What are the disinfection byproducts of CD?

From the Lenntech website: "The reaction process of chlorine dioxide with bacteria and other substances takes place in two steps. During this process disinfection byproducts are formed that remain in the water. In the first stage the chlorine dioxide molecule accepts an electron and chlorite is formed (ClO3). In the second stage chlorine dioxide accepts 4 electrons and forms chloride (Cl-). In the water, some chlorate (ClO3), which is formed by the production of chlorine dioxide, can also be found. Both chlorate and chlorite are oxidizing agents. Chlorine dioxide, chlorate and chlorite dissociate into sodium chloride (NaCl)." Sodium chloride is common table salt and a natural component of our blood.

To say this another way: Chlorine dioxide kills pathogens in two steps. Both steps are fatal to the pathogen because it is pulling electrons out of the pathogen rupturing the cell wall. In the second stage the chlorite that was formed in the first stage, now pulls 4 electrons out of pathogens and turns into chloride. In the end we can have some chlorine dioxide that has not yet reacted with anything, chlorate and chlorite plus chloride that was formed from the stage two reaction. Chlorine dioxide, chlorate and chlorite all turn into table salt (sodium chloride). The chloride formed in stage two is this: "It [chloride] is an essential electrolyte located in all body fluids responsible for maintaining acid/base balance, transmitting nerve impulses and regulating fluid in and out of cells." So chloride is harmless as is table salt. The byproducts of chlorine dioxide are harmless.

Why Chlorine Dioxide Kills Pathogens but Not Body Cells

This is due to the electrical charge of the chlorine dioxide molecule. Here is listed the electrical charge of some relevant substances. The higher the voltage the more able it is to rip electrons out of cells thus destroying them.

Ozone 2.07 volts

Hydrogen Peroxide 1.78 volts

Oxygen 1.30 volts

Chlorine Dioxide 0.95 volts

All human cells resist oxidation by oxygen which we are breathing all the time and we must breath to survive. All of our cells are aerobic meaning they are oxygen breathing cells. Because of this, we can be certain that our body cells are made to tolerate an oxygenating charge of at least 1.30 volts. If our cells could not tolerate this - if they were oxidized and destroyed by oxygen - we could not survive. So we are good up to at least 1.30 volts.

Ozone is the most powerful oxidizer known to man. Ozone will rip through our bodies destroying (oxidizing) everything in its path. Rust is an example of oxidation. Eventually a piece of iron will become a pile of red dust due to oxidation. Because ozone is so powerful, it does not make a good killer of pathogens. It will kill the pathogens all right, but, as the ozone travels through our bodies on the way to the pathogens, it is used up by reacting to every cell in sight! Therefore, it can't penetrate very deeply.

Hydrogen peroxide is the same but not quite as powerful as ozone. Still, it has all the same problems as ozone.

Chlorine dioxide at 0.95 volts is well below the threshhold of cellular oxidation (1.30 volts). It does not react to or harm any of the cells in our bodies. However it will react with bacteria and parasites because they are anaerobic meaning they are not oxygen breathing cells and they have a much lower threshhold of resistance. They have never had to develop a tolerance for the presence of oxygen and are, therefore, easily oxidized. Chlorine dioxide is perfect for this. This is why it is so effective and why it is harmless to the human body.

Chlorine dioxide kills viruses in a different manner. It prevents the formation of the special virus proteins (that are not used anywhere else in the body) thus destroying the virus.


Biofilms are protective slimy structures that bacteria have contrived to protect themselves from the immune system and antibiotics. These are commonly formed in the human body making some infections difficult to treat. We can have these colonies in our bodies without symptoms as long as our immune system is sufficient to hold them to a low presence. Chlorine dioxide has the abililty to dissolve these biofilms. Pathogens can never develop a resistance to chlorine dioxide.

From Lenntech: "It is also active against the formation of bio film in the distribution network. Bio film is usually hard to defeat. It forms a protective layer over pathogenic microorganisms. Most disinfectants cannot reach those protected pathogens. However, chlorine dioxide removes bio films and kills pathogenic microorganisms. Chlorine dioxide also prevents bio film formation, because it remains active in the system for a long time."

"There is a perception that single-celled organisms are asocial, but that is misguided. When bacteria are under stress—which is the story of their lives—they team up and form this collective called a biofilm. If you look at naturally occurring biofilms, they have very complicated architecture. They are like cities with channels for nutrients to go in and waste to go out." - Andre Levchenko, PhD, Johns Hopkins University


Chlorine dioxide and its disinfection byproducts chlorite and chlorate might create problems for dialysis patients.



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