There are many considerations to make when trying to choose a decontamination agent. On this page and on the tabs to left we explore the different methods available for sterilizing and decontaminating and the advantages and limitations of each of these. There is also information below outlining the steps you must take in order to carry out a successful decontamination and the environmental factors you must consider when choosing a method. Chlorine dioxide, a true gas, offers many benefits over other decontaminating agents.


True gases such as chlorine dioxide (CD) and formaldehyde are the only truly effective agents for the decontamination of buildings, rooms, isolators, and biological safety cabinets as gases offer many benefits over other agents. In order for any decontaminating agent to be successful, three important Principles of Decontamination MUST be followed;
Sterilization with chlorine dioxide gas offers many benefits over other decontaminating agents.

Principles of Effective Decontamination

Complete Distribution

Total Penetration

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.

Factors Affecting Decontamination

Hard to Reach Areas

Temperature of CD

Cycle Development & Validation