Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a yellow-green gas with an odor similar to chlorine with excellent distribution, penetration and sterilization abilities due to its gaseous nature. This allows it to be measured in real-time with photometric devices. Although chlorine dioxide has chlorine in its name, its properties are very different, much like carbon dioxide is different than elemental carbon. It has been demonstrated effective as a broad spectrum, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal agent, as well as a deodorizer.
Chlorine dioxide does not react with ammonia or most organic compounds, it oxidizes products rather than chlorinating them, so unlike chlorine, chlorine dioxide will not produce environmentally undesirable organic compounds containing chlorine.
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) acts as an oxidizing agent and reacts with several cellular constituents, including the cell membrane of microbes. By “stealing” electrons from them (oxidation), it breaks their molecular bonds, resulting in the death of the organism by the breakup of the cell. By altering the proteins involved in the structure of microorganisms, their enzymatic function is broken and causes very rapid bacterial kills. This oxidative attack on many proteins simultaneously is behind the potency of chlorine dioxide and also prevents microorganisms from mutating to a resistant form. Because of the selective reactivity of chlorine dioxide, its antimicrobial action is retained longer in the presence of organic matter than most other decontaminating agents.