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  • Writer's pictureoji Raumluftforschung

Is hypochlorous acid - HOCl - harmful?

Acids - the elixir of life

Many people think of acids as chemical burns. However, acids are essential for the functioning of our body. Many are familiar with mild acids - ascorbic acid (vitamin C), hyaluronic acid as a skin care product or apple cider vinegar to improve digestion. Even our genetic material, the DNA (deoxyribo[se]nucleic acid) is an acid. HOCl, i.e. hypochlorous acid, is also an acid used by our body for immune defence against viruses and bacteria.

How does HOCl act on viruses and bacteria in nature?

Over several million years of evolution, mammals have developed mechanisms to render viruses and bacteria harmless. Whether it's an intestinal bacterium, a skin injury or a droplet infection, our bodies always react in the same way. As soon as our immune system detects unwanted microbes, our protective cells activate a mild acid to render them harmless. Doctors have taken advantage of this proven concept when using HOCl. The mild acid is used in many different areas of medicine. For example, for the treatment of skin diseases or respiratory complaints.

HOCl in use for air purification

As a natural active ingredient, HOCl is already used to disinfect surfaces, treat wounds or prevent bacterial or viral infections. Released as a molecule in indoor air, HOCl can have the same effect on viruses and bacteria. The simple contact with HOCl molecules dissolves the cell wall of pathogens and thus renders them harmless.

Efficiency that convinces

The targeted use of hypochlorous acid offers automated long-term disinfection for entire buildings. This is because the decomposition rate of molecular hypochlorous acid is much slower than with other methods, which increases the range and effectiveness of air and surface disinfection. In contrast to "normal" disinfectants, the technology is not only free of side effects and risks, but also has additional positive properties for the human immune system.

"[...] HOCl is an attractive option for reliable and safe disinfection in institutional, public and private environments. From a medical point of view, oji technology can be considered as a new, essential, complementary building block to contain infections everywhere."

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Felix Herth - Member of the Scientific Council of oji, Head of the Thorax Clinic at the University of Heidelberg

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