I am a four-time, board-awarded indoor environmental consultant with sixteen years in the industry. I apologize if I offended you, but there are tons of resource materials that have lead organizations and governments to educate and make policies to change public perception and practice in relation to the use of ozone use as a 'air purifier'. Ozone is a source of indoor air pollution. In another of the EPA's studies and releases on "ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners"(www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html) there is a lot of good resource materials that can be considered unbiased. "There is a large body of written material on ozone and the use of ozone indoors. However, much of this material makes claims or draws conclusions without substantiation and sound science. In developing Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners, the EPA reviewed a wide assortment of this literature, including information provided by a leading manufacturer of ozone generating devices. In keeping with EPA's policy of insuring that the information it provides is based on sound science, only peer reviewed, scientifically supported findings and conclusions were relied upon in developing this document." (U.S. EPA)
It goes on to explain how ozone is harmful: "The same chemical properties that allow high concentrations of ozone to react with organic material outside the body give it the ability to react with similar organic material that makes up the body, and potentially cause harmful health consequences. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs (see - "Ozone and Your Health" - www.epa.gov/airnow/brochure.html). Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections. People vary widely in their susceptibility to ozone. Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone. Exercise during exposure to ozone causes a greater amount of ozone to be inhaled, and increases the risk of harmful respiratory effects. Recovery from the harmful effects can occur following short-term exposure to low levels of ozone, but health effects may become more damaging and recovery less certain at higher levels or from longer exposures (US EPA, 1996a, 1996b). Manufacturers and vendors of ozone devices often use misleading terms to describe ozone. Terms such as "energized oxygen" or "pure air" suggest that ozone is a healthy kind of oxygen. Ozone is a toxic gas with vastly different chemical and toxicological properties from oxygen."
It sums things up later when it says, "Are Ozone Generators Effective in Controlling Indoor Air Pollution?
Available scientific evidence shows that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants. Some manufacturers or vendors suggest that ozone will render almost every chemical contaminant harmless by producing a chemical reaction whose only by-products are carbon dioxide, oxygen and water. This is misleading."
Also, "There is evidence to show that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is not effective at removing many odor-causing chemicals."
"If used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone applied to indoor air does not effectively remove viruses, bacteria, mold, or other biological pollutants."
Finally, "If I Follow Manufacturers' Directions, Can I be Harmed?
Results of some controlled studies show that concentrations of ozone considerably higher than these standards are possible even when a user follows the manufacturer’s operating instructions."
Scientific studies that lead to these conclusions are included in this document and I would encourage anyone questioning the use of ozone as an air purification device or element of such effect to do the research first, making sure that they understand not only these facts, but the personal facts that only they can get answered by their doctor (sensitivities for example). Advice on posts like these should be taken cautiously and given cautiously as they can be harmful to both the person's health assuming the best (or worst) as well as the weight of responsibility that lies on the advice given with such little information about the individual posting the question.
- Jason Yost, CIEC, CIE, CMRS, CMR, WRT
Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
Council-certified Indoor Environmentalist
Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor
Council-certified Microbial Remediator
Water-damage Restoration Techncian