Is Ozone Safe, Ozone Safety

Is Ozone Safe?
Yes, Ozone Generators and ozone producing air
purifiers are SAFE
when used properly.

Ozone Safety / Professional Studies

The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society has reported that electric-arc welders exposed to ozone levels of 0.2 to 0.3 ppm (parts per million) for a decade showed no adverse effects.

Also, according to the 1961 Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, "During the 80-year history of the large scale usage of ozone, there has never been a human death attributed to it." To this day, there has still never been a single human death or incident of harm attributed to ozone. 

This despite the fact that ozone was widely used in hospitals during the first half of the 20th century, and is still widely used in European hospitals. In addition, millions of ozone air purification systems are in use worldwide, both commercially and residentially.

By Contrast, well over a million people are hospitalized, and well over 100,000 are killed every year due to medication side effects, according to the FDA.

Ozone is completely safe and effective when occurring within FDA and OSHA standards of 0.05 ppm (parts per million). In healthy and clean outdoor environments, ozone occurs between 0.02 ppm and 0.05 ppm.


In addition, the smell of ozone will become unpleasant and obnoxious well before reaching harmful levels, serving as a built-in and self-policing safety mechanism. If this happens, you know to make an adjustment (i.e. adjust setting of machine, increase air flow, place in more open/larger area).

However, at proper levels (0.02 ppm to 0.05 ppm), it will have a pleasant and clean smell to it, reminiscent of the smell outside after a lightening storm.

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How Ozone Purifies the Air

Ozone oxidizes airborne pollutants, then reverts back to oxygen, transforming polluted air to pure and refreshened air.

Here is how the process works:

  1. Oxygen molecules (O1 and O2) are converted to ozone (O3) by either a high-voltage electrical charge (such as from lightning), or by ultraviolet light (such as from the sun rays).
  2. One oxygen atom (O1) splits off from the ozone molecule, and reacts with other particles when it comes within range of a particle and/or pollutant. Ozone is highly reactive, so it never fails to initiate this reaction with other particles.
  3. As the 2nd most powerful oxidant in existence, the single oxygen atom proceeds to "oxidize" the particle it reacts with. This means it burns the particle, which changes its physical properties. As a result, the particle will no longer be toxic, and will no longer be able to reproduce if it is biological. In other words, the particle becomes completely harmless.
  4. When the single oxygen (O1) molecule oxidizes the particle, it too is destroyed. This leaves behind the O2 it split away from, or pure and clean oxygen.

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Ozone Effectiveness at Low Levels

In studies conducted at the Academy of Medical Sciences in Russia, Dr. Gubernskii and Dr. Dmitriev found that 0.005 ppm (parts per million) to 0.02 ppm of ozone added to normal indoor air (0 ppm) increased animals' resistance to the cold, to infection, to toxic substances, and to oxygen deprivation. A general increase in the immune "biological potential" and the vital capacity of the lungs was reported.

Dr. Gubernskii and Dr. Dmitriev also performed tests using less than .01 ppm of ozone in an air-conditioned office building, which revealed that "the levels of oxygen in the blood increase relatively quickly and remain at a high level for the duration of the experiment." They also stated that: "Atmospheric ozone has a positive effect on animals and people. It is important to note its positive effect on the breathing system, blood composition, arterial pressure, immune system, general feeling of well-being, and mental and physical work capability. The ozone-ion complex is a necessary component of fresh air that gives it a curative effect."

This same study, featured in the Russian journal Priroda, also reports a decrease in complaints of stuffiness (3.8 times fewer complaints).

Russian scientists performed a study to see how effective ozone was at improving indoor air quality in schools. Respiratory-related illnesses were drastically improved after the ozone systems were installed. The ozone concentration produced by the systems were 0.015 ppm (parts per million).

In testing performed by two scientists by the name of Elford and Van den Ende, it was found that ozone effectively destroyed bacteria at 0.04 ppm.

Many publications have published studies showing the effectiveness of lower concentrations ozone (0.01 to 0.03 ppm) at removing odors and pollutants. Some of these include the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), U.S. Air Force technical publications, and Manufacturing Chemist.

Surround Air XJ-3000C has a Maximum Ozone Concentration of 1.6 parts per billion per UL 867 Testing Protocol (UL Standard = 50 ppb)

Effectiveness against Mold

A 1999 study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that both ozonated air and water inactivate mold, rendering the mold cells harmless.

