain a safe, clean, and COVID-free environment for their staff, visitors, or students.
A few unique features;
- Rotating atomizer that makes fogging from ceiling to floor ergonomically comfortable and easy to use.
- Powerful enough to fog 30’ vertically
- High capacity tank (1 US gallon)
- Ultrafine mist (20-50 microns)
- Infinite power and liquid solution dial to precisely fog from a small to large room
- Only technology to disinfect both lingering aerosols and surfaces simultaneously.
In the days we all look forward to, that include a world free of the Coronavirus, there will always be a need for disinfection in a facility. The typical “cold and flu” seasons have always come and gone each year, and each year we fight to stop the spread of germs.
This article was published in conjunction with Ken Lovett, CEO of Disinfexol, Daryl Bernard, Owner of Midlantic Medical and Dental, and Mark Taylor, President and CEO, Apogee Environments.