Bringing the outdoors indoors
Hydroxyls are nature’s way of decontaminating our environment and are the reason our environment remains safe for all living things
Discovered by the UK’s Ministry of Defence in the early 1960s, hydroxyl radicals (originally called the ‘Open Air Factor’, often just called ‘hydroxyls’) are highly reactive molecules of oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H); their chemical formula is OH.
Hydroxyls are continually produced in abundance in the lower atmosphere and wage a constant war of attrition against contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, allergens, irritants and pollution.
When hydroxyls are created, they immediately seek out and react with contaminants in the air and on surfaces. These reactions happen within seconds and break down both tiny structures, such as viruses and bacteria, and larger molecules, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so well that hydroxyls are often called 'Nature’s Detergent' a term first coined by Nobel Prize winning chemist Paul J. Crutzen.
But nature’s detergent is mostly absent from indoor air and however hard and often you clean, bacteria and viruses constantly build up in the air and on surfaces, allergens remain active and smells stay smelly.
Hydroxyls are why you are unlikely to catch infections outdoors and what gives ‘fresh air’ that clean and refreshing feel that we all love!