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Ozone Air Cleaners Purifiers

Some companies marketing air purifiers today and the media are causing much confusion over the difference between ozone and smog. This confusion is causing the public to believe that ozone and smog are one and the same. This could not be further from the truth. Smog is NOT ozone! Smog is a combination of harmful pollutants and chemicals found in the air. This occurs more frequently in the air of heavily congested inner cities. Smog is that haze that you see hanging over some of our larger cities around the world.
Ozone is formed through a complex chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (smog) in the presence of sunlight and heat. Ozone is O3, three atoms of oxygen linked together, rather than the two atoms of oxygen, O2, we normally breath. Ozone is NOT smog! Sources of VOCs and NO2 include the following:

• Automobiles, trucks and buses
• Gasoline storage and transfer
• Large combustion and industry sources such as utilities
• Industrial use of solvents and degreasing agents
• Consumer products such as paints and cleaners, Off-road engines such as aircraft, locomotives, construction equipment, and lawn and garden equipment.

While some people mistakenly refer to ozone as smog, smog is actually a combination of hydrocarbons, those being CO2, CO, and SO2 that react with UV rays from the sun to form nitric oxides (NOX).

What is commonly called "ozone" in referring to the ground level air quality are really a mixture of different toxic hydrocarbons, not ozone. So the two cannot be the same!

First we need to discuss the positive side of ozone. Ozone's benefits are widely accepted and recognized throughout the world. Unfortunately, ozone has been largely ignored in the United States. In the future ozone may replace many ineffective forms of air purification, once the public becomes educated to the real benefits of ozone. Mother nature uses ozone to fight the negative effects of this contaminated air known as smog. Ozone is that fresh air smell you experience after a thunderstorm. The negative ions produce that excited feeling that you experience after that same thunderstorm. Our bodies are electrical. We are attracted to the ionic changes in our atmosphere. Note that ozone and negative ions are not the same thing. Effects of Negative Ions / Why Negative Ions and Ozone

Exposure to high levels of ozone, not low levels of ozone, has been linked to a number of health effects, including significant decreases in lung function, inflammation of the airways, and increased respiratory symptoms, such as cough and pain when taking a deep breath. Exposure can also aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, leading to increased medication use and frequent medical visits. Active children are the group at highest risk from ozone exposure because they often spend a large part of the summer playing outdoors. Children are also more likely to have asthma, which may be aggravated by ozone exposure. Other at-risk groups include adults who are active outdoors (e.g., some outdoor workers) and individuals with lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, long-term exposure to moderate levels of ozone (above 0.04) may cause permanent changes in lung structure, leading to premature aging of the lungs and worsening of chronic lung disease.

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High levels of ozone also affects vegetation and ecosystems, leading to reductions in agricultural crop and commercial forest yields, reduced growth and survivability of tree seedlings, and increased plant susceptibility to disease, pests, and other environmental stresses (e.g., harsh weather). In long-lived species, these effects may become evident only after several years or even decades and may result in long-term effects on forest ecosystems. Ground level ozone injury to trees and plants can lead to a decrease in the natural beauty of our national parks and recreation areas.

Other research indicates that the level of ozone in areas such as forests, mountains, urban areas outside of the congestion of the major cities, usually is closer to a safe level of .02-.03 ppm of ozone. This is a far cry from the dangerous levels of ozone that most of the public has been led to believe exists everywhere in nature today. This is just enough ozone to keep our environment safe. These are the levels of ozone that should be used in your home to purify your air. Many environmental experts would try to convince you that any ozone in your home may be potentially dangerous. This could not be further from the truth. The use of ozone to purify the air in your home has prompted other uses for the wonderful benefits of using ozone. Studies are being concluded showing beneficial uses for ozone, Ozone Air Purifiers. One such study was done recently at the University of Purdue.

Taking a clue from air purification systems used in surgical suites, Purdue University researchers have discovered that ozone can eliminate insects in grain storage facilities without harming food quality or the environment. Ironically, the gas is being touted as a fumigant alternative in response to an international treaty banning the use of ozone-layer harming chemicals currently used to rid food storage facilities of insects. When ozone is used for killing grain insects, it lasts for a very short period of time without damaging the environment or the grain, the Purdue scientists report in the January issue Journal of Stored Products Research. "Ozone has a very short life and we're using relatively low dosages, but enough to kill an insect," said Linda Mason, Purdue entomology associate professor and co-author of the study. "The chemicals currently used can kill everything in and around the grain bin, including people. With ozone, we're not generating ozone at deadly concentrations, and we have better control over it when it's present. "Purdue's Post Harvest Grain Quality Research team began its studies in response to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to prohibit substances deemed dangerous to the Earth's ozone layer. One such substance is methyl bromide, commonly used against crop pests in the soil and in grain storage facilities. Beginning in 2005, it no longer will be available.

