Chlorite Testing

What Is Chlorite?

Chlorite is a disinfection by-product generally caused by the breakdown of sodium hypochlorite or chlorine dioxide disinfectants.

Read below to find out why it is necessary to test for chlorite and to find out some of the latest guidelines and regulations surrounding chlorite in water.



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Where Do You Test For Chlorite?

Chlorite In Drinking Water

Chlorite in drinking water is a regulated contaminant in many countries. Chlorite must be monitored because when present at higher than recommended concentrations it has been linked to oxidative damage of red blood cells.

The US EPA stipulates a maximum of 1mg/L of chlorite is permitted in water for public consumption. The WHO state provisional guidelines for maximum values of chlorite at 0.7 mg/L in drinking water. These have been designated as provisional because use of chlorine dioxide as a disinfectant may result in chlorite guideline values being exceeded, and difficulties in meeting the guideline must not be a reason to compromise disinfection.

Chlorite In Food And Beverage

Chlorite and chlorate residues may occur from chlorine based disinfectants in the wash water. Chlorite must be monitored in the brewing process, especially when chlorine dioxide is used as a disinfectant on the production surfaces and equipment.

Chlorite has been linked to oxidative damage of red blood cells if present at higher than recommended concentrations. The FDA state an allowable level of 1.0 mg/L for chlorite in bottled water.

To find out how Palintest sensor technology helped Fuller’s Brewery monitor Chlorine Dioxide and Chlorite, without transporting samples to a lab, read our case study.

Chlorite In Pool And Spa

Chlorite is produced as a disinfection by-product when chlorine-based disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite are used in the pool.

Although testing for chlorite in pools and spas is not common, chlorite does appear on several pool and spa guideline documents (e.g. DIN 19643) as a parameter that should be tested. This is primarily due to its occurrence in pools as a result of the decomposition of sodium hypochlorite over time. If chlorite levels are high this can have negative health effects including oxidative damage of the red blood cells if accidentally ingested.

For more information on which parameters you should be testing in your pool and spa download our pool or spa chemistry guide.

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How To Test For Chlorite In Water?

Kemio™ Disinfection is the next generation test kit from Palintest for portable analysis of chlorite water samples. Kemio™ utilises a sophisticated electrochemical technique which removes complexity for the user, giving you clear results for confident decision making. With on-screen visual instructions, Kemio™ is simple to use and can be used by anyone straight out of the box. Unlike traditional measurement techniques Kemio™ is truly simple to use and delivers consistent results across all users.

Kemio™ Disinfection is available as part of the Kemio™ Chlorite Hard Case Kit which contains the instrument and all accessories for the chlorite test. It includes 200 CDX sensors and 100 CLO sensors. To find out more visit the Kemio product page or contact us.

People Also Ask

What are DBPs (Disinfection By-Products)?

Disinfection by-products (DBPs) is a term used to describe all the molecules generated as a result of any disinfection processing of water. For the most part this is key in drinking water, pool & spa water, and in industrial wash waters but can be important in other industrial applications too. To view all applications click here.

Generally, DBPs are responsible for any irritation of the eyes and lungs when near or in disinfection-controlled water, and will also contribute to asthma, especially in children. Additionally, there is significant evidence that many DBPs are carcinogenic, meaning they will increase the likelihood of cancers in those exposed to them.

It is important to monitor both the water quality, and also the air quality if the water is in an enclosed space, for example an indoor pool. This is because DBPs are volatile compounds, meaning they will easily get into the air from the water.

What are the classifications of DBPs (Disinfection By-Products)?

There are two broad categories of DBP, those which are carbon based, called C-DBPs, and those that are nitrogen based, called N-DBPs. Both of these are damaging to human health and should be controlled as much as possible.


  • THMs: Trihalomethanes
  • HAAs: Haloaceticacids
  • THAs: Trihaloacetaldehydes


  • CAMs: Chloramines
  • HANs: Haloacetonitriles
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