Principles of Effective Decontamination
Concentration & Contact Time
Chlorine dioxide’s many unique features are what makes it a highly effective and efficient sterilizing agent. The process is easy to validate and is the best choice when considering a decontamination method. Chlorine dioxide has a small molecular size (approximately 0.124 nm) and a being a true gas has a natural ability to completely and evenly fill any space it is injected into giving it unmatched distribution abilities. It is also a selective and highly effective oxidizer allowing it to easily penetrate surfaces, including microscopic cracks and crevices and even has the ability to penetrate through organic matter. Chlorine dioxide is a colored gas and can be accurately measured and monitored in real time allowing for tight control of critical decontamination process parameters. Chlorine dioxide is also able to be quickly aerated as it will not condense on surfaces or absorb into many materials.
Unlike vaporous or liquid based decontamination agents, chlorine dioxide is unaffected by small temperature changes and will remain in the gaseous state over a wide range of temperatures and pressures. Gases are also unaffected by room configuration and equipment loading and positioning. Liquid agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, have a boiling point of 109°C (228°F) and will only exist in their vapor phase at or above this temperature. As most decontaminations take place at room temperature, approximately 21-22°C (70-71.6°F), these agents are sometimes referred to as lazy gases, meaning they will constantly be condensing back to their liquid form negatively affecting their distribution and penetration abilities.