Top 10 Myths You May Hear Concerning Selectrocide™ Chlorine Dioxide for Horticulture

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Selective Micro Technologies dispels myths about algae, irrigation, plant and soil health.

In response to an unprecedented number of inquiries regarding the use of chlorine dioxide in horticultural applications, Selective Micro Technologies has created a list of Top 10 Myths about Selectrocide® Chlorine Dioxide for Horticulture. Years of scientific study in greenhouse conditions have yielded remarkably effective treatments against algae in greenhouse irrigation systems and on greenhouse surfaces.

Myth #1 — “The product has not been adequately researched for the horticulture market.”

Selectrocide™, a nearly pure aqueous solution of chlorine dioxide, has undergone extensive scientific review by outside laboratories and in field tests specifically tailored to the horticulture market. Gaining EPA registration for a product with disinfection and sanitizing claims requires extensive testing on well-known pathogens by independent laboratories. In addition, outside laboratories have verified the horticultural algaecide and fungicide claims made for the product. Finally, a leading commercial greenhouse worked with the product for over five years to develop protocols optimized specifically to inhibit and control algae. Research continues in the area of improving plant health by marrying this superb oxidizer to greenhouse-specific uses.

Myth #2 — “Growers are not using the product.”

Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies, the top greenhouse and nursery supplier in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and one of the largest in the U.S., is managing a product launch of Selectrocide™. Well-respected growers around the United States are currently buying Selectrocide to reduce algae and microbes in irrigation water and improving the conditions for crop production in the greenhouse.

Myth #3 — “It is phytotoxic; it will burn and kill my plants.”

Almost all algaecides, when used at high concentrations, can kill plants. However, one of the advantages of nearly pure chlorine dioxide, which is used globally to purify drinking water, is its efficacy at low concentrations. Five years of extensive in-greenhouse scientific research have demonstrated that 0.25 parts per million (ppm) will keep irrigation systems free of algae, thereby improving plant health and reducing crop loss. The plants are not harmed.

Myth #4 — “It will kill beneficial organisms in my soil.”

Research demonstrates that the recommended levels do not adversely affect beneficial microbes in growing media. Selectrocide™ chlorine dioxide is a nearly neutral oxidizer and does not accumulate in or alter the pH of the soil. In fact, chlorine dioxide actually breaks down harmful byproducts of other antimicrobials such as chlorine. Unlike most other oxidizers, which produce undesirable byproducts, Selectrocide™ chlorine dioxide breaks down to water and oxygen.

Myth #5 — “It is corrosive over time.”

At the application dose concentrations recommended by Selective Micro, Selectrocide™ has shown no evidence of corrosiveness. Only when used at concentrations well above those recommended could chlorine dioxide be corrosive to some typical greenhouse equipment over time.

Myth #6 — “It will "off-gas," causing hazardous conditions.”

Chlorine dioxide is highly soluble and stable in water. The generation process for Selectrocide™ ensures that the chlorine dioxide gas is dissolved in water, where it remains relatively stable. Small amounts of chlorine dioxide gas will leave the solution (i.e., “off-gas”) slowly – over time. As outlined in the product’s technical bulletin and label, avoid breathing fumes when handling concentrated stock solutions, ensure proper ventilation and use approved respirators in certain application conditions.

Myth #7 — “It leaves behind dangerous residual chemicals.”

The patented technology created by Selective Micro, designed specifically to deter the presence of unwanted chemical residuals in the end-solution, produces a nearly pure (greater than 99%) chlorine dioxide solution in water. In addition, using Selectrocide™ precludes the formation of harmful halogenated disinfection byproducts–trihalomethanes and halogenated acidic acids that some other oxidizers generate.

Myth #8 — “It requires high capital outlays.”

“Just add water, and wait.” Merely place a letter-sized envelope in a bucket of water, cover, and wait the label-prescribed time. After the nearly pure solution of chlorine dioxide has generated, dilute to end-use concentrations using more water, and apply with readily available horticultural injectors.

Myth #9 — “It costs more than alternative solutions.”

When total costs and benefits are included, various Selectrocide applications around the greenhouse can cost the same, less, or more than other products used today. Because chlorine dioxide is so effective at killing pathogens at low concentrations and penetrates slime layers to reduce the likelihood of re-contamination, Selectrocide™ chlorine dioxide offers a compelling and superior choice based on both cost and efficacy.

Myth #10 — “All chlorine dioxide products are created ‘equal.’”

Although chlorine dioxide is widely considered “the ideal biocide” because of its unique advantages, all chlorine dioxide products are not the same, and are usually differentiated by the method of generation. Most chlorine dioxide solutions that do not use large chemical generators are “stabilized” chlorine dioxide solutions. In short, they are activated by adding an acid solution, which results in very low yields of chlorine dioxide with high levels of residual by-products at low pH (acidic). Selectrocide’s patented technology makes it possible to generate specific concentrations of nearly pure chlorine dioxide on-site, at neutral pH, using only tap water and with no capital equipment. This is an industry first.

Further information about Selectrocide chlorine dioxide and its use in greenhouse applications can be found at

About Selective Micro Technologies

Formed in 1999, Selective Micro Technologies is a private company based in Beverly, Massachusetts. Combining sophisticated science with innovative product design, Selective Micro has invented a proprietary delivery system that controls the rate and efficiency of gas-producing reactions. The competitive advantage of Selective Micro’s products is their ability to generate specific concentrations of greater than 99% pure chlorine dioxide at neutral pH for point-of-use operators, using only tap water, without capital equipment. The Company holds two US patents, and has several other patent applications pending in the US and abroad. Further information is available at or by calling 978-927-6610 X13.

Selective Micro and logos are registered trademarks of Selective Micro Technologies, LLC. Selectrocide™ is a trademark of Selective Micro Technologies, LLC. © 2005 Selective Micro Technologies. All Rights Reserved.

Media Contact:

John Fitzsimmons

Aspire Communications


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