Interesting Facts about Ozone

Regardless of what you may have heard, here are the truths about ozone.  These facts are issue by the National Ozone Association.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is another form of oxygen.  When oxygen is exposed to ultraviolet light or a corona-like spark, the normal two oxygen atoms temporarily reform in a three atom (trivalent) molecule.  This formation is an active form of oxygen that will oxidize other pollutant, however, ozone is only active for about twenty minutes and will revert back to normal, breathable O2 oxygen in about twenty minutes.

Is Ozone Dangerous?

No, but exposure to high levels of ozone are considered a respiratory irritant.  Working in high ozone conditions requires a carbon filter mask.  But, the question of danger to health during professional ozone applications is a non-issue.  Professional treatments are only applied in vacated rooms or buildings.  Ozone treatments are not applied when people and pets are present.  Once the building has been aired out for twenty minutes, the facility is safe to re-enter.  Expect the ozone smell to linger for a day or two.  It is better than the smell it eliminated, and does fade.

Will Ozone Harm the Environment?

Not at all.  We always have ozone around us.  A typical lightning storm will create 209 tons of ozone, and this accounts for that fresh smell after a rain.  Ozone is, in fact, a very environmentally-friendly tool.  It depletes no raw products, and it leaves no waste behind.  Compared to the extensive use of chemicals in our world, ozone is a wonderful alternative.  

Ozone is more concentrated in our upper atmosphere (stratosphere) formed by the intersection of the ultraviolet light from the sun with oxygen in our atmosphere.  Because it depletes UV light, life on earth is far better.  On days of heavy pollution, ozone level may increase on a hot, sunny day because ozone is at work trying to destroy pollution.  But, since ozone is a respiratory irritant, these high ozone days can cause breathing distress on those with breathing problems.  But, realize ozone is nature's purifying process, not something meant to hurt us.

How Does Ozone Eliminate Odors?

While in the ozone state, the oxygen atoms will rapidly oxidize (burn up) pollutants at the molecular level.  This means, once ozone has done its job, the odor problem is permanently gone.  Unlike fragrances that try to cover over or encapsulate odors, ozone literally destroys odors at there source.  To achieve a full odor removal treatment, the levels of ozone must exceed 6 ppm, which is relatively high.  This is referred to as "Ozone Shock" when ozone levels are most active and capable of maximum impact.  Small ozone air purifying units will not have the necessary impact on odors.  This means they must be operated for periods of 24-48 hours to have any effect.

Will Ozone Kill Mold?

Yes, ozone will kill mold, and it damaged mold spores so they cannot reproduce.  Mold services use ozone shock at the start of a treatment to halt mold growth and minimize worker exposure.  Ozone is also used once the mold work is complete to assure a full and complete mold remediation.  Mold will always return if the water source that feeds the mold is not solved.  Ozone is not a mold remediation solution.  It is a tool used as a part of a mold remediation service.

Will Ozone Kill Virus, Bacteria, and Fungi?

It has been well documented that ozone will kill virus, bacteria, and fungi.  Ozone has been used to sanitize surgery room, purify municipal water supplies, to kill bacteria in food processing plants, to treat pools instead of chlorine, and to treat buildings where disease is rampant.  Ozonated water has been shown to kill bacteria in four seconds, and is said to be 3000 times more effective than chlorine products.  Yet, there is no chemicals introduced or chemical residue.

Should I Buy an Ozone Generator for my Home/Business?

You might do that, but be aware that most ozone machines are very over-rated and over-hyped to get people to buy their equipment.  Professional ozone generators should have the NOAI Approved certification, and be properly rated for the application.  We welcome your questions about the right type of ozone generator for your application.  We also have an online Ozone Safety Training course that will assure that you use ozone in the proper manner.  In the end, it may be wise to use the website and find a professional in your area.