How does ozone purify the air? Ozone Effectiveness and Safety (2023)

How does ozone purify the air? Ozone Effectiveness and Safety (1)What is ozone?

Ozone is generated naturally by short-wavelength solar ultraviolet radiation and appears in our upper-atmosphere ozonosphere as a gas. Ozone can also be produced naturally by passing an electrical discharge, like lightning, through oxygen molecules. Lightning is a perfect example of making a large amount of O3 to purify the earth's atmosphere in nature's way. Most of us have noticed the clean, fresh smell in the outdoor air after a thunderstorm, or the way clothes smell after they've been dried outside on a clothesline in the sun.

How does ozone purify the air? Ozone Effectiveness and Safety (2)This is how Ozone (O3) Molecules are converted from Oxygen (O2) as a result of an electrical charge: Oxygen, as we know, has two atoms. High voltage, such as from a lightning strike, separates these two atoms. Quickly, these atoms come back together three by three (O3). Confused, these atoms don't like this arrangement and desperately want to break up this awkward trio.

How does ozone purify the air? Ozone Effectiveness and Safety (3)So, since this O3 molecule floats in the air, if one of the atoms detects a pollutant molecule, it separates from the other two atoms and sticks to the pollutant. This accessory is actually an attack on the contaminant (oxidation) and creates a microscopic explosion. Both the contaminant and the atom are destroyed. This leaves the other two atoms as pure oxygen (O2) without the presence of the pollutant. The explosion transforms the pollutant into carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which we can breathe.

Ozone is highly reactive, so it interacts with most pollutants and allergens it encounters, rendering them harmless and eliminating odors. Ozone can be effective against chemical sources, bacteria, mold, odors, etc. Once ozone oxidizes a pollutant, it is no longer toxic, allergenic or odor causing. As a result, even if an oxidized contaminant remains in the air and is inhaled, it does not have any negative effects. Microorganisms such as mold spores or bacteria that have been exposed to ozone are no longer able to reproduce, causing their numbers to drop rapidly. However, if the O3 molecule does not encounter a contaminant in its environment, it will attack itself and change its configuration from O3 to O2 (normal oxygen) in 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature and normal humidity.

"Ozone controls mold on container surfaces and walls and reduces scale growth and decay. The presence of ozone significantly reduces mold growth."
-- ASHRAE (American Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Society)

How else does ozone purify?

Ozone is also biocidal, which means it kills harmful biological and bacterial contaminants. This biocidal action results from its reaction with the double bonds of fatty acids in bacterial cell walls, membranes, and the protein capsid of viruses. In bacteria, oxidation results in a change in cell permeability and leakage of cell contents into solution. Ozone attacks these cell walls, breaking membranes and ultrastructural components of the organism. In simpler terms, unstable ozone electrons poke holes through membranes. This occurs through cell lysis or rupture of the cell wall of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and abnormal tissue cells, thus destroying them by inactivating the enzymes of the microorganism.

In viruses, disruption of the protein capsid prevents the virus from being taken up by susceptible cells. Ozone shows an "all or nothing" effort in terms of destroying bacteria. It is such a strong germicide that only a few micrograms per liter are required to demonstrate germicidal action. Factors such as humidity, temperature, pH, ozone concentration levels, type of organism, and time determine the rate of pathogen kill. The action of ozone gas in water is instantaneous. After oxidation, ozone reverts to its original oxygen form, leaving no by-products or toxic residue.

  • Ozone oxidizes natural organic compounds such as acetic and oxalic acids, as well as synthetic substances such as nitro and chlorobenzic compounds, detergents, herbicides, and compound pesticides.
  • Ozone oxidizes inorganics such as iron, manganese, heavy metals, cyanide, sulfides, and nitrates in water.
  • Ozone slows the ripening of fruits and vegetables by destroying ethylene gas and bad odors, which are produced by aging and decay.
  • Ozone is more cost effective than ethylene filters, which are expensive and must be replaced every month. Filters only act on the air that passes through them, and ionization machines put a negative charge on the air particles, causing them to gravitate toward surfaces in the room.

Unlike ozone, filters, ionizers, and sprays do not eliminate the cause of odors. Once the cause has been removed, the odor does not return unless the source that caused the odor is reintroduced.

