Chlorine Dioxide (CIO2) is an oxidising biocide. It kills micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses and spores) by attacking and penetrating their cell wall, disrupting the transport of nutrients across the cell wall and inhibiting protein synthesis.
Since this action occurs regardless of the metabolic state of the organism, oxidising biocides are effective against dormant organisms and spores (Giardia Cysts and Poliovirus).
Chlorine Dioxide is highly soluble in water as well as in a variety of organic material. Because it is so soluble, Chlorine Dioxide penetrates through materials that protect micro-organisms from other biocides.
For example, in water systems, bacteria can be protected by a polysaccharide film (biofilm). Chlorine has difficulty penetrating this barrier because of its ionic nature in water. However, Chlorine Dioxide readily penetrates through this layer to kill underlying organisms.