When it comes to solutions to improving your home’s air quality and the odors within this environment, there are several available options for consumers to select from and this continues to grow. One of the options that are currently available to consumers is an ozone generator, a device that has been widely available for years and over this time has been placed under heavy scrutiny for its potentially dangerous hazards.
There is a rising amount of material and claims that have earned ozone generator a spot in its category as an air purifier option. However, other research and studies that have been performed against this technology have indicated otherwise as it was detected that the process in which a ozone generator work can actually harm the air, the environment, and the health of those that are exposed to this additional molecule that is in the air from a ozone generator.
How dangerous is a ozone machine and what exactly is behind the ozone technology? Find out by reading down below!
What Does Ozone Do?
The ozone that is produced from an ozone generator is different than the ozone layer that is present to protect us from dangerous UV radiation of the sun. This is considered good ozone that acts beneficially to the health of humans, whereas the bad ozone such as the ozone that is produced from ozone machines and the ozone produced at ground level can negatively impact the health of those exposed. When ozone is produced at ground level in nature it is caused by the interaction of sunlight with specific chemicals that are released into the environment from vehicles or factory plant emissions. Natural ozone is also created when lighting strikes, which is why the smell of ozone may be present after a storm. Ozone, whether it is from the different chemicals and components on earth or from a ozone generator are harmful to human health.
Ozone generator (aka ozone air purifier or o3 generator) are sold as an air cleaning device or purifier for your air that intentionally releases the gas ozone into the personal indoor environment. Ozone gas, which is produced for an ozone generator, is a molecule that is composed of three atoms of oxygen (O3), which can disturb the air in the environment and the health of those that are exposed to this additional oxygen molecule in the air.
Two atoms of oxygen form the basic oxygen molecule (O2) – which individuals breathe in every second of every minute of the day. The inherent risks when an additional oxygen molecule is present in the air that we breathe is dangerous, as this third ozone atom will detach from the ozone molecule, and re-attach to molecules of other substances in the air. This makes ozone molecules that are released from a ozone generator is highly reactive which can be dangerous as it can potentially alter the chemical compositions of other substances in the air and affect human cells if breathed into the body.
Is Breathing Ozone Toxic?
Ozone and ozone generator contains dangerous components and chemicals not just for the environment and the air in this environment, but also on human health for those exposed. The chemicals and chemical properties that allow for high concentrations of ozone produced from a ozone generator to react with organic materials outside the body, also give it the ability to adversely react with similar organic materials that are inside the human body.
Breathing in ozone from ozone generator can be toxic to the human body and when inhalation occurs it can result in damage to the lungs. The severity of the impact of ozone and ozone generator depends on the amount of ozone that you are exposed to in the environment. When you are exposed to ozone in relatively low amounts it can produce chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation. The inhalation of this chemical can also provoke and irritate the respiratory system which will trigger asthma and alter the body’s ability to fight off respiratory infections.
Identifying Ozone in the Air: What Does it Smell Like?
The release of ozone into the air is often accompanied by the distinct odor that it leaves behind. Sometimes before it rains, some individuals are able to detect this odor leaving them able to identify when a storm is coming, this is due to the exact ozone smell that is produced from rain storms.
Ozone produces a very recognizable smell that most individuals can detect in small concentrations. The smell has been described as metallic, chlorine-like odor that almost smells like burning wires. If you smell something of this nature and in large quantities nonetheless, then you will need to quickly shield yourself from this chemical to prevent potential health issues.
How Does an Ozone Machine Work
An ozone generator operates completely different from any other air purifier and air purifier technology. Most air purifiers utilize a filter that is able to activate a reaction and capture airborne particles and contaminants. Whereas the ozone generator works by producing an ozone molecule into the air from the ozone generator. It will work to break apart oxygen molecules (O2) into one single atom which will allow for the molecule produced from ozone to attach to other oxygen molecules in the air to form O3. Ozone machines accomplish this process through two different methods, ultraviolet radiation and corona discharge.
