International Journal of
Medicine and Medical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Med. Med. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9723
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJMMS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 533

Full Length Research Paper

The chlorine dioxide controversy: A deadly poison or a cure for COVID-19?

Mitchell Brent Liester
  • Mitchell Brent Liester
  • Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, P. O. Box 302 Monument, CO 80132, USA.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 25 May 2021
  •  Accepted: 23 August 2021
  •  Published: 30 September 2021


Chlorine dioxide has been condemned as a dangerous poison and has been touted as a cure for COVID-19. This narrative review examines the controversy surrounding the use of aqueous chlorine dioxide by investigating evidence-based research articles, government documents, press reports, and the results of the first clinical trial utilizing chlorine dioxide as a treatment for COVID-19. Chlorine dioxide was found to be employed by numerous industries for antimicrobial and other uses. Aqueous chlorine dioxide was found to be safe when ingested in low doses, but when ingested in high doses, it can cause adverse hematologic and renal effects. Additionally, chlorine dioxide was found to be a strong and rapidly acting virucide with activity against a wide range of viruses. Results of the first clinical trial utilizing chlorine dioxide to treat COVID-19 are reviewed and this molecule is found to be a safe and effective treatment. A dispassionate review of the evidence-based research literature finds preliminary evidence supporting the opinion that aqueous chlorine dioxide may be a safe and effective treatment of COVID-19, and likely for other viral illnesses as well. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to explore potential uses of chlorine dioxide.

Key words: SARS-CoV-2, virucide, biocide, antimicrobial, oxidant, disinfectant, bleach, food additive, sterilant.


ACE2, Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; ClO2, chlorine dioxide; COVID-19, Corona Virus Disease – 2019; EPA, US Environmental Protection Agency; EUA, Emergency Use Authorization; FAERS, FDA Adverse Event Reporting System; FDA, US Food and Drug Administration; H3PO4, phosphoric  acid;  HCl, hydrochloric acid; HHS, US Department of Health and Human Services; LD50, the median lethal dose of a substance is the dose required to kill half the members of a tested population; MERS, middle east respiratory syndrome; mg/L, milligrams per liter; mmol/L, millimoles per liter; MMS, miracle mineral solution; NaClO2, sodium chlorite; ppm, parts per million; SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome; SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; T3, triiodothyronine; T4, thyroxine.