Artificial ozone: corona discharge

The "lightning method" of ozone production has been commercially duplicated by many ozonation air purifier manufacturers and is known ascorona discharge. In this method, 5,000 to 10,000 volts of electricity are used to split O2 atoms and produce ozone. However, in addition to safety concerns and high operating costs, air purifiers using the corona discharge method are plagued by unpredictable levels of ozone production (blasts) and also produce undesirable and harmful byproducts. health, such as nitric oxides. These oxides actually irritate the respiratory system, not what you want in an air purifier. So despite the claims that these units give you a "storm in a box", they have distinct downsides.

Artificial ozone: ultraviolet light

Short wave ultraviolet solar radiation.ultraviolet light-- is another method used by many air purifier manufacturers. When ultraviolet light rays collide with a pollutant such as carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NO2 and N2O) in the presence of oxygen (O2), ozone is produced.

ozone efficacy

Here is a partial list of the hundreds, if not thousands, of things ozone can be effective against.

acrylic acid
aged manuscripts
animal odors
asphalt fumes
bathroom odors
body odors
Burnt food odors
Carbolic acid
Carbon monoxide
carpet odors
charred materials
Cigarette smoke
coal smoke

cooking odors
Dead animals
Decaying odors
diesel fumes
Exhaust gases
fecal odors
smells of fire
fish smells
flood odors
furniture odors
garbage smells

hospital odors
Industrial waste
Lactic acid
Lubricant oils
medicinal smells
moth balls
paint smells
pipe smoke
poultry odors
rancid oils
sewer gases
tetrachloride odors

References:United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, EPA Report 402-K-00-002, March 2000

Ozone producing air purifiers

While it is not safe to run an ozone-producing air purifier in a home under normal circumstances, there are cases where ozone is the best technology to treat a given problem. For example, ozone kills ethylene gas which causes products to spoil quickly, so a refrigerator ozonator will extend the shelf life of products in refrigerated environments. Ozone is also very effective against cigarette and cigar smoke, so an Air Oasis ozone generator works great in smoky bars and bingo halls. And we've had great success for smokers in small spaces with the Surround XJ-3000C and XJ-3000D, running their ozone jet option. The following are air purifier brands that offer an ozone generator option:

Air Oasis Innovative UV G3 air purification technology!

No air purifier on the market can compete in effectiveness, energy efficiency, adaptability and quiet operation compared to Air Oasis G3's patent-pending Nano Nickel HCT photocatalytic oxidation technology. Other oxidation brands use only titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a catalyst, the cheapest and most commercially available catalyst metal, while Air Oasis contains five rare catalyst metals and nanometer-sized metals to increase the kinetic rate of the reaction.

Unlike HEPA filters that only remove some particles and carbon filters that only remove chemicals, VOCs, and odors, Air Oasis technology has been proven effective against MRSA, bacteria, mold, VOCs, chemicals, gases, odors, pollen, dander and more. Extensive testing by West Texas A&M University at BSA Hospital confirms that Air Oasis not only purifies the air, but also sanitizes surfaces. Additionally, Air Oasis air purifiers are made in the USA with brushed aluminum housings and UV lamps that use a proprietary long-lasting coating, allowing them to outlast any UV lamp on the market.Read more about Air Oasis G3 air purifiers

Ionizadores multitecnología Surround Air

Negative ions clean the air by magnetically attracting pollutants until these larger, newly formed particles become too heavy to stay in the air you breathe and fall to the ground. Surround air ionizers continuously produce negative ions, without creating the "black wall" effect of older ionization technologies, so even if one of these fallen particles rises into the air, it is quickly removed again. Most importantly though, they are taken out of the air, preventing you from inhaling them into your lungs, which is how they cause problems.

Since certain technologies are much better than others at removing different types of pollutants from the air, all surround ionizers are multi-technology. All models include ionization, a pre-filter, HEPA and carbon filter and UV lamp, plus some models include a TiO2 filter or optional ozone sanitizer. And the Intelli-Pro includes electronic sensors. With Surround, you get the best of the most advanced air purification technologies on the market, all in one air purifier. The best part is that Surround Multi-tech ionizers and replacement filters are affordable for every budget.more information

Ozonizer Refrigerator

Once cut, fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and plants produce ethylene gas as they age. If allowed to accumulate, ethylene further accelerates the aging process. The continuous or intermittent use of appropriate levels of ozone in refrigerated spaces has been shown to be effective in reducing the rate of aging of plants and products by destroying ethylene gas without producing negative side effects on the product, thus reducing spoilage and decomposition of products. food and extending quality. and the shelf life of most products.

