History and Use of ECA Water Solutions
The scientific principles of electro-chemically activated solutions (ECA solutions) were developed in the 1970s by Russian scientists.
A simple saline solution was used in a highly specialized electrolytic process to produce an acidic oxidizing solution (anolyte) with exceptional disinfecting properties as well as an alkaline solution (catholyte). Caused by the electro-chemical activation, this saline solution is transferred to a metastable state (= activated state), which is characterized by exceptional chemical and physical parameters. After some time has passed, the so-called relaxation time, the ECA solutions react back into their original state. Thus, only water and salts remain.
The antimicrobial efficiency of this anolyte solution is based on the interaction of the oxidative ions, the high ORP (> 1100 mV) and the low pH. Hence, they are superior to common chemical disinfectants. Studies have shown that ECA solutions kill 99.99% of all germs, and they are 120 times more efficient than common sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach). Due to its non-selective antimicrobial activity, it does not promote resistances, which is an issue.
Soon after their discovery in Russia, ECA solutions were used for the treatment of drinking water in their national space program and in hospitals for disinfecting purposes. In the 1980s, they became popular in Japan, as well. There, they were first used to sterilize medical instruments; this was followed by other applications in the agricultural industry and livestock industry. Today, due to the development of new high-performance materials for electrolysis systems, the industrial application of ECA solutions has become an established eco-friendly and user-friendly technology in many different fields all over the world. Examples of their application are particularly their use in water treatment, in the food industry, beverage industry, livestock industry, etc. In the US and Canada, ECA solutions are approved for the use in food preparation processes that involve direct and indirect contact with food. Even fresh-cut foods like salads, fruits, and vegetables may be disinfected without requiring a subsequent rinsing. In the US, ECA solutions are also approved as disinfectant in biological plant cultivation. ECA solutions are also used in hospitals and nursing homes for disinfection of the surfaces. There are also many possible fields of application in veterinary medicine, as well. Furthermore, ECA solutions are used for combating legionella and to prevent biofilms in water systems.
Countless scientific studies evidenced the exceptional efficacy against bacteria, fungi, algae, and spores. There is even evidence for an efficacy against Hepatitis B viruses, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as well as different epidemics.