Bay Area dentists turn to hypochlorous acid solution to cleanse, prevent COVID-19 exposure

PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- A dentist in Petaluma is using a disinfectant acid to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The process includes diluting hypochlorous acid to spray around her office.

Going to the dentist has completely changed. You get screened outside to make you sure you haven't been exposed or have COVID-19. Once inside, your temperature is taken as they disinfect everything around you, including the air.

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Dr. Yolanda Mangrum with the Petaluma Dental Group says she feels like her dentist office has turned into a "chemistry lab." After diluting 'Dolphin Pods' into the water, she tests the level of chlorine and PH of this solution.

"If you are not in the right range which is the 5.5 to 6.8 range then it's actually not having the effect to equilibrate," said Dr. Mangrum.

She does this in hopes to disinfect any COVID-19 aerosols that might be in the room. Once with a patient, she adds an inside the mouth suctioning device and a second device outside the room to catch any questionable particles.

"The third level is the hypochlorous acid which is electrolyte saltwater. I'm just going to spray this out to show how we clean the air and it's a fine mist," said Dr. Mangrum.

We checked with the US. Environmental Protection Agency who confirmed that the solution Dr. Mangrum uses is registered as a disinfectant against COVID-19 for surfaces.

In a statement, the EPA said, "Hypochlorous acid is used in a number of registered disinfectant products including 8 on list N."

List "N" names all the disinfectants that meet the criteria for use against "SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19."

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Dr. Tanya Manyak with the Manyak Dental Group in San Mateo is also using the same technique.

"As soon as it comes in contact with pathogens within 15 seconds, it kills the virus," said Dr. Manyak.

The California Dental Association says it's too soon to know if hypochlorous acid does in fact work in this environment.

"What we are doing is following that science very closely to see if in fact it can be used in dental offices," said, Richard Stapler with the California Dental Association.

Dr. Mangrum believes she is ahead of the game.

"My level of care is always to be the best. So, we take many layers above and beyond the basic CDC and the CDA standard," said Mangrum.

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