Have you ever heard of hypochlorous acid (HOCl)? Chances are, you may not recognize the name, but it's a substance that exists within you, right at this moment. This seemingly complex chemical is not only a crucial part of our immune system but also a powerful, natural disinfectant that is starting to revolutionize the cleaning industry.
Understanding Hypochlorous Acid
Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) was first discovered by the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet in the late 18th century. Berthollet was instrumental in studying chlorine and its compounds, and it was through his work that the world came to know of this powerful, naturally occurring disinfectant. His findings set the foundation for the many applications of HOCl we see today, from healthcare and sanitation to the food industry.
Hypochlorous acid is an innate element in the human body. Produced by our white blood cells, it plays an indispensable role in fighting off infections. This nature's gift to our immune system is also the key ingredient in electrolyzed water, an innovative technology for green cleaning and sanitizing. The process uses electricity to transform a solution of salt, water, and vinegar into a disinfectant as effective as bleach, but without the toxic byproducts. Intriguing, isn't it?
The Genesis of Hypochlorous Acid
Creating hypochlorous acid isn't as challenging as it sounds. With the right proportions of salt, water, and vinegar, and a bit of electricity, we can achieve this feat. The electric current applied to this solution breaks apart the molecules and reorganizes the elements, creating two products:
- Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) - This super disinfectant is what makes bleach effective against microbes. It is identical to the substance your immune system generates to fight pathogens.
- Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) - A common detergent that finds use in a range of products, from toothpaste and skincare to cleaning supplies.
Medical and Healthcare Applications of Hypochlorous Acid
The gentleness of HOCl has made it popular in the healthcare and medical space. It has FDA approval for use in wound healing, wound care, and eye care products, and is commonly used in veterinary care. HOCl is also an effective solution for eradicating biofilm. Given its high effectiveness against bacteria and low toxicity, it's a trusted disinfectant in hospitals in the US and Japan.
HOCl is on the EPA Safer Choice list of ingredients. Safer Choice recognizes the use of hypochlorous acid as a safer alternative to traditional disinfectants and sanitizers. HOCl is a powerful disinfectant and sanitizer that is effective against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses. It is also non-toxic, non-irritating, and does not produce harmful byproducts when used as directed.
HOCl for Disinfection
Given its power to destroy microbes without leaving harmful residues, hypochlorous acid is a preferred choice for preserving fresh produce and is USDA-approved for organic crop production. More importantly, it’s a great multi-purpose disinfectant for cleaning around the house or office.
This EPA-registered disinfectant kills 99.99% of germs, mold, mildew, and even respiratory viruses, including those responsible for flus and COVID-19. It’s also EPA approved to kill C-Diff at 200ppm. It is as effective as conventional cleaners but with zero toxic chemicals. Moreover, it has been certified 100% allergen-free by the Mayo Clinic’s SkinSafe product safety rating system.
Hypochlorous acid is undoubtedly an unsung hero. While it works relentlessly inside our bodies to protect us from infections, it also stands as an excellent alternative to traditional and abrasive cleaning methods, offering a safer choice. With companies like ByoPlanet harnessing its potential, we are one step closer to a future with effective, eco-friendly disinfecting solutions that don't compromise on our health or the environment.
About the Author: Rick O'Shea is the CEO of ByoPlanet, a publicly traded company at the forefront of the intersection between health and technology. With a profound passion for improving indoor air quality and enhancing lives, Rick leads the development of commercial and consumer products that revolutionize indoor environments. His visionary leadership has positioned ByoPlanet as an industry trailblazer, introducing innovative solutions that prioritize clean air, quality sleep, and the well-being of people, plants, and animals. By fostering a culture of innovation and advocating for greater awareness, Rick drives positive change and inspires individuals to make informed choices about their living and working spaces, shaping a healthier and safer future.