I have written before about a product being sold as Miracle Mineral Supplement. It claims to cure everything from cancer to malaria, but is actually one of the most dangerous quack products out there.
Miracle Mineral Supplement is actually sodium chlorite, a toxic and reactive compound. The instructions for Miracle Mineral Supplement tell users to “activate” the product by combining it with citric acid. The result is a chemical reaction which produces chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide is a gas, although it can dissolve into water. It is not something you would ever want to be exposed to in any quantity. It is a powerful oxidizer and bleaching agent. The most common use of chlorine dioxide is in the paper industry, where it is used to bleach wood pulp. It also is used for fumigation and disinfection purposes.
Chlorine dioxide is very toxic and in high doses it could easily be fatal. In low doses, like those which might be produced from the Miracle Mineral Supplement product, it is not likely to be fatal, but it can be highly irritating to the skin, the respiratory tract and the eyes. It is, after all, bleach. It’s not quite the same as household chlorine bleach (that is sodium hypochlorite) but it is a bleaching agent – one more powerful than the bleach used for household cleaning or whitening laundry.
Despite this, some people still swear by the stuff and use it at their own peril.
One of the most horrific uses, the treatment of autism:
It is one thing to use this nasty chemical on oneself, but it is being pushed as a treatment for autism and is being used primarily on children by believers. Autism is a neurological condition that exists because of developmental issues that arise before birth, even if it is not obvious until some time later. There is no cure for autism, as such. However, intensive therapy, special education and social groups can result in major improvements in the prognosis for many autistic children, especially those who do not have a severe case of autism.
Chlorine dioxide certainly has no benefit to autistic children. It is hard to imagine anything more harmful to a child with social developmental problems than to subject them to the painful and damaging effects of an oxidizer. If nothing else, it can easily harm the natural inclination to see parents as protective and trusted.
Yet that is exactly what some are pushing. The website cdautism.org pushes a book and is run by a group of quacks who actively encourage the use of chlorine dioxide to treat autism. The side claims autism is “avoidable, treatable and curable” and recommends chlorine dioxide, which it calls “an inexpensive, broad spectrum, gentle, anti-pathogenic.”