Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid that has the ability to inhibit the growth of various types of germs such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, as well as fungal spores, and it can be used to clean safely without any harm to users.
“In fact, white blood cells in mammals are able to produce hypochlorous acid normally, and the human body also contains this substance that helps against viruses in the body as well as helping to protect and eliminate foreign germs entering the body.” said Asst. Prof. Dr. Piched Anuragudom, Deputy Dean for Research & Academic Affairs, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus.
Hypochlorous acid has been used in a wide variety of fields and many countries whether in Europe, the United States, Korea, even Japan, including the naval industry for cleaning shipboard stuffs, medical used for cleaning wounds and used to clean and disinfect the hospital, as well as the dental clinic used for patients to gargle to clean the mouth before dental medical work, also used in livestock and agriculture to destroy the fungus or bacteria in the animal house including organic fruit and vegetable farms, or even spray disinfecting equipment in the meat distribution industry before packing for delivery to consumers. However, it is not well known in Thailand. Until a period of alcohol was in short supply, people became more interested in hypochlorous acid since it was only used in some organizations. For this reason, there is not much research on HOCl when compared to other countries.
Differences between Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and Alcohol (Ethyl alcohol) is HOCl acid is faster and safer to kill germs. It can be used on food and sensitive skin such as children or infants, etc. Furthermore, after using, it will decompose and only salt is left behind, so it is very safe. While alcohol is flammable and some people may experience allergies or irritation. In addition, the efficiency of disinfection takes longer.
“The production of hypochlorous acid is a very simple process,” Asst. Prof. Dr. Piched Anuragudom explained.
The precursors of HOCl acid production are diverse, such as salt or sodium chloride (NaCl) which is dissolved in water or uses water with chlorine (Chlorine) and then passed through electric current for electrolysis. This process of electrolysis was initiated by Michael Faraday, an English chemist and physicist who invented the dynamo and conducted experiments on using electric current through a salt solution until obtained hypochlorous acid.
In addition, not only food and medical industries, there are also products that saw the benefits and hygiene from the using of HOCl acid, such as automatic sanitary ware and automatic toilet seat of TOTO (Thailand) Co., Ltd., a leader in sanitary ware from Japan and has a history more than 100 years. TOTO’s products function has a sanitary innovation called EWATER+ that electrolyzes tap water to produce hypochlorous acid which has the ability to reduce germs in toilet bowl and nozzle, and is also safe and harmless to users. EWATER+ is applied to clean after every use and automatically sprayed every 8 hours after last use. This EWATER+ keeps the toilet bowl looking like new all the time and reduces toilet cleaning time. Besides being safe for the user, EWATER+ water will return to normal tap water when the time passes, making it an environmentally friendly innovation. Our EWATER+ technology in TOTO’s product received a global guarantee at the GREEN GOOD DESIGN Awards 2018, an award given to products designed or technologically designed to conserve the environment.
TOTO has established a factory to produce automatic toilet seats called WASHLET in many countries worldwide, including the WASHLET factory in Thailand that is located in Saraburi province under the production standards of Japan. Asst. Prof. Dr. Piched Anuragudom came to visit the factory and watch the production process of WASHLET, as well as to exchange knowledge about TOTO’s EWATER+ technology and hypochlorous acid with Mr. Takayasu Shimada, President of TOTO (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and Mr. Hiroki Fujimura, Vice President and manager of WASHLET factory of TOTO (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
“We all have to use restrooms or toilets in daily life, including for patients in hospitals, therefore restrooms must be hygienic and have disinfection systems. TOTO has an innovative automatic toilet seat that can produce Electrolyzed Water which produces a disinfectant called hypochlorous acid. It can be used to clean the sanitary ware that has been used by many people. It also makes good sterility and hygiene, which I think that it is a very good hygienic innovation in the virus epidemic era.” Asst. Prof. Dr. Piched Anuragudom concluded.
TOTO Ltd. was established in 1917 in Kitakyushu, Japan. TOTO is Japan’s first and biggest sanitary product manufacturer in Japan. For over 100 years, TOTO has been accepted as the manufacturer of technologically advanced and well-designed products that enhance the luxurious bathroom experience. TOTO has dedicated its product research and development to meet people’s needs and products that are environmentally sustainable. The company’s philosophy is to create an enriched and comfortable lifestyle, fulfilled with excellent service for everyone in the world. Thus, every employee abides by this philosophy from Owner, engineering and designing to the selling process to ensure that TOTO brand will provide innovation and technologies that will improve the customer’s quality of living. TOTO has won numerous domestic as well as international awards and is widely accepted worldwide. The company will continue to uplift the industry standard and hopes that customers will continue to enjoy TOTO technology in the bathroom. TOTO believes that high-quality products will create new experiences and enhance customers’ lifestyles.
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