The saga continues:

Response to Chlorine dioxide article by Ximax Environmental Solutions

Last week we published an article by Mike De Jong on Chlorine dioxide and how it's not suitable for use in horticulture. The subject caused a stir amongst our readers. David Selby of Ximax Environmental Solutions completely disagrees with the opinion of Mike De Jong on the use of Chlorine dioxide in the horticulture industry and expresses this in the response below:

"We welcome this opportunity to respond to an article which was published in your paper on the 8th July 2014 by a Mr Mike De Jong on the subject of "Chlorine dioxide is not suitable for horticulture and a serious accident is waiting to happen"

This article is factually totally inaccurate, misleading and simply untrue. On closer reading it appears that the writer was making a feeble attempt to discredit a proven and highly stable and acclaimed chemical solution, which is extensively licensed and approved Worldwide, in order to promote an inferior product being a stabilised hydrogen peroxide which coincidently just happens to be sold by Mr de Jong. Anyone who has any knowledge of hydrogen peroxide will know that it is very corrosive and hard to handle.

Mike de Jong states in his article “Chlorine dioxide is a mixture of chlorine and acid which when mixed in a water distribution system form chlorine gas. It is extremely dangerous and highly corrosive. In fact it should always be dosed with an anti-corrosive, but generally isn’t to shave some of the costs off its already high price.”

This statement is completely inaccurate. Chlorine dioxide is NOT made from chlorine and acid!. It can NEVER form chlorine gas when used as a disinfection agent. Chlorine is corrosive, whereas chlorine dioxide is NOT corrosive to the metals and plastics found in irrigation systems. Everyone who is in the industry is well aware of this apart from a few ill-informed individuals.

Mike de Jong also states in the same first article ”Although chlorine dioxide is effective against micro-organisms and biofilm (the slime layer in a water distribution system), the dosage is generally too low (crops don’t like it so you are very limited in dosage rates) to be effective over time.”

Yet again an inaccurate and irrelevant comment since, as stated by Dr Youbin Zheng of the School of Environmental Science, University of Guelf, Ontario, Canada, in their excellent review of chlorine dioxide in the paper entitled “Greenhouse and Nursery Water Treatment Information System: The fact is that “Chlorine dioxide is a strong disinfectant that is 25 times more effective than chlorine gas and is effective at a wide pH range (4-10). It is commonly used to remove biofilm in irrigation systems and clogged emitters. Like other chemical water treatment methods chlorine dioxide disinfects irrigation water by oxidizing and destroying the cell walls and organelles of pathogens. However, the means by which chlorine dioxide oxidizes pathogens differs from that of other chlorine compounds. Instead of forming the oxidizer hypochlorous acid in solution, chlorine dioxide exists as a (dissolved) gas in water, which allows it to have greater oxidizing strength than other chlorine compounds:

Because of its oxidizing power, chlorine dioxide is often used as a shock treatment at high concentrations to remove biofilms. Alternatively, like other chemical treatments it may be applied continuously in lower concentrations in greenhouse areas highly susceptible to disease. Shock treatment is recommended twice a year and usually requires a concentration of 20-50ppm chlorine dioxide be maintained for 12 hours, and then the irrigation system thoroughly rinsed before irrigation begins again, due to risk of phytotoxic effects with high concentrations. After shock treatment, a continuous treatment of 0.25ppm residual chlorine dioxide is usually sufficient to prevent regrowth of biofilm. This is born out in many technical data sheets and expert opinions. As an example please read Fisher (2011) and Zheng et al (2008) for more details. “

We could provide convincing and irrefutable counter argument on every single comment that this person has stated, however there seems little point in labouring the point, hopefully we have managed to get the message across and we have confidence in your readers to confirm the information printed. Simple case of too much wrong information in the wrong hands.

In Conclusion, what we can say as fact is that we have many users of our Chlorine Dioxide formulation “Xziox”, a product that is licensed throughout the World by most of the leading regulatory bodied including the NSF in the USA and the DWA in the UK all of which have concluded exhaustive testing on this product, and we have testimony from a cross section of many users that have confirmed their satisfaction of its performance even at potable standards.

Mr de Jong talks about some Smart Alec selling useless equipment for dosing Chlorine Dioxide. We suggest that he is the so called “Smart Alec” who is either very stupid, ill informed, or simply a fraud that has his own agenda and is prepared to mislead the industry for his own purpose. We leave it to your readers to decide which is the most appropriate in this case."

For more information
Ximax Environmental Solutions
David Selby
T: +44 (0)1277 849988
F: +44 (0)1277 849989
M: +44 (0)7912 943158

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