The refrigerator ozonator delays mold and spoilage of many foods you buy, including fruits and vegetables, helping them retain their freshness and flavor longer. The average household throws away 150 pounds of produce each year, as it spoils before use. The ozonating refrigerator could save your family $300 in the first year, more than four times the purchase price!more information

Find the right air purifier for you
Your unique problem or application

It's no mystery that the air inside our homes, offices, and nearly every building we enter is polluted with toxic air pollution problems. But navigating through the plethora of air purification technologies and models to make our living and working space pollution-free can be a daunting task, especially with the misinformation presented by so many vendors and websites. There are many different air purification technologies and air filters on the market, but no one air purification technology can solve all air pollution problems, which is why we have different brands. For help determining which air purifier is right for you, click on one of the links below or call us toll free at 866-875-4386 (US and Canada).

Air purifiers:for problem-by Technology-by brand-Air purifier buying guide

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How does ozone purify the air? Ozone Effectiveness and Safety? ›

Ozone generators sold as air purifiers intentionally produce the gas ozone. Ozone can mask odors by changing the chemical composition of particles or other gasses in the air, making the air seem fresher and cleaner. However, ozone generators don't actually filter out the small particles that trigger asthma.

How does ozone purify the air? ›

Ozone generators sold as air purifiers intentionally produce the gas ozone. Ozone can mask odors by changing the chemical composition of particles or other gasses in the air, making the air seem fresher and cleaner. However, ozone generators don't actually filter out the small particles that trigger asthma.

How safe are ozone air purifiers? ›

People who buy ozone generators may not be aware that ozone can harm the cells in the lungs and respiratory airways. Exposure to ozone irritates and inflames the lining of the respiratory system. This causes symptoms including coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and impaired breathing.

What are the benefits of ozone in the air? ›

Ozone in the upper atmosphere--referred to as "stratospheric ozone"--helps filter out damaging ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Though ozone in the stratosphere is protective, ozone in the atmosphere - which is the air we breathe - can be harmful to the respiratory system.

How does ozone work? ›

When electricity or ultraviolet light stream through air, their energy splits oxygen molecules into two oxygen atoms. The loose oxygen atoms then recombine with ordinary oxygen molecules to form ozone. In the upper atmosphere, sunlight interacts with oxygen to produce earth's protective ozone layer.

How much ozone is safe to breathe? ›

The NIOSH recommended exposure limit for ozone is 0.1 ppm (0.2 mg/m). According to NIOSH, Ozone levels of 5 ppm or higher are considered immediately dangerous to life or health.

Does a ozone machine take the oxygen out of the air? ›

Ozone generators work by: Silent corona discharge: These machines use electric discharge to produce ozone by splitting the normal oxygen molecules in the air into single atoms.

What is the best and safest air purifier? ›

Our rating of the Best Air Purifiers of 2023 features 10 models that may be a good fit for your home. The Coway Airmega AP-1512HH earns the top spot on this list. Air purifiers are designed to capture indoor irritants like smoke, dust, and pollen, and then re-circulate the cleaner air back into your space.

Is an ozone machine better than an air purifier? ›

The differences, in fact, are immense. In most cases, air purifiers generally do not release pollution into the air. While ozone generators release a gas that is considered a pollutant to clean and sanitize, air purifiers simply filter the air.

Is it safe to use ozone machine? ›

Ozone can react with other chemicals in the air to produce additional chemicals and fine particles that can also be irritating to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Children who breathe ozone for long periods of time (years) may suffer permanent lung damage, but this health effect is less certain.

Does ozone permanently remove odors? ›

Ozone is not effective at removing odor, but instead, can deaden the sense of smell. Being unable to detect odor removes our natural warning property for exposure to high levels of ozone. Besides being harmful to people and animals, ozone can also damage furnishings made from certain plastics and rubber materials.

How long does it take for ozone to clear a room? ›

With open windows, it should take about 30 minutes to air out. If you are unable to open windows in your basement, it may take up to 4 hours for the ozone smell to dissipate and revert back to breathable oxygen.

