The damage to the pathogen is a
result of losing electrons to the chlorine ion and the release of energy.
The pathogen, basically, is oxidized by chlorine ions and as a part of
the action the chlorine becomes a harmless chloride (table salt). Two
atoms of oxygen are released as ions from the chlorine dioxide ion
but the oxygen has little effect other than to attach to hydrogen ions
making water or attach to a carbon ion to make carbon dioxide.
It is the process of the chlorine dioxide ion oxidizing pathogens or
other harmful chemicals that is beneficial to the body. Although the
two oxygen ions of the chlorine dioxide ion are released, their charge
level does not result in oxidation. The same process continues
throughout the body where chlorine dioxide ions contact pathogens.
It does not attack beneficial bacteria or healthy body parts, as their
pH is not below 7. It will also oxidize diseased cells, such as
infections or cancer. In the event that the chlorine dioxide does not
contact a pathogen or other poison, it deteriorates into table salt and
hypochlorous acid that is useable by the body.
So the oxidation is done by chlorine ions and the oxygen has little effect.