Here are the two different ozone generator methods:
Corona Discharge Ozone Generators
Corona discharge ozone generation operates by passing dried, oxygen-containing gas through an electrical field that will cause a split in the oxygen molecules to a single atom in the air. The atoms will then attach to other oxygen molecules (O3) to form ozone.
A popularly used method for ozone machines is the use of ultraviolet lamps. The Ultraviolet radiation generates a similar response to how the sun’s ultraviolet radiation splits an O2 into an individual oxygen atom. This process is considered less efficient than that of a corona discharge.
O3 Air Purifier Uses in a Home
When it comes to a ozone generator, there are many claims out there that state the ability for this device to easily attach to pollution including odorous compounds (smoke) and organic materials (viruses, bacteria, and mold spores). However, these claims are empty as the ability for ozone to achieve this is not easily done.
Research has been conducted on ozone machines and their ability to effectively stop and eliminate pollutants such as mold and bacteria, and it was found that to accomplish this you would need high levels of ozone produced to stop these microorganism’s growth.
When it comes to VOCs and eliminating them from the air, ozone can take an extensive amount of time to remove these compounds from the air. And when it comes to particulate removal it is simply not achievable with a ozone generator either leaving dust and pollen in your air after using an ozone machine. One of the most effective uses in a home that a ozone generator works for is odor elimination.
Air Purifier Safety Precautions
According to the EPA, there are several brands of a ozone generator that have an EPA establishment number on their packaging, this however, does not mean that it is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. On the contrary, this number helps the EPA to identify the specific facility that produced the ozone generator. Due to the potential hazards of this machine, it is necessary to take every step possible to mitigate the potential risks if you have to use a ozone generator – especially avoid using it around animals or plants in the environment.
Ozone generator is typically used in hotels for air cleaning of rooms that may have been smoked in or even in cars. The ozone generator will help to mitigate the odor from the environment in preparation for another occupant to reside in the environment. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary steps to identify and prevent against the exposure of a ozone generator in your personal indoor environment.
Ozone Machine Health Risks
If you are exposed to a ozone generator within your indoor environment, there are certain health risks that may affect your body. The health risks of ozone or a ozone generator can depend on a number of factors which include how much ozone you were exposed to and the time in which you were exposed. For those that are exposed to low amounts of ozone, they may start to experience the following symptoms:
- Decrease in lung function
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Throat irritation
- Aggravation of asthma
- Inflammation of lung tissue
- And a higher susceptibility to respiratory infection
HEPA Filters: A Safer, Effective Solution to Improved IAQ
The different options available when it comes to air purifiers and the technology, they use is vast. In lieu of using a technology like ozone and ozone generator that can be potentially toxic to the environment and those in it, opt for a more effective and safer technology like HEPA filters.
HEPA filters contain many benefits including no emission of byproducts or chemicals into the air, it is effective against particulates and removing them from the air, it is ideal for those with allergies that are triggered by particles in the air, and the HEPA filter has a long life, usually 2-3 years.
Ultimately, the HEPA technology is a high effective and advantageous method for air purifiers. They are proficient in particulate removal and are ideal when used in conjunction with a patented technology for VOCs and odor elimination.
Our Solution: Ozone Purifier Dangers
Ozone generator is a potentially highly dangerous machine that can significantly impact the air and the health of those exposed to this process. It is best to avoid the use of an ozone generator as much as you possible can, and if you have to use one be sure that you follow proper safety precautions and procedures to protect the health of those living organisms in the environment. The best solution is to opt for a more effective and less dangerous air purification solution instead of a ozone generator inside your personal indoor environment.
Mobile Air System
✓ Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level
✓ No chemicals or masking agents
✓ Will not release any chemicals back into your environment
✓ Safer and faster at removing VOC’s than traditional carbon filters and PECO air purifiers