A debate has swirled about for years about the use of ozone generators for mold infestations. Some mold experts call ozone "useless" for mold treatment, while others strongly insist that ozone will kill mold.
In the ongoing saga regarding the effect of ozone on electronics, we did our own experiment that exposed a plastic bag, a small speaker, and a cell phone to high levels of ozone (much higher than 20 ppm) for a period of 5 days. Frankly, our meter does not go higher than 20 ppm, so with a 3000 mg/hr ozone cell in a box less than 2 foot square was super-intense.
Early on, the start-up ozone entrepreneur usually runs into a wall that dashes their enthusiastic belief in ozone as the "Single Solution" to odor problems. Over the years, I have seen many people start their ozone business with an all-out belief in the power of ozone. Frankly, ozone is a legitimate and powerful solution, and it deserves to be respected as an environmentally-friendly solution that is a powerful solution to odor problems, sanitizing needs, allergy abatement, mold kill, and more.
The rumor that ozone can damage rubber or plastic in a home is a very dated topic. So, let's clear this up. To make the point properly, let's go back to what ozone is and how it works. Ozone is oxygen. It has been enriched from the standard O2 molecule to an O3 molecule. We are told that ozone is "Reactive", which means it will react with other compounds or elements. That reaction is not an explosion or a noxious gas. The reaction is OXIDATION.
Real estate agents often encounter latent odors when trying to sell a less-than-new home. Pet odors is one of the most common odors, but smoking is equally as bad. Strong and spicy cooking odors will remain for years after a family leaves. Then, there is the mold and mildew odor that sends prosective buyer out the door in a hurry. No one wants a mold-infected home, and even more so if there are vulnerable children in the family.
The fact that ozone is very effective for odor removal is making strides everywhere. Ozone has been a long-standing tool for industries because it will cancel odors, sanitize, neutralize many pollutants, and kill mold. Ozone is used to cure materials during manufacturing, and is used in thousands of municple water treatment facilities in the United States and around the world. Ozone systems are also use to reclaim waste water or clarify retention ponds.
A recent article out of Berkeley is critical of the use of ozone to mitigate the problem of smoking odors. This debate seems to be a narrow focus on a small threat versus a much larger problem effective odor removal without turning to chemical alternative with their attendant health threats.
Yes, ozone can kill bedbugs, but the challenge to actually get a complete kill is extremely hard to achieve. First of all, discount what other promoters have said. Most self-appointed gurus are biased. Most treatments get a mixed bag of results, and the effort to kill bedbugs is not as simple as buying an ozone machine. While ozone has been used to kill insects, it is generally part of a much larger strategy.
A little ozone goes a very long way. If you intend to use an ozone generator, let's get a little perspective on what a milligram of ozone is. A milligram is a measurement of volume, not weight. So, whatever we can fit into a one centimeter cube would make a milligram. So, a Tylenol tablet has about 375-500 milligrams in that small space. Weight may vary as dense items can have the same space, but less weight. Air, like oxygen, put less atoms in that cubic centimeter than liquid or solids.
Of late, our office has had an increase in calls from consumers who bought an ozone generator on line and have had a problem with the lingering ozone smell. It is unfortunate that aggressive sales pressure tends to mislead customers and over-sell their promoted system.