Hypochlorous acid exists as a natural endogenous constituent in all mammals and is an important part of the innate immune system. Hypochlorous acid is produced naturally by the white blood cells of all mammals and used by white blood cells to kill invading microbial pathogens. HOCl is involved in the last step of the Oxidative Route in the fight against infection and invasion of foreign substances.
What is Hypochlorous acid?
Hypochlorous acid is pH neutral, super-oxidized water. It’s generated by electrolysis of a dilute salt solution passing through an electrolytic cell. This process creates large volumes of a gentle but extremely potent antimicrobial solution capable of rapid reduction of bacteria, viruses, spores, cysts, scale, and biofilm. Hypochlorous acid is cost-effective , greener than traditional chemical disinfectants, and can be used in multiple applications across a wide variety of industries. The shelf-life of the stable Hypochlorous acid can be 3-6 months if stored in a closed container protected from the oxygen in the air.
Hypochlorous acid is also known as electrolyzed water(EW), electrolyzed oxidizing water(EOW), electro-activated water or electro-chemically activated(ECA) water solution.
Hypochlorous acid is a free chlorine molecule with the chemical structure HOCl.
It is the dominant free chlorine species in chlorine solutions that have a slightly acidic to neutral pH. HOCl being much more powerful oxidant than chlorine bleach, is a potent disinfectant. HOCl in the pH range of 5-7 is considered to be more stable with higher efficacy as Free available Chlorine(FAC) in the form of HOCl is available at max, ready to react. Slightly acidic to neutral electrolyzed water (5 to 6.5 pH) are considered healthy and environmentally friendly because no hazardous chemicals are added in its production, there is reduced corrosion of surfaces, and it minimizes the potential for damage to animal and human health.
This simple chemical compound has a broad spectrum of activity and exhibits rapid kill kinetics against a wide range of bacterial and viral organisms.
How HOCl works?
HOCl is a neutrally charged molecule. The cell wall of pathogenic microorganisms is negatively charged by nature. HOCl easily penetrates bacterial cell walls. HOCL can also penetrate slime layers, cell walls and protective layers of microorganisms, oxidizes the cell walls and effectively kills pathogens as a result. The microorganisms will either die or suffer from reproductive failures.
Once HOCL lands on a surface, it reacts with any germs or organic matter on that surface and then immediately deactivates. This is good because it allows for sanitation without requiring a post-rinse, and because no toxic chemicals are left behind.
HOCl is the most effective disinfectant in the chlorine family available in the dilute solution. It is suggested that HOCl is 80 to 120 times more efficacious than sodium hypochlorite. HOCl is very effective at removing biofilm and preventing formation.
Hypochlorous acid is non-toxic and non-hazardous. Unlike most chemical sanitizers, hypochlorous acid is non-irritant to eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract.
Where all HOCl Used?
Hypochlorous acid has a wide range of applications in many industries including hospitals and healthcare facilities, restaurants, food & beverage processing, livestock, agriculture, schools, cruise ships, water treatment, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and many others as a highly effective disinfectant.
HOCl is , currently on the EPA list as effective against the human coronavirus and considered safe in and on food, dairy, and potable water.
CDC recommends to check pH and Chlorine strength frequently for the purpose of proper practice of disinfecting.