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Inhalation of Microaerosolized Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl): Biochemical, Antimicrobial, and Pathological Assessment

Author(s): Eric D Rasmussen, Lori I Robins, Jeremy Stone R, Jeffrey F Williams

Evidence is emerging of the beneficial effects of inhaling microaerosolized hypochlorous acid (HOCl) as an intervention in the prevention and treatment of respiratory virus infections, including SARS CoV-2. However, little information is available about the safety and efficacy of exogenous HOCl solutions in laboratory cellular evaluations or experimental animals. In this report, we establish through independent laboratories that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is rapidly inactivated by exposure to HOCl, as is poliovirus – a far more difficult virus to inactivate and often the gold standard for virucidal assessment. Inhalation of a microaerosolized fog of that same virucidal HOCl solution by rodents using the US EPA’s acute 4-hour inhalation toxicity protocol later provided observational, physiological, gross pathological, and histopathological evidence that showed pulmonary exposure of 52ppm HOCl to respiratory epithelium did not result in any difference when compared to control animals. Also reported are the chemical and antimicrobial characterizations of the HOCl microaerosols reportedly used as SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis within the United States and elsewhere during the pandemic lockdown. Results are discussed in relation to (1) additional peer-reviewed articles describing HOCl inhalational preparations and both their documented pulmonary safety and their efficacy against respiratory pathogens, and (2) the potential for rational intervention in infections arising from respiratory pathogens using inhalation of a microaerosolized fog as a safe, effective, inexpensive, and broadly accessible method for the administration of HOCl.

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