Oxygen peroxide is a very ecological disinfecting and bleaching agent: after reacting with microbes and soil, residuals are just made with solo water and oxygen, which show zero environmental impact; moreover, differently from chlorine-based disinfectants (that form toxic chloramines), do not form toxic reaction products reacting with proteinaceous soil.

Efficacy as a disinfectant is verified particularly against some bacteria (such as Stafilococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), that kills in few minutes; against yeasts (ex. Saccharomices cerevisiae) and mould (ex. Aspergillus niger) it is less efficient and the contact times required are much longer [sources: Informo – Dip. Sanità Pubblica, SSR Emilia Romagna] .

However oxygen peroxide should be treated very cautiously, particularly if it is concentrated and if it is used together with an alkaline agent, which increases its reactivity: until it is all degraded in water and oxygen, it is highly harmful against living cells – both microbes’ or human cells – towards which it shows to act as a strong mutagen.

Indeed very few amounts of oxygen peroxide are generated right there, inside our cells, as a secondary effect of energy production mechanisms involving oxygen molecules; as they are vital processes, the body protects itself from secondary effects with specific enzymes, in particular catalase, able to rapidly destroy peroxide molecules newly formed. Catalase generally protects from free radicals and from reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Both sodium percarbonate (that Bensos calls Bleaching Powder) and Oxygen peroxide show long-term toxicity, but only if we touch them when they are reactive. Therefore Bensos recommends to use the proper personal protective equipment (rubber gloves and protective goggles) when handling these products; in professional kitchens, Oxygen Peroxide is delivered to the dishwashers by automatic pumps.


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