The present work focuses on the development of a reproducible and cost-effective size-controlled synthesis route for nanoscale MgO and the preliminary assessment of its bactericide capacity as a function of crystal size. Nanoscale MgO was produced through the thermal decomposition of Mg-carbonate hydrate precursor (hydromagnesite) synthesized in aqueous phase. The exclusive formation of the MgO phase, with an average crystallite size between 7 and 13 ± 1 nm, was evidenced by X-Ray Diffraction and HRTEM analyses. Fourier Transform – Infrared spectroscopy confirmed the evolution of the precursor into the desired MgO structure. The bactericidal tests were conducted by measuring the optical density at 600 nm of E. coli in presence of MgO nanoparticles of specific sizes. MgO nanocrystals with average crystallite sizes of 13nm inhibited bacterial growth up to 35% at 500 mg MgO/L. The mechanism of inhibition could be attributed to the formation of superoxide species on the MgO surface.