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Report and Review on effectiveness of using Hypochlorous Acid to disinfect against Covid-19
 

This is a report and review on the effectiveness of using hypochlorous acid (HCLO) water to disinfect against COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus Disease 2019) in our unprecedented daily life. Much of the reference is attained from Hypochlorous Acid Review prepared by Michael S. Block, DMD and Brian G. Rowan, DMD, MD.  We have also gathered some updated information and evidence from published data from various sources.  Further, we have done our own research and testings to verify the published data.  We will also introduce our own patented hyprochlorous acid water here in the write up.  If you find any information here that are misleading, not referenced or wrong, beside our patented hypochlorous acid information, please alert us by commenting in this website or email us at info@starproducts.com.hk.  

 

By Kenneth M. Zee, Director, Star Products Company Ltd. & Crown Co., Ltd. 

​What is Coronavirus Disease and how do protect ourselves from this deadly virus 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel virus. It causes severe acute respiratory syndrome. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the agent responsible for a surface-to-surface communicable disease that had infected over 259 million persons as of Nov. 25, 2021.1

 

COVID-19 is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus approximately 60 to 140 nm in diameter. The virus's Spike glycoprotein S1 firmly binds to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which allows entry into the host cell.2, 3, 4 COVID-19 infection creates a cytokine storm, severe pneumonia, multiple-organ failure, and acute cardiac injury. 5 , 6

 

Transmission occurs through touch or aerosol spreading of the virus. A common pathway of spreading this virus is through respiratory aerosols from an infected person.7 During speech, humans emit thousands of oral fluid droplets per second that can remain airborne for 8 to 14 minutes.8 COVID-19 is detectable for up to 3 hours in surface aerosols, for up to 4 hours on copper, for up to 24 hours on cardboard, and for up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.9 , 10 There is a need to disinfect surfaces potentially exposed to COVID-19 to prevent transmission.

​Disinfectants for use against Covid-19

EPA provides lists of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) to protect from deadly virus  
 

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​Japan's METI approves hypochlorous acid (HCLO)

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Video Clip in Japanese by JNN news

​NITE announcement on hypoclorous aside water to be effective against Covid-19 in June 2020

​WHO, FDA, & USDA all approves Hydrochlorous Acid (HCLO) to be SAFE

​To prove that HCLO is safe, there is publication by World Health Organization (WHO) on guidelines for drinking water in which Hypocholorous Acid produced from Sodium Dichloroiscynaurate. (NaDCC, 1,3-dichloro-1,3,5- triazinane-2,4,6-trione). J2   NaDCC is the sodium salt of a chlorinated hydroxytriazine and is used as a source of available free chlorine (AFC), in the form of hypochlorous acid (HOCl), for the disinfection of water.  It is widely used as a stable source of chlorine for the disinfection of swimming pools and in the food industry, since it is more stable in sunlight than most other sources of chlorine. It is also used as a means of disinfecting drinking-water, primarily in emergencies, when it provides an easy-to-use source of free chlorine, and, more recently, as the form of chlorine for household point-of-use water treatment. Guideline values is 50 mg/litre or 50ppm.  J2FDA also clears for use on meat, poultry, fish, & seafood, fruits & vegetables and shell eggs as no-rinse sanitiser J3 USDA approved for use in organic crop production. J4, FDA, & USDA all approves Hydrochlorous Acid (HCLO) to be SAFE.

​So what is hypochlorous acid? 

From our prospect, a perfect disinfectant should be safe when applied to skin, nontoxic when swallowed, noncorrosive, effective in various forms, and inexpensive.  

 

From our extensive experience and expertise, we have selected HCLO to be the disinfectant of our choice.  HCLO is an endogenous substance in all mammals, including human, and is effective against a broad range of microorganisms. Neutrophils, eosinophils, mononuclear phagocytes, and B lymphocytes produce HCLO in response to injury and infection through the mitochondrial membrane–bound enzyme known as “respiratory burst nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase.”28 HCLO selectively binds with the unsaturated lipid layer and subsequently disrupts cellular integrity. Between pH levels of 3 and 6.5, the predominant species is HCLO that has maximal antimicrobial.

HCLO is a powerful oxidising agent. In aqueous solution, it dissociates into H+ and ClO–, denaturing and aggregating proteins.30 HCLO also destroys viruses by chlorination by forming chloramines and nitrogen-centered radicals, resulting in single- as well as double-stranded DNA breaks, rendering the nucleic acid useless and the virus harmless. Yes, HCLO is highly effective solution to disinfect Coronavirus including the deadly Covid-19.  

The parameters that contribute to HCLO's efficacy as a disinfectant include contact time and concentration.32, 33, 34 The method of application also will affect its efficacy to disinfect.

Stability, Concentration, and pH

Whether HCLO is made from NaDCC tablet or electrolysis method, when you store HCLO water in a sealed container in room temperature, it would dissociate daily. Dissociation rate depends on pH level of the HCLO solution.  HCLO made from NaDCC tends to last longer (i.e. 15 days) than electrolysis method (i.e few hours).  If kept in a refrigerator, it may extend the life.  We recommend to use a chlorine test trip on to check HCLO potency.  Basically, concentration sustains better when the AFC is lower to begin with.  However, we highly recommend you to use freshly made HCLO water from NaDCC tablet or from electrolysis method.

