Is superoxidised water destined to be an environmental superhero?

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Anything that with claims that are too good to be true usually is. But the data coming out about superoxidised water does seem very impressive. The latest research study, coming from the Cleveland VA, evaluated an electrochemically activated saline solution, also known as ‘superoxidized water’. Surprisingly, the novel disinfectant performed comparably to 10% bleach in vitro. VRE, MRSA and C. difficile spores were dried onto surfaces and exposed to 10% bleach or superoxidised water (Sterilox). The superoxidised water matched the bleach log for log (both achieving a 5-6 log reduction with no organic load and a 3-4 log reduction with organic load present). This was true even for the C. difficile spores. The team also evaluating the efficacy of spraying superoxidised water on wall-mounted equipment, finding that 12% of 66 cultures grew C. difficile before treatment, compared with none of the matched sites after treatment.

Superoxidised water lacks some of the drawbacks associated with 10% bleach, principally compatibility with electronic equipment as demonstrated in this study. This agent should be prioritized for further evaluation.

Article citation: Fertelli D, Cadnum JL, Nerandzic MM, Sitzlar B, Kundrapu S, Donskey CJ. Effectiveness of an electrochemically activated saline solution for disinfection of hospital equipment. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2013;34:543-544.

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2 thoughts on “Is superoxidised water destined to be an environmental superhero?

  1. Hi Jon, recent documentary on science of bubbles (!) on BBC2 showed cleaning power of water with induced microbubbles. Is this the same thing? Mentioned to head of Hotel services at GSTT and he seemed interested, but could do with providing more than a TV reference. Any links?

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    • Bryn, fascinating area of research. Looks like the BBC documentary is now no longer available online, but here is a useful mini-lecture from UCL introducing the medical uses of microbubbles. This is not the same thing as superoxidised water, but both look to be useful innovations. This research paper suggests that microobubbles can be useful for wastewater disinfection when combined with ozone.

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