Electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS) are of interest as potential disinfectants due to high biocidal activity against many microorganisms. They are widely used clinically in some countries (decontamination of surgical instruments and wounds), and non clinically (washing vegetables), with no known ill-effects. Cytotoxicity tests have generally been negative; however, some solutions have not been thoroughly investigated. Additionally, genotoxicity has not been investigated, thus forming the basis of this study. ECAS was produced by electrolysis of 10% (w/v) sodium chloride solution . Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity to TK6 cells were tested using increasing concentrations of ECAS (0.1%-25% v/v), for up to 24hrs. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by trypan blue, and genotoxicity by the comet and micronucleus assays. Initial results suggest low ECAS concentrations (≤5%) over 5 mins do not cause considerable cytotoxicity (>70% cell viability), however decreasing to < 30% viability with 25% ECAS. Interestingly, DNA damage measured by the comet assay was increased at all ECAS concentrations from 5 min exposure onwards. In conclusion, evidence of both cytotoxic and genotoxic effects was seen, even at low ECAS concentrations and short incubations. Current work is evaluating these effects compared with toxicities of other disinfectants such as bleach.
May, J., Robinson, G., Thorn, R., & Reynolds, D. (2017). Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS). Mutagenesis, 32(6), 622-623. https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gex033