What Ozone Generator Manufacturers Don't Tell You
Ozone is a pale blue toxic gas with an obvious metallicy scent. It has powerful oxidizing properties, can be natural and anthropogenic. Depending on its location in the atmosphere, ozone can be beneficial to humans or harmful.
Activated oxygen or ozone is very unstable and decomposes quickly. But even in its short lifetime ozone is able to affect organic compounds: destroy the shells of bacteria, disrupt cell growth in fungus, stop virus reproduction. Ozone has been used for some time now to disinfect water in pools, eliminate mold, and decontaminate public spaces.
One of the greatest things about ozone is the protection fr om the harsh ultraviolet radiation of the sun it gives us. Due to this gas’ increased oxidative activity, ozone is used in many industries.
In a normal environment, O3 is a gas, which, as it cools, turns into a dark blue liquid, and then into blue-black crystals.
Ozone is formed In the stratosphere from oxygen as an outcome of a photochemical reaction. At a 30 mile distance from the Earth's surface, ozone behaves well, but becomes a dangerous pollutant. Not only people but the climate too suffer from surface ozone.
Now let’s talk about useful ozone. Ozone is a pioneer among gases in means of its decontaminating qualities. Ozone is thus used to sterilize and disinfect rooms, clothes, tools and, of course, treat water - both drinking, industrial and even wastewater.
Ozone is used as a substitute for chlorine in pulp bleaching plants in many countries. Air can also be ozonated. Air ozonation in factory facilities is said to improve the air quality and reduce respiratory issues in workers.
Scientists Think Otherwise
Scientists claim though that ozone harms the human body slowly and seriously. In the case of long-term O3 exposure the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases increases.
If ozone concentration rises above the maximum permissible, headache, eye irritation, cough, dizziness, general fatigue, and cardiac activity disruption may occur. Toxic surface ozone leads to chronic respiratory diseases coming to the surface, especially in children, elderly people, asthma patients.
In urban conditions, the “ozone mixture” is formed including volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight (photochemical reaction). Volatile organic matter is any organic substance that boils at a low temperature, easily evaporates and enters the environment. This includes formaldehyde, butane, benzene, methylene chloride, styrene, limonene. Tropospheric ozone starts when carbon monoxide or volatile organics are oxidized with a hydroxyl radical.
Is Ozone bad for you?
Because ozone oxidizes everything at a crazy speed, it accelerates polymers aging, especially rubbers (natural rubber, nitrile rubber). Products crack, lose elasticity, etc. Therefore, ozone-proof additives (mainly waxes that create a protective film) are added to polymers that have to but operate in conditions of high ozone levels.
Ozone has serious destruction/damage capacity. Human lung tissue is not an exception. Stratospheric ozone is a friend while ozone that lays closer to the ground is rather poisonous.
It contains 90% of atmospheric ozone, acts as major protection against UV radiation. It is decreasing year after year, a new ozone hole forms annually.
It contains 10% of atmospheric ozone, toxic to humans and plants. Its concentration is increasing in urban and rural areas.
The dangerous ozone affects mainly the lungs upon inhalation, although under certain conditions it may have an irritating effect on the skin.
How ozone affects a person?
Ozone can be Irritating and damaging to some of the tissues of the respiratory system. It affects cholesterol levels in your blood, creating insoluble forms, which leads to atherosclerosis. Lasting ozone exposure causes male infertility. In many countries ozone is considered to be of the highest hazard.
Ozone’s high toxicity of ozone is used for disinfection. The use of ozone instead of chlorine-based disinfectants can significantly reduce environmental pollution and still kill bacteria and mold spores effectively.
Some of the acute and chronic health effects and the role of ozone in respiratory patients’ mortality are summarized in this WHO document. Recent studies show that daily exposure to high levels of ozone can cause DNA damage. Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of ozone leads to permanent damage to lung tissue.
O3 use for Explosive Purposes
Flames and extreme heat should also be kept away from ozone, because this gas is very explosive. Traditionally, 300-350 ml per quarter of a gallon of air is considered to be the lim it concentration of ozone, although some scientists work with higher levels. Liquid ozone is much more dangerous, since it can explode spontaneously.
Laser printers and copy machines emit ozone when they operate. Most of us have experienced this specific metallic-y smell right after we’ve been handed a copy of our document at the copy-center. Many of pot plants are said to have the potential of eliminating ozone in households and offices.
Ozone Therapy and why it Can Be Dangerous
Despite its impressive potential health benefits, evidence-based medicine is suspicious of ozone therapy. Thus, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet regulated or even approved the use of this procedure for the treatment of diseases. And the reason is simple.
The fact that ozone therapy is beneficial does not mean that it is not harmful. Its risk includes:
shortness of breath and other respiratory issues;
edema of blood vessels;
heart activity disruptions;
increased risk of stroke;
It is important to emphasize here that such consequences are extremely rare. However, knowledge is power. You’re better off not running this risk.
What are ozone generators and ozonation?
Ozonation is used in water treatment (as a substitute for chlorine). It does not require transportation costs, no special equipment for hazardous gas storage, does not change the mineral compound qualities of water.
Ozone can kill bacteria /fungi/insects. This quality is used to disinfect linen in hospitals, disinfect operating rooms, treat swimming pools and baths as well as sea ships, clean air at food factories from yeast and mold spores, for eliminating giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis in water. Ozone eventually destroys grain weevils as well. An excellent oxidizing agent, ozone is effective in the deodorization of post-fire spaces, fabrics, wood, paper bleaching.
The ozone machine is an ozone generator used to eliminate odors, disinfect water and air.
Ozonation is used for:
sterilization of refrigerators, warehouses;
water and air treatment;
sterilization of medical instruments;
An ozonizer consists of the following parts:
electric discharge generator;
high voltage source;
a fan for air intake and supply of the ozone mixture to water or indoor air;
automatic control system.
There are many kinds of ozone generators, specifically for every area: kitchen, water, medical, industrial, car ozonizers.
What should be done to avoid ozone poisoning?
First, make sure to monitor ozone concentrations in the room. To analyze the ozone content, you can buy a gas analyzer. When ozone is measured, it's time to think about what to do with it now.
If the content of ozone is excessive, the best option is to move to a rural area for instance. This is due to the fact that the polluted city air is the main source of increased ozone indoors. Depending on how many printers, copiers and air purifiers you’ve got at home or at your office the levels of ozone may vary.
Despite the many technical approaches for air purification (adsorbents, catalytic oxidation, chemisorption and catalysis), the search for efficiency increase and price reduction in air purifiers is ongoing.
Until today the most practical ways to avoid ozone poisoning and intoxication would be:
a load of pot plants at home
move to the suburbs.
Instead of a Conclusion
Watching the gradual deterioration of the environmental situation in large cities and the ongoing race of air conditioners/masks/air filters, it’s amazing how a person does everything to make his life more complicated.
Air ozonation is a practical approach to disinfection, but not the safest of all. O3 is an extremely strong oxidizing agent. Working with it requires special skills and knowledge. If you choose to use an ozone blaster at home, you either have to consult a specialist or choose to avoid taking this kind of risk.
The simplest household way to get rid of excessive O3 levels is a high-quality multi-stage air purifier.