How long does ozone last in a room? ›

Ozone will be in the air from 30 minutes up to 4 hours before it will disperse back into oxygen. The higher the concentration levels of ozone the longer it will last in our indoor environment.

Is it healthy to breathe ozone? ›

Exposure to ozone may cause headaches, coughing, dry throat, shortness of breath, a heavy feeling in chest, and fluid in the lungs. Higher levels of exposure can lead to more severe symptoms. Chronic exposure may lead to asthma. Workers may be harmed from exposure to ozone.

What does ozone smell like? ›

Ozone has a very characteristic pungent odor, sometimes described as like chlorine bleach, and it can sometimes be detected after lightning strikes or during electrical discharges. Individual humans vary in their ability to smell ozone; some people can smell it at levels as low as 0.05 ppm.

What emits ozone in home? ›

Besides ambient ozone that can seep into offices, there are a few specific sources of ozone that are strictly indoor. Indoor ozone emission devices, or IOEDs, include air purifiers, disinfectors, laser printers, photocopiers, and others.

What smells does an ozone machine get rid of? ›

The answer is pretty simple – using an ozone generator that releases artificial ozone gas. It can help you get rid of all sorts of foul or odors including curry smells, skunk smells, smoky odors, musty moldy odors, and much more.

What are the disadvantages of ozone machine? ›

This may include decreased lung function, throat irritation, severe asthma symptoms, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, irritation of lung tissue, and the higher sensitivity to respiratory infection.

Why is ozone therapy illegal? ›

The FDA prohibits the medical use of ozone, "In any medical condition for which there is no proof of safety and effectiveness", stating "Ozone is a toxic gas with no known useful medical application in specific, adjunctive, or preventive therapy.

What is the cleanest natural air filter for home? ›

According to the study, the top workhorse plants for air purification are Golden Pothos, Peace Lily, Boston Fern, Snake Plant, English Ivy, Dracaena, Bamboo Palm, Dragon Tree, Lady Palm, and Spider Plant.

Can one air purifier clean an entire house? ›

When it comes to cleaning the air in a single room in your home, a portable air purifier is sufficient. But if you want to improve the indoor air quality throughout your entire house, a whole house air filter or purification system can clean the air as it passes through your home's HVAC system.

Is there a downside to air purifiers? ›

What are the downsides of air purifiers? There aren't a lot of downsides to having an air purifier in your home aside from the financial investment. Many ionizers, especially older models, can generate ozone when they are operating, which is known to exacerbate asthma.

Can you use an ozone machine in a room? ›

Ozone generators are not a safe choice for cleaning the air in occupied spaces. However, the device can be helpful when used in uninhabited areas for a long time, such as cleaning up natural waste. The room should be as closed off as possible for the generator to work and ventilated before the space is reoccupied.

Why did California ban ozone generators? ›

California was the first state to step up to defend consumers from false marketing claims that ozone generators are safe, effective air purifiers. In reality, ozone is a lung irritant, especially harmful to allergy and asthma sufferers. In 2009, California became the first state in the nation to ban ozone generators.

What is the difference between an ozone machine and an ionizer? ›

An ozone generator produces ozone that attacks the source of odor causing gases through a process called oxidation and permanently removes the odor. This is very different from a negative ion generator, or ionizer, whose primary purpose is to reduce particles like dust and pollen floating around in air spaces.

What happens if you leave an ozone machine on too long? ›

If you run the high-output ozone machine for too long you may create an adverse reaction leading to a new odor problem all together. For this reason we demand that our machines not exceed 8 hours of continuous run time for any project.

Can ozone go through walls? ›

Ozone does not penetrate walls, floors, or other surfaces. While it can get into nooks and crannies, ozone can only tackle air born mold and surface mold.

How do I know if my air purifier produces ozone? ›

Air purifiers that may generate ozone and other harmful chemicals are listed as “Electrical” under the type column. Those that do not generate ozone or ions are listed as “Mechanical”.

Can an ozone machine get rid of old house smell? ›

Ozone generators may mask the smell, but you will need to ensure you are not continuing to live with toxic mold growth by eliminating the root of the problem.

