Emergency COVID-19 Disinfection Services by Bio-Hazard Clean-Up
What is Hypochlorous Acid?
Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) is a chemical with powerful antimicrobial activity. Properly produced, hypochlorous acid sanitizer is just as effective at sanitizing/disinfecting as other readily available products with much higher concentrations of toxic chemicals. It kills a wide variety of bacteria, fungus and viruses including Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica – it's even effective against the virus that is causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is Hypochlorous Acid Safe?
Despite its effectiveness against pathogens, hypochlorous acid does not cause adverse effects on humans in a wide range of toxicity panels. In fact, HOCL actually exists inside the human body – it’s produced by white blood cells specifically to kill invasive organisms and to fight infections. It is completely non-toxic and is not irritating to eyes or skin. In the last 20 years, hypochlorous acid solutions have been used as wound-cleansing agents. Even if it were accidentally ingested, HOCL would not cause harm.
How is Hypochlorous Acid Produced?
In addition to being generated on-demand by the human body, hypochlorous acid can be produced through a process known as known as electrochemical activation (ECA) which traces its roots to research that began more than a century ago. An ECA machine employs an electrochemical cell, electricity, high-purity salt and soft tap water to generate hypochlorous acid – a strong oxidizer with powerful antimicrobial properties which kills a wide variety of bacteria, fungus and viruses. An alkaline solution which can be used as both a cleaner and degreaser may also be produced at the same time.
Why Isn’t Hypochlorous Acid More Widely Used?
In the past, large generators were required to cost-effectively produce ready-to-use hypochlorous acid sanitizers and sodium hydroxide cleaners using ECA. More recently, the technology has evolved so that smaller equipment can be used to produce HOCL on-site and on-demand but another challenge has remained. Traces of salt, which can lead to corrosion when the solutions are used for cleaning or sanitizing metal surfaces, remain in the solutions output by most ECA equipment. But the most recent technology enables the production of nearly salt-free solutions, which are suitable for use in more operations. In addition, the equipment now produces solutions that are effective for several weeks. Earlier equipment produced solutions that were only effective for a few days.
As ECA technology has matured over the years, more commercial and industrial facilities are using on-site generation systems to produce both hypochlorous acid sanitizers and sodium hydroxide cleaners. Any operation that involves a form of cleaning process has the potential to be optimized with the use of ECA generated solutions. Hatcheries, bakeries, dairies, tanker truck cleaning facilities and other food and beverage processors are already using on-site generation of ECA solutions for equipment cleaning and sanitizing with great success. More businesses are evaluating the technology, in light of growing concerns about cleaning and sanitizing procedures.