ALL WE LEARNED ABOUT HYPOCHLOROUS ACID
Hypochlorous acid: a molecule chosen by nature
Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) is a molecule naturally produced and released within white blood cells, acting as a key component of our immune system, to fight against invading microorganisms. So, it’s a non-toxic, natural way to protect and heal ourselves: a natural and powerful answer of our body to pathogens.
It can be “created” outside our body through an electrochemical process and in this case HOCl offers these same protection benefits as well as soothing properties and support natural healing process.
Given this and its non-toxicity, it has been identified as a useful cleaning agent and sanitizer (also against Covid-19 as reported by US Environmental Protection Agency). But it’s a there a lot more…
If it’s so powerful, why is it not so popular?
Simple: even it’s quite easy to make, it’s not so easy to maintain as stable solution for commercial purposes. At Ecas4 we introduced long ago technological improvements in order to produce it in a stable way: we found out that the safest and most reliable way is electrochemical production, through the electrolysis of a highly pure solution of water and salt.
As machinery manufacturer we started in 2006 to develop the best technology and our approach was fully inspired by nature, by observation of how the immune system of vertebrates (the most developed living organisms) works. Nonspecific immunity is substantially based on the activity of neutrophils and macrophages leucocytes, which engulf foreign cells. Of great importance is the action of myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme that produces hypochlorous acid (HOCl) during the neutrophils’ respiratory burst.
To reply the same process and obtain hypochlorous acid various methods are possible, among which the electrochemical way is the most advanced one: so at Ecas4 we started to study how it works moving from the experience of the most important Russian electrochemical school directed by Prof. Bakhir. Then we designed and patented our special electrochemical cell allowing the synthesis of a pure, stable, and reliable solution under well-controlled and reproducible conditions. Not all HOCI producers can rely on the same technology.
What is electrochemical activation?
Electrochemical activation is a technology that has been in use for more than 100 years, although its physico-chemical properties have been investigating only since 1970s. The transformation of solutions with a low content of mineral salts into a specific metastable state, through electrochemical process, generates two compounds, generically called Anolyte and Catholyte, originated from different electrode chamber:
- Anodic solution (with positive charge, also called Anolyte) containing hypochlorous acid with oxidizing action;
- Cathodic solution (with negative charge, also called Catholyte) containing sodium hydroxide with cleansing properties.
So, while Anolyte is able to penetrate the cell wall of microorganisms thus being able to fight against bacterial cells, Catholyte is a basic solution that has excellent degreasing properties.
How does it work? Natural elements, natural process
The heart of the system is an electrolysis cell containing two electrodes, a cathode and an anode, separated by a membrane. A brine made of filtered and softened water and high purity sodium chloride (just table salt) is then injected into the cell. By the use of electricity, with predefined and controlled amperage and voltage values, the cell releases the two electrochemically activated outputs we mentioned, Anolyte and Catholyte.
The first has a high sanitizing power and the possibility to be used in various applications, the second has strong cleaning and degreasing properties: here is Hypochlorous Acid!
BENEFITS OF HYPOCHLOROUS
Hypochlorous Acid (HOCI or HCIO) is an exceptional molecule naturally produced within white blood cells which is able to react against pathogens. So, it is a natural barrier that reminds us that, in case of need, just nature is the best source of effective and safe protection.
It was discovered in 1834 by a French chemist, Antoine Jérôme Balard, and used thereafter during the world wars to clean wounds and heal from burns.
To be reproduced outside our body as stable compound it needs a process of electrochemical activation applied to a brine of filtered water and table salt: again, only natural and green elements.
Its final appearance is colorless and aqueous, a “super” kind of water that can be sprayed and has a slight salty smell that disappears in few seconds, while maintaining all disinfectant and cleaning properties.
Being a natural, non-hazardous and non-toxic solution, its benefits are so wide that it can be considered as a valuable option for countless uses: after the first try you will no longer do without!
Main benefits on skin
We all know that skin is our main outer barrier, it is first exposed to bacteria and virus and even if it’s really tough it can incur in cuts, wounds, scrapes.
A multi-purpose sanitizer and cleanser as HOCI, can be a real strong allied for our skin, in a daily routine, also because it will not give the dryness, burning or irritating effects that other products give.
While disinfecting hands, it’s incredibly gentle: it does not damage or irritate skin, in reverse thanks to its smoothing properties it can be recommended also with cold temperatures when hands tend to chap. It works better than on purpose moisturizers, even on the most sensitive skins.