What is the smell after ozone treatment? ›

There is often a leftover faint smell of ozone the first couple weeks following a treatment. Past clients have enjoyed this smell and describe it as clean & fresh smell, similar to that after a lightning storm or after the rain. The ozone smell will continue to fade over time.

Does smoke smell come back after ozone treatment? ›

The ozone that is produced by an ozone generator naturally changes the composition of the particles it grabs onto. This process turns smoke particles from something smelly to something odorless. Again, it has to be at a very high level to completely remove the smell, which leads to the next concern.

Does ozone rise or sink in a room? ›

Ozone is much heavier than air and tends to sink to lower levels. Ozone has a low vapor pressure and so it doesnot try to fill the room uniformly. It tends to stay where it is.

How long does it take for ozone to damage lungs? ›

Controlled human exposure studies have demonstrated that short-term exposure - up to 8 hours - causes lung function decrements such as reductions in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and the following respiratory symptoms: Cough. Throat irritation.

Does ozone come inside the house? ›

Since people spend most of their time indoors, the ozone in the indoor environment could be a major factor affecting the occupants' health. The indoor ozone in residential buildings mainly comes from two sources: outdoor atmosphere and indoor ozone produced by electrical devices.

Can ozone damage furniture? ›

Ozone is the most effective way to remove odor caused by smoke damage. Professional restoration contractors can control the temperature, humidity, and treatment time carefully for maximum positive effects. In short—no, ozone is not bad for your belongings, as long as it is being controlled by a professional.

Does ozone penetrate carpet? ›

The ozone-generated air then penetrates the carpets, air ducts, and walls where odors hide, creating long-lasting freshness.

Will ozone machine take smell out of carpet? ›

Often, even once the source of the odor has been removed, odors persist because they have penetrated carpets, wall coverings, furniture, etc. One of the fastest, most effective, and safest ways to tackle persistent malodors is with an ozone generator.

Does ozone treatment really work? ›

There is low-quality and limited evidence that ozone therapy could offer health benefits. These include: Immune system support because ozone therapy activates your immune system and boosts immunity. Improved blood circulation, as more oxygen travels to your cells, tissues and organs.

What are the side effects of ozone therapy? ›

Common Ozone Therapy Side Effects:

These include burning eyes, coughing, nausea, lightheadedness, or a mild headache. These symptoms are temporary and usually resolve shortly after the treatment. A Herxheimer (Healing) Reaction is possible.

Is ozone treatment FDA approved? ›

The FDA doesn't approve the use of ozone therapy in the treatment of disease. It has further said that ozone has “no known useful medical application.” There also aren't enough large long-term studies to understand all potential adverse effects.

Does ozone therapy remove toxins? ›

Ozone provides purifying effects for the atmosphere, but also can boost the overall health of the human body by helping to rid it of toxins like bacteria and yeast.

Why can't you buy an ozone machine in California? ›

California was the first state to step up to defend consumers from false marketing claims that ozone generators are safe, effective air purifiers. In reality, ozone is a lung irritant, especially harmful to allergy and asthma sufferers. In 2009, California became the first state in the nation to ban ozone generators.

What are the cons of ozone therapy? ›

There are minimal negative effects of Ozone Therapy. Patients might experience symptoms such as burning eyes, headache, nausea, and coughing due to accidental inhalation. It might cause discomfort, so taking breaks between treatments is helpful.

Is ozone therapy good for the heart? ›

Ozone Therapy for Heart Disease

Research shows ozone therapy may be an excellent addition to treatment programs because its ability to increase the concentration of 2, 3 – Diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) (hemoglobin regulators) in red blood cells, causing more oxygen to be delivered to the heart and other tissues.

How long does it take for ozone to work? ›

Set the timer before you leave the room, ensure that no people or pets are in the room when the ozone machine is working. Treatment times are approximately 10 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the size of space.

Does ozone therapy help with inflammation? ›

In conclusion, ozone therapy might reduce the autoimmune inflammatory reaction and, consequently, pain due to radiculopathy, after the exposure of the nucleus pulposus to the immune system [22].

Can ozone cause heart problems? ›

It found that chronic exposure to ozone was associated with a progressive thickening of the carotid arteries, which supply blood to the head and neck. It also revealed a higher risk of carotid plaque, which can cause blood clots and lead to dangerous cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.


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