CHLORINE DIOXIDE Overview Information
Chlorine dioxide is a gas. It is commonly used to disinfect drinking water. When used in very small quantities to disinfect water, it is safe and does not lead to health risks. But chlorine dioxide is a disinfectant similar to bleach. When used in large quantities, it can be dangerous.
Be careful not to purchase chlorine dioxide supplement products. These products often list another ingredient on the label called sodium chlorite. The user is instructed to mix sodium chlorite with citric acid, which makes chlorine dioxide. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers not to use these products due to the risk for serious safety issues and death. These products are often marketed under names like Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), Master Mineral Solution, and Miracle Mineral Supplement.
Some people use diluted solutions of chlorine dioxide for bad breath, tooth plaque, and wound healing, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
Chlorine dioxide is a disinfectant that kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi. But at high doses, it can damage red blood cells and the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Possibly Effective for:
- Tooth plaque. Early research shows that rinsing with a mouthwash containing 0.01% chlorine dioxide doesn't reduce tooth plaque.
- Thrush. Early research shows that rinsing with a mouthwash containing 0.8% chlorine dioxide can improve the symptoms and appearance of thrush. The mouthwash is swished around in the mouth for 60 seconds and then spit out. It is also used to soak dentures overnight.
- Wound healing. Early research shows that using a chlorine dioxide solution to disinfect small cuts doesn't work any better than salt water.
- Other conditions.
CHLORINE DIOXIDE Side Effects & Safety
When taken by mouth: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to use supplements containing chlorine dioxide. Even though chlorine dioxide is safely used in very small amounts to disinfectant drinking water at public water treatment facilities, the amount of chlorine dioxide in supplement products is too high to be safe. At the doses found in supplements, chlorine dioxide can cause serious side effects, including severe vomiting and diarrhea, liver failure, and death.
Beware that most chlorine dioxide supplements usually show another ingredient on the label (sodium chlorite). Sodium chlorite is mixed with citric acid to make chlorine dioxide.
When used as a mouthwash: Chlorine dioxide is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a mouthwash. Chlorine dioxide 0.01% to 0.8% solutions are swished around the mouth for 30-60 seconds and then spit out.
When applied to the skin: Chlorine dioxide is POSSIBLY SAFE when used by healthcare professionals to clean small wounds.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Chlorine dioxide supplements are LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy or breast-feeding. There isn't enough reliable information to know if chlorine dioxide is safe to apply to the skin or use as a mouthwash when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Chlorine dioxide supplements are LIKELY UNSAFE for children when taken by mouth. There isn't enough reliable information to know if chlorine dioxide is safe for children to apply to the skin or use as a mouthwash. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
An inherited disorder that causes red blood cells to break down in response to stress (G6PD deficiency): People with this condition who use chlorine dioxide may be at an increased risk for red blood cell rupture. Avoid using.
Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD): There's concern that chlorine dioxide might increase the risk of anemia in people with this condition, even when used in dilute amounts. But this hasn't been observed in clinical research.
CHLORINE DIOXIDE Dosing
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- Bad breath: A specific mouthwash (RetarDEX or UltraDEX, Periproducts Ltd) containing 0.1% chlorine dioxide is swished around the mouth for 30-60 seconds and then spit out. This is done once or twice a day for up to 10 days..