INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

Applications of Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) in Healthcare and Clinical Setting

In this research, we presented a background of Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and its utility in various industries. We covered extensive market research including market size, growth rates, countries/regions with highest market share, countries with the largest import/export share, and key players in the market. Since this project was designated for Healthcare/Pharmaceutical specialists, we focused on identifying scientific evidence regarding applications of Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in healthcare and clinical setting. In addition, we covered the safety assessment regarding Hypochlorous acid in light of various scientific studies. We also covered aspects of legislation surrounding HOCl, however, we could not identify information regarding the ban of HOCl in any state of the U.S. states. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently authorized to manufacture HOCl in efforts taken against the coronavirus pandemic.

Overview – Hypochlorous acid (HOCl):

  • Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a weak acid formed by dissolving chlorine in the water. The acid exhibits remarkable anti-microbial and oxidizing properties. It is being used as a disinfectant agent in the medical, water treatment, and food and beverage industry (as an additive).
  • HOCl is utilized in various end-user industries including water treatment, wound management, food & beverages, oil & gas, and personal care.
  • HOCl has demonstrated as an ideal ‘wound care agent‘ having microbicidal, antibiofilm, and wound healing properties.
  • HOCl is used in the manufacture of calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite – which are further used to manufacture bleach, disinfectant, and deodorant.
  • In the market, two main forms of HOCl are available: Sodium hypochlorite and Calcium hypochlorite. Sodium hypochlorite is widely consumed, because of its easy storage, easily transported, and more effective than chlorine gas in various applications.
  • HOCl has been rendered 100% safe for humans.
  • The FDA has approved HOCl for use in wound healing, wound care, and eye care products.

Utility & Applications:

  • HOCl is made by combining non-iodinated salt, water, and electrolysis. Its simple and cost-effective manufacturing holds a huge utility as a disinfectant and anti-microbial agent.
  • HOCl has shown to inactivate a variety of viruses including the coronavirus (in less than one minute).
  • HOCl is also effective in decontaminating inert surfaces carrying noroviruses and other enteric viruses in a 1-minute contact time (at a concentration of 200 ppm).
  • HOCl solutions also demonstrated effectiveness in decontaminating environmental surfaces carrying viruses in a 10-minute contact time (at a concentration of 20 ppm).
  • Unlike other disinfectants and antibiotics, hypochlorous acid exhibits multiple modes of bactericidal action (killing bacteria), which makes it harder for bacterial mutations to develop resistance, in the same way, bacteria develop specific resistance against antibiotics.
  • Various studies have demonstrated HOCl effectiveness in other clinical utilities including:
  • Mouth rinse: A study indicates that HOCl is safe for use as a mouth rinse, with no systemic side effects.
  • Opthalmology: HOCl is used in the treatment of blepharitis (bacterial-mediated inflammation of the eyelids). A study indicated that 20 minutes of diluted HOCl (at 100 ppm) application was associated with a 99% reduction of bacterial load.
  • Optometry: HOCl has been effectively used for eye-cleansing and for bactericidal action on contact lenses. HOCl containing products are available over-the-counter which includes: Bruder Hygienic Eyelid Solution, Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser, Ocusoft Hypochlor, Pure & Clean Lid Prep Vision Source, Theratears Sterilid Antimicrobial Eyelid Cleanser & Facial Wash, and We Love Eyes Hypochlorous Eyelid and Eyelash Cleansing Spray.
  • Biofilm: HOCl demonstrated effectiveness for cleaning biofilm-contaminated implant surfaces and toothbrushes.
  • Wound care: HOCl has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing bacterial counts (by 4-6 logs) in open wounds.
  • Hand Sanitizing: Chlorine-based sanitizers (at a concentration of 50 – 100 ppm), have demonstrated effectiveness against bacteria and viruses. Studies have shown that HOCl has been effectively used as a hand sanitizer (at a concentration of 100 -200 ppm).
  • Surface Application: A study highlighted that HOCl was effective in disinfecting outpatient surgical centers and significantly lowered bacterial counts.
  • Environmental disinfection by spray/fogger: Various studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of HOCl for environmental disinfection using a spray/fogger method. The virucidal action of HOCl was evident at concentrations above 50 ppm.

Limitations – Concerns over its use:

  • Studies have shown that HOCl loses its stability when exposed to Ultraviolet light, sunshine, air, and higher temperatures (≥77°F). To ensure stability, once the product containing HOCl is opened, it needs to be stored in a glass-opaque bottle.
  • HOCl is highly dangerous, as it may form explosive gas if used in concentrated form.
  • Upon exposure to air, HOCl disintegrates and causes nausea and abdominal pain.
  • Upon exposure to marine/water bodies, HOCl may harm aquatic animals – adversely affecting biodiversity.

Product Awareness and Safety:

  • Hypochlorous acid is nature’s miracle solution for healing, cleaning, and deodorizing.
  • Hypochlorous acid is also a naturally-occurring agent in the human body and carried within the white blood cells – responsible for killing pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
  • Hypochlorous acid can be used as an alcohol-free hand cleaner, a topical antibiotic, wound care, sunburn and burn relief, treatment for acne and Rosacea, and itch and pain relief. It also has scar-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • There are no known short or long-term health risks associated with prolonged use and exposure to HOCl solutions.
  • Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been associated with contact dermatitis. In fact, the prevalence of contact dermatitis associated with hand hygiene using sanitizer ranges from 25-55%. In comparison, Hypochlorous acid can be a surrogate to hand sanitizer with no reported side effects.
  • Most of the HOCl manufacturers produce their products with 100% naturally-occurring ingredients, without alcohol, oil, parabens, sulfates, or added fragrances; which makes HOCl safe to use.
  • FDA has approved HOCl as a no-rinse cleaner (at 60 parts-per-million dilutions), for use on meat, poultry, fish & seafood, fruits, and vegetables.
  • HOCl is so trusted and effective, that hospitals use it as a disinfectant in both the US and Japan.

