According to the CDC, chlorine dioxide is added to drinking water to protect people from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. EPA recognizes chlorine dioxide use as a drinking water disinfectant, and it is included in WHO’s Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.
In medical settings, chlorine dioxide gas can be used to help sterilize equipment, surfaces, rooms and tools. It should not be used to treat diseases or ailments.
In its pure form, chlorine dioxide is a hazardous gas, but most people are not likely to be exposed to air containing dangerous levels of chlorine dioxide as it rapidly breaks down in air into chlorine gas and oxygen.
For workers who use chlorine dioxide, OSHA regulates the level of chlorine dioxide in workplace air for safety.
Uses & Benefits
Powerful Disinfection in Water Treatment
Chlorine dioxide is a disinfectant. When added to drinking water, it helps destroy bacteria, viruses and some types of parasites that can make people sick, such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the maximum concentration of chlorine dioxide in drinking water to be no greater than 0.8 parts per million (ppm).
In hospitals and other healthcare environments, chlorine dioxide gas helps to sterilize medical and laboratory equipment, surfaces, rooms and tools. Researchers have found that at appropriate concentrations, chlorine dioxide is both safe and effective at helping to eliminate Legionella bacteria in hospital environments. Legionella pneumophila bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially deadly type of pneumonia.
Chlorine dioxide is not a cure or treatment for medical ailments, including but not limited to autism, HIV, malaria, hepatitis viruses, influenza, common colds, and cancer. Claims that the ingestion of chlorine dioxide, often advertised as “Miracle Mineral Solution” or MMS, will cure these or other ailments are false. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises MMS should not be consumed.
According to EPA, chlorine dioxide is used “in public water-treatment facilities, to make water safe for drinking.” When chlorine dioxide is added to drinking water, it helps destroy bacteria, viruses and some types of parasites that can make people sick, such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia.
No. Claims that chlorine dioxide is a treatment or cure for medical ailments such as autism, HIV, malaria, hepatitis viruses, influenza, common colds, cancer, or other diseases/ailments are not backed by science. Consumption of chlorine dioxide solutions, such as MMS, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration. These products should not be consumed or given to someone to consume. The sale of these products as miracle cures is dangerous and has resulted in criminal convictions.
In water, chlorine dioxide is used to remove unpleasant tastes and odors, as well as to kill algae and bacteria that produce some bad tastes and odors. It is also used in some personal hygiene products. For example, chlorine dioxide can be used in mouthwashes and dentistry products as an oxidizing biocide compound to treat bad breath.