 

The half-life increases with decreasing pH owing to the decreasing ratio of CLO–to HCLO.36 The parts per million (ppm) is the concentration of the –OCl, which is the active ingredient and is known as the available free chlorine (AFC) in the solution. HCLO solutions are less stable when exposed to UV radiation, sunlight, or contact with air or when the temperature of the solution is elevated greater than 25°C. HCLO solutions should be stored in cool, dark places, and contact with air should be minimised. The water for fabrication should be water that contains organic and inorganic ion concentrations that are as small as possible.37, 38, 39, 40

 

Graph 1 represents relationships of hypochlorite,  hypochlorous acid, and chlorine as a function of pH.  Between pH = 3.5 and pH = 5.5, HCLO is the predominant species.  

Between pH = 5.5 and pH = 9.5, both HCLO and OCL- species exist in various proportion, but above pH8, OCL- predominates.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HCLO solutions appear to be fungicidal and  virucidal based on concentrations above 50 ppm. HOCl was evaluated against a low-pathogenic avian influenza virus (AIV), H7N1.59 The HOCl solutions contained 50-, 100-, and 200-ppm chlorine at pH 6. Spraying with HOCl decreased the AIV titer to an undetectable level (<2.5 log10TCID50/mL) within 5 seconds, with the exception of the 50-ppm solution harvested after spraying at a distance of 30 cm. When HOCl solutions were sprayed directly onto sheets containing the virus for 10 seconds, the solutions of 100 and 200 ppm inactivated AIV immediately. The 50-ppm solution required at least 3 minutes of contact time. These data suggest that HOCl can be used in spray form to inactivate AIV.59 , 60 When the aerosol was not sprayed directly onto an inoculated surface, a lower amount of solution had a chance to come into contact with the AIV. It required at least 10 minutes of contact to be effective.61

pH vs HOCL

Graph 1,  HCLO (same as HOCL) 

 

HCLO vs pH  

Safe and Proven Applications 
 

Mouth Rinse

If HOCl is used as a mouth rinse, one must assume that a portion of the rinse will be swallowed. The systemic and gastrointestinal effects of ingesting HCLO, from the perspective of its use in mouthwash, was evaluated in an animal study.45 Seventeen mice were given free access to HOCl water as drinking water. No abnormal findings were observed in terms of visual inspections of the oral cavity, histopathologic tests, or measurements of surface enamel roughness, showing no systemic effect. J2

 

Ophthalmology

HOCl is used in the treatment of blepharitis by reducing the bacterial load on the surface of the periocular skin. Twenty minutes after application of a saline hygiene solution containing HCLO at 100 ppm, a greater than 99% reduction in the staphylococcal load was achieved.46

 

Biofilm

HCLO may be effective for cleaning biofilm-contaminated implant surfaces. HCLO significantly lowered the lipopolysaccharide concentration of Porphyromonas gingivalis when compared with sodium hypochlorite and chlorhexidine and was well tolerated by the oral tissues.47  HCLO significantly reduced bacteria on toothbrushes; it was effective as a mouthwash and for toothbrush disinfection.48

 

Wound Care

In a clinical study on intraperitoneal wound care, patients underwent lavage of the peritoneal cavity with 100-ppm HCLO and washing of the wound with 200 ppm.49  No adverse effects were observed.

HCLO has proven to be an effective agent in reducing wound bacterial counts in open wounds.50  In irrigation solution in an ultrasonic system, HCLO lowered the bacterial counts by 4 to 6 logs. By the time of definitive closure, the bacterial counts were back up to 105 for the saline solution–irrigated control wounds but remained at 102 or lower for the HCLO-irrigated wounds. Postoperative closure failure occurred in more than 80% of patients in the saline solution group versus 25% of those in the HCLO group.

 

Surface Application

A study looked at disinfecting outpatient surgical centers using HOCl.55  After cleaning, the rooms in the HCLO cleaning and disinfection study arm had significantly lower bacterial counts than the rooms that underwent standard cleaning and disinfection.

 

HOCl Applied by Spray or Fogger

A fogger takes a solution and creates a small aerosol mist, ideally less than 20 μm in size, to disinfect an area. HCLO 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.40 , 58


 

Why is Hypochlorous Acid (HCLO) unstable
 

 

 

Like any other disinfectant, HClO is unstable against ultraviolet (UV) light, sunshine, contact with air, and elevated temperature (≧25℃)

 

HCLO is a weak acid. The chlorine atom possesses oxidation state +3 in this acid. The pure substance is unstable and disproportionates to hypochlorous acid (Cl oxidation state +1) and chloric acid (chlorine oxidation state +5). Chlorite salts such as sodium chlorite are stable conjugate bases derived from this acid.

 

How does HOCl dissociate? 

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a weak acid that forms when chlorine dissolves in water, and itself partially dissociates, forming hypochlorite, ClO−. HClO and ClO− are oxidizers, and the primary disinfection agents of chlorine solutions.

 

Subsequently, question is, why is HOCl stronger than OCL?

The pH neutral hypochlorous acid (HOCL) can penetrate cell walls of pathogenic microorganisms whereas the negatively charged hypochlorite ion (OCL-) cannot penetrate cell walls. Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) is 80-100 times more effective and kills microorganisms faster than hypochlorite ions (OCl-).

 

Is HOCl the same as HClO?

HOCl and HClO are exactly the same. This is molecular formula of hypochlorus acid.  It is also known as Hydrogen hypochlorite or Chlorine hydroxide as per given molecular formula. Chlorine also forms some other oxyacids with oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

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