On face and body HOCI works as a valid support to standard washing (not a substitute): a kind of extra defense, even on-the-go. More than cleaning, it speeds up wound healing and repair damage, so sprayed on face and body it works as a SOS remedy to refresh, soothe, moisturize and help natural skin regeneration processes.
In cosmetics HOCI is widely known for its effectiveness as anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and anti-bacterial agent, so it’s helpful in reducing redness, against irritations and treating acne and eczema.
Main benefits on surfaces
At home, at work, in the gym, on objects and surfaces Hypochlorous Acid expresses its best as disinfectant and cleaner: it is reported to be almost 100 times more effective than sodium hypochlorite (bleach), while being 100% nonirritating, almost scentless and safe.
It’s effective, powerful but gentle, it does not leave damages or stains. It can be sprayed widely on all objects and surfaces, even on the most delicate fabrics and left to dry: pathogens are neutralized within few seconds, without leaving aggressive traces. If you are a mum concerned with your baby equipment and toys, HOCI is the safest and most natural solution for you.
In addition, Hypochlorous is highly safe in treating foods, while disinfecting fruits and vegetables, or food preparation surfaces.
It can be also vaporized or used in foggers or cool air humidifiers to get a natural disinfection of environments and air against airborne pathogens and in this case it also greatly works as a neutral deodorant that neutralizes foul odors such as garbage, toilet, urine: being non-toxic you won’t even need to open all the windows for ventilation after use.
Dangers of Hypochlorous
Hypochlorous Acid is classified as non-hazardous and non-toxic and tested to be nonirritating to eye and skin, even in case of very sensitive skins, on babies or animals.
So, there are no particular warnings about its use: it is natural and simply suitable for all the family.
HOCI FIELDS OF APPLICATION
Hypochlorous Acid is such a versatile disinfecting and cleaning solution that almost any use you may conceive is possible: it effectively removes 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and the only difference you may find in commercial products is related to different part per million (PPM) and Ph that different products may express to meet the best desired outcome according to the application.
Anyway, composed of natural ingredients, HOCl is one of the safest solutions for cleaning of all kinds: objects and surfaces, pet and skin care, vet and medical offices. Since it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals like bleach, dyes or artificial colors and scents, it won’t irritate throat or eyes, it won’t leave aggressive residues or pollute the environment after being released: the product evaporates naturally, there is no need to rinse; just, as nature teaches, wait a little and let dry!
Homes, offices, restaurants, shops, gyms, manufacturing facilities, schools, and so on …everywhere there’s a need to clean, gentle degrease and sanitize there Hypochlorous can be applied, even without the need to select different products for different surfaces and that is also very convenient.
Well let’s have a look to some specific fields of application.
Hypochlorous acid was first used in wounds cleaning and care, to remedy chemical burns and its use is ideal since it can focus on fighting bacteria where the infection is without harming healthy tissue.
In a wider context and with different formulations, it can be used for skin wellbeing and protection, for hand hygiene and cosmetics. It can be recommended to improve skin health and hydration, to accelerate skin’s natural regenerative processes, to calm irritations, redness or itch, to soothe and rebalance the skin stressed by sun exposure, hair removal or shaving and also to effectively treat acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Being so delicate it is suited for all skins, even the most sensitive ones or babies skin.
HOCl is also commonly used in ophthalmology and can be found in innovative eye care products. Our eyes are delicate areas, so the combination of a gentle yet potent antimicrobial agent helps fight infection, reduce inflammation and control the body’s response to injury, allowing it to heal optimally. In certain applications, like Blepharitis, a common cause of ocular irritation, HOCl has been found to lower the population of harmful bacteria without altering the ones which may be beneficial. Due to this it can be recommended to manage contact lens or clean lens cases.
Hypochlorous acid is a molecule naturally produced within our body as a first defense in case of pathogen attack, irritation or injury.
Today, thanks to a green chemistry, it is possible to synthetize the same molecule with the same benefits offering pet parents a revolutionary hygiene and care product for dogs and cats.
Effective, non-toxic and extremely versatile, hypochlorous acid can be used in pet care to support wounds treatment, to soothe skin irritations and for daily hygiene of paws, eyes and ears.
In case of wounds, cuts, scratches and abrasions, it’s a valid ally to support skin’s natural regenerative processes and given its antibacterial properties it helps to maintain proper hygiene of the injured area, reducing chances of infections.