A replacement for chemical fumigants is imperative because insects not only eat the grain, they defecate on it causing development of fungi, primarily Fusarium and Aspergillus. These fungi can release potentially deadly mycotoxins that can cause illness in most livestock and have been linked to some forms of human cancer. In humans, approximately 76 million cases of food-borne disease occur annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts estimate that 5 percent to 10 percent of the world's food production is lost each year because of insects, and in some countries that figure is believed to be as high as 50 percent. In the latest study, Purdue researchers used ozone to treat rice, popcorn, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, soybeans and corn by the body. The treatments caused no significant difference in any of the nutritional and metabolic values of these substances in any of the grains studied, Mason said. The scientists began their study after a company that uses ozone air purification systems in hospitals noticed that air vents were cockroach free. Absence of cockroaches in a large building is unusual, so the researchers tested various ozone doses on different insects and found the gas was fatal to bugs.

"All the species we tested seemed affected," Mason said. "The only ones we don't have control over are immature weevils since they are hidden within the kernels. Ozone, unlike chemical fumigants, doesn't penetrate into the kernel enough to kill immature insects."

Currently, the researchers are studying ways to use ozone as a preventative treatment by possibly sealing of grain storage facilities with layers of ozone, much the way a jelly jar is capped with wax. This is an example of how beneficial ozone can be but I must reiterate the fact that ozone is not smog!

Here is a list of other benefits to using ozone:

1. Ozone keeps water fresh.
2. Ozone keeps water clean and sparkling.
3. Ozone eliminates oils and other contaminants from water
4. Ozone eliminates odors from the air.
5. Ozone oxidizes iron, sulfur, manganese, and hydrogen sulfate.
6. Ozone eliminate, spores, cysts, yeast, and fungus.
7. Ozone destroys, bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew.
8. Maybe the most important, ozone protects the earth from deadly radiation.

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So why the knock on ozone? Without it Mother Earth would be destroyed!! Here's the problem! Many air purifier manufacturer's, for the most part, are using technology that produces levels of ozone that may be harmful to the body. If using common sense and running the purifier according to the manufactures instructions most ozone generator air cleaners are safe and effective.

At levels above .05 or higher, it appears to effect the body in a way that is similar to free radical damage. Long term exposure to these higher levels may be linked, as we discussed earlier, to respiratory and other health concerns. Ozone and particles irritate and inflame the respiratory tract. This is according to Ellen Ceppetelli, RN, MS, director of nursing education at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. and an American Lung Association board member. Ozone can cause a narrowing of airway passages as well as coughing, wheezing, sore throat, shortness of breath, chest tightness, eye irritation, headaches, and nausea. According to the American lung association's report State of the Air: 2006, more than 150 million Americans live in counties in which they are exposed to unhealthful levels of air pollution at least one day during the year. A study published March 15, 2006 in the American Journal of Respiratory, and Critical Care Medicine reported that when particle pollution in a city declines, death rates also drop. The study found that for each 1-microgram decrease in soot per cubic meter of air, death rates from cardiovascular disease by 3% extending the lives of 75,000 Americans every year.

Ozone does exist in the atmosphere. Everyone has heard discussions of the problems with the ozone layer. The ozone layer in the atmosphere exists at a very large distance from the earth. We do not breathe this ozone. The atmospheric ozone shields us from some of the Sun's radiation. Ozone is also generated when an electrical spark passes an atmosphere containing oxygen. This happens when lightning strikes the earth or an electric motor runs (Yes your laser printer generates some ozone). The key thing to remember is the concentrations that you breathe from lightning and electric motors are very low and of a short duration. There is some discussion about the danger of the ozone generated by laser printers but that is another topic.

