regarding the mechanistic activity of chlorine compounds. Staying on the subject of the unrivaled potency of the chlorine atom
we advise our readers of its three main categories of use:
1) Low concentration: human use as a mild antiseptic. Not
well known despite being used for decades (Dakin’s).
2) Mid concentration: very well known and used in hospitals,
laboratories and homes as a disinfectant (Bleach).
3) Super concentration: hardly known. Potent weapon against
germ warfare recommended by the EPA in terror attacks
TERROR IN THE EAST: On October 9th, 2001 the Senate Building in Washington was attacked with a weaponized strain of anthrax in the form of letters mailed from Princeton, NJ to Senators
Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. In the same time frame anthrax
letters were sent to several news/media agencies including, ABC,
CBS, NBC, the National Enquirer and NY Post. In the ensuing
weeks a total of seven people died of respiratory anthrax and
dozens more fell ill. With respect to decontamination, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised that the Hart Senate
Office Building be decontaminated and instructed on the use of
gaseous chlorine dioxide generated from sodium chlorite. An immense overkill mode was employed for public safety. The main
suspect, a bacteriologist in the microbiology lab at Fort Detrick,
committed suicide before the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) could bring charges. CP
Disclaimer: Nothing in this paper is intended as advice to any manufacturer
on matters of efficacy or safety relative to the requirements now needed to
prove efficacy for an antiseptic as per the September 6, 2017 FR.
1. FDA Safety and Effectiveness of Consumer Antiseptics; Topical Antimicrobial
Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use, 21 CFR 310. Document
81 FR 61106 (2016). Web access: https://www.federalregister.gov/docu-
2. McDonnell G, Russell AD. Antiseptics and Disinfectants: Activity, Action,
and Resistance. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 1999; 12(1):147-179.
3. J.C. Durnville et al. 21 April 2015 Prepreperative Skin Antisepsis for Preventing Surgical Skin Infections, A Review of PI vs Chlorhexidine, Co-chrane Wounds Group.
4. Halliday A Observations on the use of different preparations of iodine as a
remedy for scrofula. London Medical Review 1821:16-199
5. Prince, H. N., et al., “Drug resistance studies with topical antiseptics,” Journal
of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 67( 11): p. 1629–31, 1978. Available at http://
6. Block, S. S., Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, Fifth Edition, Lipin-cott-William & Wilkins (2000)
7. Manring, M. M., Hawk, A., Calhoun, J. H., & Andersen, R. C. (2009). Treatment of War Wounds: A Historical Review. Clinical Orthopaedics and
Related Research, 467( 8), 2168–2191. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11999-009-
8. Winter, J., Ilbert, M., Graf, P. C. F., Özcelik, D., & Jakob, U. (2008). Bleach
Activates A Redox-Regulated Chaperone by Oxidative Protein Unfolding.
Cell, 135( 4), 691–701. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2008.09.024
^structure of povidone
TABLE 2: Summary Table
Activity Anionic Phenol Halogen (Cl2, I2) Cationic (QAC, CHG) Antibiotic
Inactivation by hard H2O & organic matter YES YES YES NO
Develops resistance VAR NO VAR YES
Percutaneous absorption YES NO NO NO
Sporicide (bacterial spores) NO VAR NO NO
Speed (sec. to min.)1 NO YES YES NO
Broad2 YES YES YES YES
Complete3 YES YES YES NO
Lipophilic (HSV) YES YES YES NO
Naked (polio) NO VAR NO NO
C BA, CD
D. Protein synthesis
VAR = Variable (time dependent)
1 In general, speed is concentration dependent.
2 Gram positive and negative bacteria.
3 Gram positive and negative bacteria and yeast and molds.