In presence of skin irritation, redness and inflammation, hypochlorous acid can be used to keep the injured area clean, cooled, while soothing inflammation and reducing annoying problems such as itch.
Finally, it is ideal for a gentle daily cleaning of sensitive areas such as eyes and ears. It provides topical relief in case of irritation, it removes debris and odors.
It is also suggested to clean all pets’ equipment and toys and deodorize environment where pets live.
HOCl is surprisingly effective even at low concentrations. It takes only a very small amount of HOCl to effectively kill bacteria and viruses in comparison to other bleach-based products. Despite this outstanding ability, it is also gentle on surfaces, even on the porous and delicate ones, and when no additional ingredients like surfactants or detergents are added to the final formula, HOCl solutions leave behind minimal residue. It can be used on fabrics without the danger of leaving stains.
HOCl-based solutions are also suitable for food treating, for fruit and vegetables disinfection and also to clean and sanitize surfaces that get in contact with food, as food preparation areas, fridges, flatware, bowls, cups. Not by chance these products do not require a rinse step when used.
Moreover, being natural and non-toxic it can be used to sanitize all that comes in contact with babies: toys, baby bottles, pacifiers, bibs or everything they may accidentally bring to mouth.
While most disinfectants are tested or studied only in their liquid form, HOCI efficacy against pathogens has also been studied when used in aerosolized/sprayed form.
Its kill time is shorter in comparison to other compounds and the use in fog or aerosol applications demonstrates that this spray form may help HOCl molecules to be suspended in the air for a longer duration, thus being more powerful and effective.
Hypochlorous Acid is widely used in water treatments, catering industry, food and beverage plants, agribusiness, meat, poultry and fish industry and in fabricating medical devices or cosmetics.
In health care it can be used in clinics and medical offices for hand sterilization and hospital dispenser but also in medical clinic kitchen as a no-wash sanitizer for food preparation, where it can be very well used to clean and purify all contact surfaces and kitchenware.
From green washing to green safety
There is so much talking about sustainability, but very little is actually done.
“Sustainability is not sustainable”; too many theories, ideas, lobbies, prejudices, interests.
People and companies are confused. On one side they want to do something healthy and useful to create a better world, on the other they don’t know what to do and how to do it.
In other words, in the short term we are stuck on good words and good intentions, this is it. And although random actions are carried out by “green heroes”, they all alone will not be able to save the world.
The environmental challenge concerns everyone. Individual action is the key to sustainable change. The revolution starts with us! We can choose what to consume and what not! We can choose where to buy! We can choose where to put our money!
We need to change our culture, our habits, our consumptions if we want a future for our kids.
HOCl powerful and sustainable
Quoting the words of Mr. Sandro Quadrelli, Engineer & Founder of Ecas4 “When I discovered the existence of Hypochlorous Acid, I was fascinated by the power of this gift of nature. Never before my mission had been so clear: sharing the benefits of HOCl with as many people as possible while improving their health and quality of life”.
Green tech blessed by nature
Respecting the planet and all living creatures is a must for our company.
We strive for a chemical free future while promoting the importance of toxin-free cleaning for commercial and retail use.
This makes Ecas4 the undisputed Italian player producing natural, safe, non-toxic solutions for hygiene and health based on Hypochlorous Acid whose benefits are amazing.
Made of natural ingredients, HOCl is one of the safest products on the market for all kinds of cleanings, while “similar” products often contain chemical compounds which remain in water systems and end up polluting rivers and lakes, contaminating drinking water supplies and aquatic ecosystems.
But HOCl is a “different story”:
• It does not contain any harmful chemicals like bleach, dyes or artificial colors and scents.
• It does not irritate your throat or eyes when sprayed on surfaces, and you won’t need to open all the windows for ventilation after cleaning.
• After spraying hypochlorous acid, the product evaporates naturally, disinfecting surfaces and leaving no harmful residue.
Homes, working spaces, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing facilities, schools and many other locations can be cleaned and disinfected without toxic fumes, which would typically irritate skin, eyes and the respiratory system.
What’s more? Traditional cleaning products are often surface-specific, so that consumers are pushed to buy different cleaners instead of a single and multitasking one.
Hypochlorous acid is versatile, the only cleaning product you need to keep on hand.
• HOCl is skin safe and gentle enough for porous, delicate or easily stained surfaces — while effectively eliminating 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.
• HOCl cleaning products also reduces the number of plastic bottles you need to buy and store in your cleaning cupboard.