Is Ozone Healthy or Harmful?
For many years now, air purifiers have been using Ozone to help clean the air in homes, motels, hotels, basements, and more. Ozone has been known to help clean the air, even remove mold and in some cases, even kill bacteria. These plates all seem to have one thing in common: Unless you wash them each month with a mixture of ammonia and water, they become less efficient. In fact, even if you do clean them regularly, they still seem to wear out and need to be replaced every two years or so. More often if you don't clean them.
Good or Bad?
Some claim ozone is bad for you, other say it's great for you. Some swear by it, others condemn it completely. But, who is right? Is ozone a great tool for helping us live a healthier life, or some sort of of ruse that is really killing us slowly?
The Truth... in my opinion, is that ozone is safe. However, some people, in fact, maybe a large percentage of people, seem to have a problem with ozone. Here is a list of the symptoms I have either witnessed, or heard that people have from ozone:
- Eye Irritation
- Throat Irritation
In large doses, ozone can cause most any of these. I happen to believe and have witnessed, though, that some people are more susceptible to these symptoms than are others. I, myself, have no issue with ozone, but after a while, in an area where the dispenser is putting out a lot of ozone, it begins to bother me as well.
Ozone Can Be An Irritant
There is the issue. Ozone in HIGH amounts, can be an irritant. This is not a big surprise. Ozone is an active gas and it interacts with many types of materials in different ways. But, to my knowledge, no one has ever said it was ok in ANY amount.
In fact, most air purifiers suggest using ozone in very small amounts. By their very design, they are set to produce small amounts of ozone over an extended period of time. Many have an "away" mode, where a large dose of ozone is expelled for a shorter period of time. And, rightfully so, they recommend that you do not stay in the area while this mode is in use. Many even suggest that you do not leave pets in the area either.
Ozone Dissipates Quickly
Here's another news item: Most people do not understand that ozone, in almost any amount, will dissipate within about 30 minutes, especially once fresh air is allowed into the area. So, the problem does not lie with ozone itself, but rather with the misuse of ozone.
One of the best ways I have had described to me for how to adjust your ozone purifier is this: When you walk into a room that is being treated with ozone, you should notice the ozone, but just barely. Once you've been in the room for a few minutes (5-10), you should NOT notice the ozone in the air. If you are using your air purifier this way, you probably will not experience any of the symptoms listed above, and neither should others in the area.
Some People Are Highly Susceptible to Ozone
However, the same is not always true for those who are more susceptible to ozone. When a person notices the presence of ozone no matter how minor or small the level, they can also be affected by any level. I know of a person who can smell ozone in almost any amount. They also complain of headaches, throat irritations and other issues as a result of any prolonged exposure to ozone.
As a result of this study and my observation, I suggest that those who firmly believe in ozone's capability for good, continue to be aware that others may seriously be affected negatively by it and be considerate of them and their sensitivity. In other words, if someone complains, don't discount their concern. Turn it off while they are there. It's the right thing to do.
For the rest of us, ozone can be a powerful source of air purification, disinfectant, a nice clean fragrance that is reminiscent of the air following a thunderstorm, and may even kill mold and bacteria. So, it should be fine to continue to use it.
Most Ozone Plates Are Made in CHINA
One more thing... as of the writing of this document (September 2016) nearly every ozone plate manufactured today is made OUTSIDE the United States, with the majority of them being made in China. Only one company is doing something about that at this time and will be releasing their Made In USA version of the standard Ozone Plate around October 2016. That company is CP3, Inc. located in Huntsville, Alabama.
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