Market Research – size, trend, growth rates, forecast, geographies, and key players

  • During the pandemic, the global market for hypochlorous acid has been estimated at USD 1.5 Billion (2020).
  • Post-pandemic, it is projected that the global market will reach a revised size of USD 1.5 Billion (by 2027), with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.2%, during the period 2020-2027.
  • On the basis of product type, the hypochlorous acid industry can be segmented into (i) Sodium Hypochlorite, (ii) Calcium Hypochlorite , and (iii) Other products (of hypochlorous acid).
    • The global market size for Sodium hypochlorite – a product of hypochlorous acid, is projected to reach USD 695.3 Million, at a 0.2% CAGR (during the period 2020-2027).
    • Another product of hypochlorous acid, Calcium hypochlorite‘s market segment is projected to grow at a 0.3% CAGR (during the period 2020-2027).
    • Other Products Segment is projected to record a -0.1% CAGR (during the period 2020-2027).
  • The leading market for hypochlorous acid is in the U.S.A with a market size estimated at USD 410 Million (in 2020).
  • The second leading market for hypochlorous acid is in China, with a projected market size of USD 270.3 Million (during the period 2020-2027), with a CAGR of 0.8% (2020-2027).
  • Other global competing markets are Japan, Canada, Germany, with a projected growth rate (CAGR between 2020-2027) of -0.5%, 0%, and -0.3% respectively.
  • In terms of hypochlorous acid consumption, the Asia-Pacific region dominated the global hypochlorous acid market in 2018.
  • An increase in the demand for hypochlorous acid for cooling water treatment is propelling the market in the USA.
  • Countries dependent on the import of hypochlorous acid include Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. The increased demand for hypochlorous acid during 2020-2027 is expected to be met by the increased production capacity of hypochlorous acid in Brazil, Mexico, and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
  • Top global players in the Hypochlorous Acid Market include Akzo Nobel NV, Arkema Group , BASF SE , INEOS Group , Occidental Petroleum Corporation , and Olin Corporation.
  • Players in the global hypochlorous acid market include s Lenntech B.V. , BASF SE , Arkema S.A. , Lonza, Inovyn Chlorvinyls Limited , Olin Corporation , Nouryon (Previously under Akzo Nobel N.V.’s coating division) , Occidental Petroleum Corporation , Kuehne Company , AGC Chemicals , Surpass Chemical Company , Westlake Chemical Corporation , Clorox Company , Tianjin Ruifuxin Chemical , Tosoh Corporation , Aditya Birla Chemicals, Aqualution Systems Ltd , and Ultrapure HOCL (Pty) Ltd.

 Key Drivers of Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) market:

  • There is a rise in demand for Hypochlorous Acid as an oxidizing and disinfecting agent for cost-effective water treatment.
  • The growing use of hypochlorous acid in sterilizing bacterial infection has boosted the demand for HCA in the medical industry.
  • Especially during the pandemic, the demand for HCA has surged as a surface disinfectant for use in medical and household disinfection purposes.
  • Hypochlorous acid is also used as an active sanitizing agent in swimming pools and skin cleansing agent in cosmetic applications.
  • Hypochlorous acid is gaining momentum as a potential wound care agent in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, in 2018, URGO Medical, a leading player in wound care products, acquired US-based REALM Therapeutics, which engages hypochlorous acid-based treatments for atopic dermatitis and allergic conjunctivitis. This acquisition is expected to help URGO Medical become the leading player in the advanced wound care business across the globe.

Legislation:

  • According to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
    • Synthetic chlorine products (such as Hypochlorous acid, Calcium hypochlorite, Sodium hypochlorite, and Chlorine dioxide) are conditionally allowed for use in organic crop production.
    • The synthetic use of chlorine derivatives during pre-harvest, should not exceed the chlorine concentration limit in the irrigation system as indicated by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
    • The chlorine products may be used in edible sprout production according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label directions.
  • According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Hypochlorous Acid can be used at a concentration of 60 ppm for produce, fish & seafood, meat, and poultry sanitation.
    • The concentration of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) diluted in water depends upon the following factors: (i) water pH, (ii) amount of organic material in the water, and (iii) the temperature of the water. If the concentration of the HOCl is not maintained when the amount of organic material increases, the antimicrobial potential decreases.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for sanitizing food-contact surfaces in public eating places, the Hypochlorous Acid should not exceed 200 ppm dilution.
  • According to the USDA – National Organic Program, Chlorine materials (such as hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite) are included in the list of allowed materials in organic production and handling.
  • In March 2020, due to the pandemic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) eased the production and availability of EPA-registered disinfectants. Amongst the approved list of disinfectants for use against the coronavirus, chlorine-based products include Hydrochloric Acid , Hypochlorous Acid, and Sodium Hypochlorite.
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