Ozone is a natural gas which is made up of three oxygen atoms. Have you ever heard about ozone layer? Of course you have because we can see it every day when looking up to the sky. The layer originates from the ultra violet rays from the sun when Ozone is generated in nature during thunderstorms and it cannot be stored.
However, in real life, ozone is quite common due to its ability to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and odors. Therefore, we can use this gas in order to wipe out unwanted odors as well as clean.
Ozone generators and their benefits?
When it comes to indoor air, many people have got used to the term “ozone generator”. Basically, this is a machine which can generates ozone to clean the air.
image source: ozonesolutions
In details, this machine works by drawing in air and then passing it through an electrical charge. After that, the air will be released and become oxygen enriched. The extra oxygen can destroy all the contaminants and pollutants it contacts with in the air. Finally, this extra oxygen is also destroyed, leaving the air fresh and clean.
Thus, with an ozone generator, you can remove so many types of contaminants as well as pollutants such as: cigarette smells, the spores that cause mold, the smell of cooking, unpleasant odors, and so on.
Is Ozone completely safe for all of us?
Recently, many experts have published some important documents that highlighted the dangers of ozone as well as ozone generators to improve indoor air. This seems to be totally contradictory to what we already know. However, till now, this is true and if you do not understand why, here is the answer for you.
We cannot deny the great benefits of ozone generators in cleaning the indoor air, but it is the fact that this method is not completely safe for us. Specifically, ozone is a highly reactive gas which can become unstable and potentially toxic. Till then, the gas is not like that in the atmosphere anymore, instead, it has another name as ground-level ozone or “bad” ozone.
Health effects of ground- level ozone
Remember that if you are exposed to a high levels of bad ozone, you are definitely subject to a variety of health effects.
Here are some health problems you should care about:
- Throat irritation,
- Severe asthma symptoms,
- Decreased lung function,
- Chest pain
- Irritation of lung tissue
- Higher sensitivity to respiratory infection
- Shortness of breath
Main reasons why you should never use an ozone generator to clean your indoor air
Now you understand why ozone is not really safe for us to clean indoor air but you are not sure if an ozone generator is necessary or not. Just keep in mind that you should never use it or if you have already bought one, throw it away. Here are some reasons for you to do that:
- The chemical reaction from the generator may be extremely dangerous
For instance, when ozone is mixed with other chemicals in a laboratory, it not only reduces many of those chemicals but creates many other dangerous chemicals in the air. Therefore, although the target chemicals can be reduced to some extents, some other harmful byproducts will probably be released back into the air.
- Ozone Generating machine may not work effectively at all
Overall, all companies and manufacturers claim that ozone can render almost every chemical contaminant in your home safely by producing a chemical reaction. This is completely wrong because in order to eliminate harmful chemicals, the process of the chemical reaction can take you months and even years.
Furthermore, many experts have proved that ozone cannot remove carbon monoxide from outside effectively. If an ozone generator is used at concentrations which do not exceed the public health standards, it will not remove mold, bacteria, viruses, and other biological pollutants efficiently
- Ozone Generators cannot remove particulates as you thought.
Another thing you should consider when talking about ozone generators is that they cannot remove particulates including pollen or dust from the indoor air. But more importantly, some of them includes the particles which are mostly responsible for allergic reactions.
In order to deal with this problem, a few ozone generators have an ionizer that can disperse negatively charged ions into the indoor air. However, this process is less competent in removing airborne molecules such as pollen, dust, smoke, and mold spores than other types of air purifiers, especially products with HEPA filters and electrostatic precipitators.
- It Is very difficult to determine the levels of ozone exposure.
This is because there are so many different factors such as the type of generator you are using, how often you use it, and the size of the room.
For examples. if you place a powerful ozone generator in a very small place, the concentrations of ozone will be probably high. Besides, whether your interior doors are closed or opened, they will still affect the levels of ozone to some extents. Another factor is how many furnishings as well as materials are in the room which can react easily to ozone. In addition, you also need to consider the level of outdoor air ventilation and how close you are to the device.
For short, there are so many different factors you have to consider if you want to determine the exposure levels. Thus, it will be almost impossible for you to make sure that the level is not higher than accepted or not.
Besides ozone air purifier, you also need to take into consideration the following types of air purifier before buying one.
Obviously, there are so many types of air purifiers available for you on the market such as carbon activated, ultraviolet light, and ionizing air purifiers. To some extents, they are effective for cleaning the indoor air but in some certain cases, it can be dangerous for you to use it.
Ultraviolet light air purifiers
This type uses the UV light going off the electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can help eliminate contaminants and allergens as well as many other pathogens by cracking the molecular connections in their DNA. Furthermore. this device can also work effectively in sterile places like kitchens, labs, and hospitals.
An ionizing air purifier is also called a negative ion generator mainly because it works by sending out a current of negative ions. These ions can attract positive allergen particles easily so they will become too heavy and cannot stay in the air anymore. Another benefit of using ionizing purifiers is that it can run completely quiet so it will be very comfortable for you to sleep with this device in your bedroom.
Most of UV light and ionizing purifiers are safe, however, some of them can be quite dangerous with ozone. In fact, some certain products can generate ozone to kill contaminants and the ozone may not be dispersed in the right way. Therefore, this can lead to many serious health problems. That is the reason why you should remember to buy products without generating ozone.
Activated carbon purifiers
Activated carbon purifier have many absorbent pores that can react chemically to pollutant particles when they pass through the device. This makes all the pollutants bond to the carbon so they will be captured immediately. Thus, this type is very good for clearing chemicals, smoke, and odors
However, a disadvantage of this product is that it cannot remove dust, micro-organisms, and other allergens in the air. That is the reason why you should not buy it if you or someone in your family has allergies or any kind of these problems.
An perfect alternative recommended for you
HEPA air purifier
As you know, there are so many other choices for you when it comes to cleaning indoor air. Ozone generator is just one of them but it is obviously not the best choice. In fact, An air purifier with HEPA (High efficiency particulate air) filters can meet your needs.
HEPA filters will make an air purifier safer and more effective than an ozone generator. Specifically, instead of generating dangerous by-products and creating chemical reactions, an air purifier with HEPA filters can trap air pollutants. This will make it safer for you and your family when breathing the air where the air purifier is placed.
In general, the HEPA filter is combined with some other technologies, including activated carbon so as to provide better results. With them, some certain types of air purifiers can help remove chemical, solid, and gaseous pollutants from the indoor air. Thus, they can significantly improve the quality of the air in your home. Furthermore, with this type of air purifiers, you can completely know exactly the effectiveness levels.