You might’ve heard that ozone is bad for you, but how much do you really know about the dangers of ozone? Read on to learn on about how to protect your family from this toxic gas.
Ozone is a gas. Ozone molecules have three oxygen atoms, O3, whereas the oxygen we breathe has two. Ozone is dangerous because its extra oxygen atom can easily detach and then attach to other substances. This highly reactive quality has the ability to alter the chemical composition of some substances in the air, and could even affect our cells if we breathe it in.
Upon hearing the word “ozone,” you’re probably thinking of the ozone layer, which protects life on earth from the sun’s UV radiation. The ozone at ground level is “bad” ozone, as it can pose health risks when breathed in.
Health professionals have warned of the dangers of ozone since the early 20th century. Ozone reacts just as easily with your body’s living tissues as it reacts with outside substances. This means that ozone can spark a variety of health issues, such as coughing and airway inflammation, as well as reducing lung function and harm lung tissue. Some people are especially vulnerable to its effects, specifically children, the elderly, and those with asthma.
The Clean Air Act is a federal law under which the EPA has set standards for outside air quality in order to protect public health. Of the six air pollutants the agency has set standards, ozone is one of them. If ozone is hazardous enough for the EPA to monitor outdoor levels, then think of how dangerous it must be for an ozone generator to release pure ozone into your home!
The benefits of using an ozone generator in your home are virtually nonexistent. Studies have shown that in order for many of the dangerous chemicals found indoors to eliminated, the chemical process an ozone generator sparks may take months to years. Other studies have shown that ozone cannot effectively remove carbon monoxide, and if used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone cannot remove viruses, mold, bacteria, or other biological pollutants.
A HEPA filter is a much safer and more effective method than an ozone generator. Instead of releasing a hazardous gas, a HEPA filter traps indoor air pollutants. HEPA filters are the only air cleaners that meet certain EPA efficacy standards.
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Written by Kaitlyn Troth of Troth Media