Is it bleach and is it safe?

Dear Internet,

I just don’t understand why people insist on clinging to arguments that have become completely ridiculous.  The bleach people are mad that I keep calling their beloved Chlorine Dioxide, bleach, but what else do you call it? In all reality,  I’m not chemist.  I’m also not here to convince the bleach people that they are wrong. The truth is,  I’m here to present the other side of the coin,  so that you,  Internet, can decide for yourself.  I will say that I know it isn’t the same thing as the household bleach that we use for laundry,  but does that then make it “not bleach”? I don’t think so,  do you?

The CDC has an Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and here is what is says about Chlorine Dioxide:


So,  I see where it is called a “hazardous gas” and it also says it is “used as a bleach.” But yes,  it does go on to say that it is used to purify water,  so let’s see if we can’t figure that part out.

Further down,  it says:


The maximum is .8mg/L, but what does that mean?  Well,  let’s ask the EPA what their opinion is on the matter.


This says that the maximum residual level should be at 800ppb. However, as you recall,  Ms. Rivera says that you need CD to be at 3000ppm. Which is bigger,  a ppm or a ppb? Fortunately,  I found a site that allows us to convert the ppb to ppm, so let’s do it.


Holy cow! 800ppb (the maximum allowed in drinking water) is equal to .8ppm?! So, the limit recommend by Kerri Rivera is roughly 3000 times the amount recommended by the EPA? Well, that explains the whole “safe to drink” issue. It is safe,  at levels much, much less than what is being prescribed by the bleach people. This comment regarding the safety of CD, made by one of Ms. Rivera’s moderators was amusing in the fact that it pretty much sums up the scientific background of these people,  but also terrifying because it pretty much sums up the scientific background of these people.


Is “it goes boom” the technical answer?

Now,  I’m sure that the EPA and the CDC won’t be enough evidence for the bleach people,  so here are a couple more. Yeah, the first one is wikipedia, but the CD movement likes to quote Jim Humble on the science of CD and he is the one that invented this latest form of quackery and woo, so wikipedia is looking pretty good right now. I already cited the CDC.





So, there you have it, Internet. I will gladly acknowledge to the bleach people that CD is not the same thing as household bleach.  It is not the same thing as Clorox. As for the rest of it,  you tell me.  CD – Bleach, Bleaching Agent, chemical used in bleaching, none of the above? Safe at Ms. Rivera’s levels? You know where I stand. Feel free to decide for yourselves.

Until next time,

9 thoughts on “Is it bleach and is it safe?

  1. xandrablackprime January 3, 2015 / 6:27 am

    excellent post, i don’t think that you could spell it out any simpler…
    CD is dangerous at the concentration levels that are being suggested as some sort of “cure” for autism…
    there is no way to deny the facts…
    CD is not safe for ANYONE to ingest at the quantities recommended by the bleachers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. louveha January 15, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    I am far from being fond of MMS, but I’m not still not so sure about the “bleach” word.
    For me it relies too much on the common misconception : “If this substance can be used for industrial means (especially if it involves cleaning or doing something “dirty”), I should never consume even one drop of it.”
    I see it for example with “Look ! Coke can be used for cleaning toilets ! See how bad it is !”
    I then replies : “Damn. Then I should stop drinking water, I use it for toilet cleaning too !”
    (Coke can be bad if you drink too much too regularly, because there is too much sugar et al. ; but the above argument is still a bad argument.)

    Your other points are however perfectly valid :
    – the dosage
    – it is effective on virus on surfaces, in drinking water… but it doesn’t mean it’s good for the human body via enemas or far more concentrated ingestion.
    And I think those points are more important.


  3. calliarcale January 15, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    Here’s a point for them: people bleach their hair with hydrogen peroxide. That’s not chlorine bleach; why it doesn’t even have chlorine atoms in it. So obviously either the entirety of the English speaking world is wrong about what the word “bleach” means, or they are.

    That said, there is of course also stupid medical woo about hydrogen peroxide. And that one actually *has* killed someone, when a quack thought it would be a great idea to treat a lady’s cancer by injecting it into her bloodstream. It killed her. Most shocking part is that her killer never faced criminal charges for it. (He did lose his medical license, at least.)

    Bleaches generally work by oxidation. Oxidation doesn’t just mean oxygen; other halogens do a damn good job as well, and chlorine is one of the biggies. (Heck, chlorine was the first identified halogen, which is why they’re called halogens — the first time it was identified, it was generated from salt.) And if it bleaches, it’s reactive as heck, and that means you worry about fire hazard, explosion hazard, corrosion (really REALLY gotta be careful what you store it in, which I rather doubt these private individuals are), and, of course, poison. Anything this reactive can be poisonous, and most bleaches can make very impressive chemical burns.

    Chlorine dioxide, specifically, is very reactive, and synthesis can be dangerous. I do wonder how long before we see an accident. The people sending it to school with their kids as “medicine” probably don’t realize it’s illegal to transport it over the roads because it’s so dangerous. I wonder whether they should be more worried about the school nurse catching on, or the chemistry teacher!


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