Ozone is not dangerous to humans and plants at very low concentrations. The study in Encyclopedia Britannica found that levels as low as 0.12 parts per million have a negative effect on human respiratory systems. This is considered by some to be a low level of ozone. This is actually a high level to humans and animals. The latest nanotechnological catalysts will reduce ozone levels produced to very low levels .01-.02 ppm. This is directly over the machine. The ambient air records levels in ppb. This is only a foot or so from the purifier. Recent media articles have indicated that at least some Ozone generators do generate dangerous ozone levels. You will read testimonials from Ozone cleaner users who say that the units have changed their lives, asthma suffers can breathe again etc. These are true. Initially the Ozone cleaners would remove all of the air born pollutants making it easier for asthma suffers to breathe. However, the continued exposure to ozone could affect them in a very negative way unless the ozone levels are controlled very carefully. If used correctly ozone producing purifiers are safe. Remember that very low levels of Ozone have been shown to be harmful to microscopic organisms only. So low levels of ozone at the .04 ppm or less level is only harmful if you are bacteria, fungus, virus, or a mold spore. If you are using the newest hydro-photocatalytic nanotechnology like Air Oasis these little pests will also be oxidized. One of the most important points that many HEPA manufacturers and skeptics refuse to acknowledge is that when the hydrated catalysts cause the ozone to decompose the chemical reaction creates negative ions Hydroxyl ions, hydro peroxides, ozonide ions, and super oxide ions are all produced during this reaction. The benefits of these ions are above and beyond those of ozone. Your body also has natural defenses against those ions that simple organisms, such as bacteria and mold, don't have.

Effects of Negative Ions / Why Negative Ions and Ozone

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Chemicals Oxidized by Ozone

This group breaks down into carbon dioxide, water and oxygen This group includes: Acetic Acid, Acetone, Formaldehyde, Isopropyl Alcohol. M.E.K [methyl ethyl keytone], Propylene Glycol. The sources of these chemicals in our homes include: Tobacco smoke, plywood, cabinets, furniture, particle board, office dividers, new carpets, new drapes, wallpaper, and paneling. Also in cosmetics, shampoo and in packaged, bottled. and canned supermarket foods.
1. Acetic Acid, 2. Acetone, 3. n-Butyle Acetate, 4. Butoxyethanol, 5. Cetyl Alcohol, 6. Formaldehyde, 7. Isopropyl Alcohol, 8.Gylcerol, 9. Methacrylic Acid, 10. Methyl-ethyl Keytone (MEK), 11.Propylene Gylcol,

This group breaks down into carbon dioxide, water and oxygen This group includes: Benzene. Camphor, and Toulene. These chemicals are associated with paint, new carpets, new drapes and upholstery.

12 Benzene, 13. Benzyl Alcohol, 14. n.Butyl Phthalate, 15. Camphor, 16. Para-Phenylenediamine, 17. Resorcinol, 18. Styrene, 19. Tricresyl, 20. Toulene, 21. Xylene

This group breaks down into carbon dioxide, water and oxygen This group contains Butane, L.P.G. {Liquid Propane Gas]. Propane, Mineral Spirits. These are associated with hydrocarbons, tobacco smoke, gas burners, and furnaces.
22 Butane, 23. Isobutane, 24. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), 25.Mineal Spirits, 26. Propane.

This group breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, CL20 and oxygen. This group includes: Methyl Chloroform,
27. Methylene Chloride, 28. Chloroform, 29. Methyl Chloroform, 30. Perchloroethylene, 31.Trichloroethylene, 39. Phenacetin,

This group breaks down into water, nitrogen and oxygen. Ammonia, and Hydrogen Cyanide are members of this family.
32. Hydrogen Cyanide, 33 Amino Phenol, 34 Ammonia, 35 Ammonium Hydroxide, 36. Benzopyrene, 37. EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetracetic Acid), 38. Ethanolamine.

This group breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, sulfuric acid and oxygen. Members of this group include: Ammonium Persulfate and Sodium Bisulfite
40. Ammonium Persulfate, 41. Ammonium Thioglycolate, 42. Sodium Bisulfite, 43. Thioglycolic Acid,

Of particular note: Alkylated Silicates form Carbon Dioxide, water, Silicon Dioxide and Oxygen. Silicon Dioxide is considered a respiratory hazard. Members of this group include: Non-ionic Detergents
44. Alkylated Silicates, 45. Non-Ionic Detergents.

VIII. NON-REACTIVE COMPOUNDS Members of this group include: Hydrogen Peroxide, Potassium Persulfate Sodium Bromate.
46. Calcium Oxide, 47. Hydrogen Peroxide, 48. Phosphoric Acid, 49. Potassium Persulfate, 50. Silicas, 51. Sodium Bromate, 52. Sodium Persulfate, 53. Strontium Peroxide, 54. Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, 55. Titanium Dioxide, 56. Carbon Tetrachloride (low temperature)

Ozone Air Cleaners Purifiers

Why Negative Ions and Ozone   UV Light Air Purifiers   HEPA Air Cleaners

Effects of Negative Ions   What is Mold?, About Mold, Mold Facts

Air Oasis Photocatalytic UV Air Purifier