Treatment Products & Ingredients

Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide - a closer view

There are a number of products for treating halitosis that claim to contain chlorine dioxide as its active ingredient. Chlorine dioxide is a highly reactive molecule. It is a free radical and cannot be stabilized as a gas or in solution or gel. The compound called “stabilized chlorine dioxide” (SCD) by some manufacturers, is in fact, sodium chlorite, although the phrase is too often used synonymously with chlorine dioxide (CD). The “stabilized” term attempts to describe a formulation which has the same or similar chemical properties to the now familiar disinfectant, chlorine dioxide, and its many applications. Chemically they couldn’t be more different and it is important to understand the differences between the two.

SCD or “stabilized chlorine dioxide” is prepared by buffering sodium chlorite with carbonate or phosphate, and hydrogen peroxide. This approach, in reality, stabilizes the chlorite not the chlorine dioxide, and the stabilized compound is not the same as chlorine dioxide, nor has the same oxidizing properties. This point alone greatly differentiates the chlorine dioxide products that the Center for Breath Treatment uses from the other SCD or so called “stabilized chlorine dioxide” products. The oxidation potential of sodium chlorite is much lower than chlorine dioxide, and the chemical is far less useful as a product in general. Chlorine dioxide is a gas, is non ionic and quite penetrating. The molecule is unique in that it is soluble in water, oil, and organic solvents. On the other hand, sodium chlorite is a salt, soluble in water only, and unlike chlorine dioxide, will hydrolyze or breakdown in solution while chlorine dioxide remains as a complete molecule. The chlorine dioxide that is generated from the DioxiCare products has true chlorine dioxide and is superior in every manner to the SCD or “stabilized chlorine dioxide”. It is generated in high concentrations, thus providing a very efficacious product in high enough concentrations to allow it to be very therapeutic. This cannot be said of the SCD or “stabilized chlorine dioxide”.

DioxiRinse™In order for SCD or “stabilized chlorine dioxide salt to release chlorine dioxide by chemical reaction, the compound must be mixed with a strong acid because of the heavy buffering involved in its formulation. In fact, according to a published spectrophotometer study, the activator acid must produce a solution below pH 3.1 This resulting acidity would be way too high for use on the skin or oral mucosa.

Obfuscation in advertising

One website promoting “stabilized chlorine dioxide” claims that the acidity in a person’s mouth will produce a release of chlorine dioxide. 2 But this stated release is not possible or reasonable and no scientific evidence of this idea is given. The acidity of the mouth is not high enough to cause a reaction, and the contact time in the mouth is way too short for such a reaction to occur. Nor, would it seem that the mouth should be required for activation, since the same website states, “no mixing is required to activate our product.”

One of the SCD patents entitled, “Treating abnormal conditions of the epithelium of body orifices,”3 adds even more phosphate for “stabilization.” The purpose for this is not clear, and it does not indicate how all the phosphates mentioned could stabilize either the pH or the chlorine dioxide. In any case some of the phosphates stated would certainly prevent chlorine dioxide activation in the first place, or at the very least prevent even the slightest release for many hours. Misuse of language leads the inventor of this patent, and in another patent,4 to state in the Abstract and Claims that ‘release of chlorine dioxide will be retarded from the chlorine dioxide.’ The first chlorine dioxide we are meant to understand is different from the second.

Although one SCD advertisement refers to its product as, “The ultimate Germ Killer,”2 SCD itself, is a poor antiseptic, not much different in disinfection ability than common salt water. No testing presented by the manufacturers of SCD, or the original inventors, has proven any different. The test results presented have little substance, and the references stated are usually unobtainable. Despite heavy advertising and literature to the contrary, no topical efficacy has been shown on any body part other than for odor removal. This is of interest because the time span has been 25 years or more since the first SCD patents were issued.

For many years, the manufacturers of SCD appropriated the term “stabilized” to capitalize on the beneficial properties of chlorine dioxide, but further, the misuse of the term leads researchers or doctors, not realizing the difference, to then describe a concentration of sodium chlorite in their own lectures or papers as, “chlorine dioxide.”5 For example, “2% chlorine dioxide” would appear in a new published paper or patent, which if true (20,000 ppm), would actually be dangerous. However, such a high concentration of chlorine dioxide could probably not be attainable in the first place. We have found that it is easy to make bold claims about one’s products without any scientific evidence to support those claims. It is another thing to provide real scientific evidence to back one’s claims.

  1. Multicomponent Spectroscopic Investigations of Salivary Antioxidant Consumption by an Oral Rinse Preparation Containing the Stable Free Radical Species Chlorine Dioxide, Edward Lynch, et al Free Rad. Res., March 1997, Vol 26, page 214
  2. Closys 2 website literature under, “Research”
  3. Patent 5,489,435
  4. Patent 5,834, 003
  5. Comparison of Organic Tissue Dissolution Capacities of Sodium Hypochlorite and Chlorine Dioxide, Funda Cobankara, et al, JOE , Vol 36, Num 2, Feb 2010. “Chlorine dioxide”- rather than sodium chlorite - is stated as 13.8% (138,000 ppm).