Studies have shown DIOXIGUARD and DIOXIDERM, which are ClO2 or ClO2 complexes, to be two of the fastest disinfectants. Bacteria, viruses and even fungi are killed in under 1 minute. This rate of deactivation includes mycobacteria, amoeba and spores (non dried). Two questions immediately come to mind: How does DIOXICURE and DIOXIGUARD work? And, why are they not toxic?
The method of chlorine dioxide bacterial kill at low ppm concentration seems to occur by the disruption of protein synthesis and enzyme inactivation. This is similar to the “time honored”, non-toxic mechanism of some common antibiotics. Oxidation of RNA and DNA do not appear to take place, or are at least unimportant in the process. The site of action lies in the soluble fraction of the cell; there appears to be no damage to whole structural components such as ribosomes.Bringmann prepared electron micrographs of chlorine-treated cells immediately after contact and observed no visual change in the cells, comparable to those killed with bromine and iodine.
At high ClO2 ppm, the method of rapid bacterial and viral kill appears to be the softening and destroying of the cell wall or viral envelope. Human cells do not have cell walls and are apparently unaffected. Our skin and bodies are likely protected from the general oxidative effects of ClO2 by the many reducing agents in our cells and blood such as catalase, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, vitamins E, C, A, B complex, uric acid, zinc and selenium. This is probably the same internal protective mechanism that prevents damage from oxygen and free radicals. Bacteria and viruses do not contain most of these reducing compounds.
Because ClO2 is a strong oxidizing agent and also itself a free radical, it quickly neutralizes reactive molecules, and oxygen free-radicals that are produced in the body by macrophages such as, NO , O2¯ , H2O2, HClO, and OH . These oxygen compounds are released in response to stress or infection and cause inflammation and pain. Other potential irritants found in wounds are similarly oxidized or reduced, such as leukotrienes, TNF, and interleukin. This neutralizing property of ClO2, combined with its ability to completely disinfect, makes DIOXIDERM and DIOXIGUARD ideal wound medications. Unlike iodine compounds, healing is not impeded.
Veterinarians have been treating deep wounds and abscesses on tigers and elephants as well as dogs and cats with outstanding success.DIOXIDERM GEL had similar striking results on human (otherwise non-healing) diabetic ulcers. If our body could manage to manufacture chlorine dioxide, as it does hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide and superoxide, it would certainly do so.
ClO2 is both a small molecule relative to common organic disinfectants and soluble. It is also gas and non-ionic. These properties no doubt facilitate the transporting process through the skin or bacterial cell wall.
It is interesting to speculate on the formation of a ClO2 complex that may be involved in the disinfection process. Electron configuration of the ClO2 molecule theoretically allows combination. ClO2 will hydrate for example with water, and also can form compounds with the chlorite ion [ClO2 ClO2¯ ] ¯ .
A highly colored complex, C2O4¯ , is formed when ClO2 is dissolved in a solution of barium chlorite. There is evidence that more than one oxidant in a disinfectant formula will act synergistically in deactivating microorganisms, for example chlorous acid and chlorine dioxide.
As with household bleach, where hypochlorous acid and not chlorine is the active bacteria killer, it may similarly be chlorous acid although quite unstable, and not chlorine dioxide, which is the more active of the two species. Chlorous acid has a higher oxidation/reduction potential than either ClO2 or hypochlorous acid. In Frontier’s particular case, DIOXIDERM GEL maintains the chlorous acid concentration since the unstable chlorous acid molecules formed when mixing A & B are far less mobile within a viscous gel matrix. The chlorous molecules can not as easily combine and evolve chlorine dioxide as would be the case in a liquid. The increase in chlorous acid may be the reason that the gel form is the faster disinfectant on wounds and burns. The chemical literature shows that a chlorite/acid mixture producing ClO2 has many more times the oxidation power than ClO2 alone at similar pH.
Interesting too, that the type of acid activator producing the chlorous acid molecule can have an effect on the oxidizing strength of ClO2, or ClO2 mixture.