Ozone Is Not The Enemy
Is Ozone Safe For Your Family?
Ozone levels are a constant concern, but it is often misunderstood. Ozone is a naturally occurring protection. The problems with ozone occur when man-made elements are introduced into the air. The scientific name for these elements is VOCs, volatile organic compounds. VOCs are created when poisons, toxins and bacteria are released into the air. They destroy the ozone that protects our planet. Worse yet, they are everywhere in your own home!
Pollution caused by VOCs (also responsible for the smog that obliterates clean air in many congested areas) cause ozone alerts. The confusion starts because ozone alerts are released to warn citizens of bad air quality. These dangerous ozone levels are issued because the ozone levels are DOWN, not because they are high. So why do ozone producing air purifiers get a bad rap?
EPA Warnings About In-Home Ozone Levels
The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, regulates air purifiers that emit ozone by-products because they can fill the air with ozone. The explanation is that ozone is good for the planet, but up close exposure to it is dangerous and can cause health problems. They use the saying “good up high bad nearby” to remind consumers that they shouldn’t under-estimate the hazards of in-home ozone levels.
The effects of ozone include:
- Lowered lung functions
- Increased asthma symptoms
- Lung inflammation
- Respiratory infections
What’s Worse Ozone or VOCs?
VOCs are definitely worse than ozone in small amounts. The compounds that make up VOCs are gases released from chemicals around the home like paint and even ink cartridges and permanent markers. Bacteria and mold that are very dangerous are also VOCs commonly found in homes. These compounds are responsible for many illnesses and diseases.
An ozone air purifier can reduce these VOCs by 99.97% leaving you with clean, pure air. Ionic air purifiers also create ozone as a by-product. They produce negative ions in order to neutralize positive ions in the air that can carry these dangerous elements throughout your home. The result is effective, but also causes some problems because a by-product of that ionization process is ozone.
In the early days, the ozone air purifiers released much higher levels of ozone. With current EPA regulation, these air purifiers no longer cause serious problems for the average person.
Who Shouldn’t Use An Ozone Air Purifier
Is ozone safe for everyone? As a rule, low levels are perfectly safe for most people. However, anyone with severe asthma problems, any lung disease or other breathing problems should avoid ionizing air purifiers that may emit even low levels of ozone as this can complicate existing health problems. Air purifiers that use HEPA filters combined with activated charcoal filters are a better choice for anyone with breathing problems and do not have any of the effects of ozone that ionizers do.
If you have small pets in the home, especially birds, it is not a good idea to use ozone generating air purifiers. These small animals have much less lung capacity than people and can’t handle even lower levels of ozone in the air.
The Best Use for Ozone Generators
The effects of ozone are completely eliminated when you give air purifiers that use ozone generation time to operate when you are not at home. Setting your purifier to start when you are at work or school, and shut off one to two hours before returning will ensure that the ozone kills the bacteria and mold spores that are in the air, and have the time to become oxygen again so the air is completely safe.
This process will work even if you have health issues that could be impacted by low ozone levels. You can also use an ozone air purifier if you are in a different room. However, if you have breathing problems that could be aggravated by ozone levels, it is better to avoid using an ozone generator when you are in the home.