The Science

Science without the media-generated hysteria

The American Chemical Council is the communications organ of the $526 billion enterprise known as the chemical industry. It represents an economic force that employs 529,000 skilled professionals and provides over 4 million related jobs.

Unlike bloggers without degrees or accountability, recently graduated English majors seeking to generate sensational clickbait stories for their employers or news outlets with dubious records for reliability, the American Chemical Council through its website ChemicalSafetyFacts.org provides the public with accurate, authoritative and unbiased descriptions of the properties of various chemicals and chemical compounds.

Here are some excerpts from its article on chlorine dioxide:

Chlorine dioxide is used to disinfect drinking water around the world and is approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has approved the use of chlorine dioxide in certain food applications as well as in over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

Chlorine dioxide helps destroy bacteria, viruses and some types of parasites that can make people sick, such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia.

Chlorine dioxide can be used in mouthwashes and dentistry products as an oxidizing biocide compound.

Chlorine dioxide has been used as a disinfectant since the early 1900s and has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many applications, including mouthwash.

Given that chlorine dioxide is routinely added to drinking water, sprayed on food, used in tooth paste and mouthwash, and is an approved ingredient in over-the-counter and prescription drugs, the media-generated hysteria that chlorine dioxide is “toxic bleach” is easily refuted.

The active ingredient in Clorox (a household bleach sold in the US) is sodium hypochlorite.

One of the two ingredients used in the process of making chlorine dioxide is sodium chlorite – a completely different chemical compound.

Another compound with a similar sounding name is sodium chloride which also may sound “toxic” to the misinformed. Sodium chloride is, in fact, table salt.

All three substances are made of sodium and chlorine atoms and it is ignorance of the highest order to therefore conclude they are similar compounds.

For a journalist to call chlorine dioxide “toxic” and compare it to household bleach is literal fraud and is presenting false information in a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

If this is the case – and according to American Chemical Council it is – how then has the “toxic meme” that chlorine dioxide is toxic been spread across the Internet.

For the answer, we offer this expository narrative…and point to these specific people and institutions.