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Air Purification Technologies Comparison

Statements from Professional Studies on Ozone

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning): "Ozone controls surface mold on packages and walls, and reduces scale development and decay. The presence of ozone . . . . significantly reduces the occurrence of mold."

Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES): "Ozone is one of the purest and most powerful oxidants and germicides known."

How Ozone Purifies the Air

Ozone oxidizes airborne pollutants, then reverts back to oxygen, transforming polluted air to pure and refreshened air.

Here is how the process works:

  1. Oxygen molecules (O1 and O2) are converted to ozone (O3) by either a high-voltage electrical charge (such as from lightning), or by ultraviolet light (such as from the sun rays).
  2. One oxygen atom (O1) splits off from the ozone molecule, and reacts with other particles when it comes within range of a particle and/or pollutant. Ozone is highly reactive, so it never fails to initiate this reaction with other particles.
  3. As the 2nd most powerful oxidant in existance, the single oxygen atom proceeds to "oxidize" the particle it reacts with. This means it burns the particle, which changes its physical properties. As a result, the particle will no longer be toxic, and will no longer be able to reproduce if it is biological. In other words, the particle becomes completely harmless.
  4. When the single oxygen (O1) molecule oxidizes the particle, it too is destroyed. This leaves behind the O2 it split away from, or pure and clean oxygen. 

Effectiveness of Ozone

Effectiveness at Low Levels

In studies conducted at the Academy of Medical Sciences in Russia, Dr. Gubernskii and Dr. Dmitriev found that 0.005 ppm (parts per million) to 0.02 ppm of ozone added to normal indoor air (0 ppm) increased animals' resistance to the cold, to infection, to toxic substances, and to oxygen deprivation. A general increase in the immune "biological potential" and the vital capacity of the lungs was reported.

Dr. Gubernskii and Dr. Dmitriev also performed tests using less than .01 ppm of ozone in an air-conditioned office building, which revealed that "the levels of oxygen in the blood increase relatively quickly and remain at a high level for the duration of the experiment." They also stated that: "Atmospheric ozone has a positive effect on animals and people. It is important to note its positive effect on the breathing system, blood composition, arterial pressure, immune system, general feeling of well-being, and mental and physical work capability. The ozone-ion complex is a necessary component of fresh air that gives it a curative effect."

This same study, featured in the Russian journal Priroda, also reports a decrease in complaints of stuffiness (3.8 times fewer complaints).

Russian scientists performed a study to see how effective ozone was at improving indoor air quality in schools. Respiratory-related illnesses were drastically improved after the ozone systems were installed. The ozone concentration produced by the systems were 0.015 ppm (parts per million).

In testing performed by two scientists by the name of Elford and Van den Ende, it was found that ozone effectively destroyed bacteria at 0.04 ppm.

Many publications have published studies showing the effectiveness of lower concentrations ozone (0.01 to 0.03 ppm) at removing odors and pollutants. Some of these include the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), U.S. Air Force technical publications, and Manufacturing Chemist.

Surround Air ionizers produce an ozone concentration of 0.02 ppm to 0.04 ppm.

Effectiveness against Mold

A 1999 study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that both ozonated air and water inactivate mold, rendering the mold cells harmless.

Safetiness of Ozone

Professional Studies

The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society has reported that electric-arc welders exposed to ozone levels of 0.2 to 0.3 ppm (parts per million) for a decade showed no adverse effects. The Surround Air Ionizers produce between 0.02 to 0.04 ppm of ozone.

Also, according to the 1961 Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, "During the 80-year history of the large scale usage of ozone, there has never been a human death attributed to it." To this day, there has still never been a single human death or incident of harm attributed to ozone. 

This despite the fact that ozone was widely used in hospitals during the first half of the 20th century, and is still widely used in European hospitals. In addition, millions of ozone air purification systems are in use worldwide, both commercially and residentially.

By Contrast, well over a million people are hospitalized, and well over 100,000 are killed every year due to medication side effects, according to the FDA.

Ozone is completely safe and effective when occurring within FDA and OSHA standards of 0.05 ppm (parts per million). In healthy and clean outdoor environments, ozone occurs between 0.02 ppm and 0.05 ppm. Ozone has not been found to be harmful to the lungs until occurring at concentrations of 0.1 to 0.2 ppm. However, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to adjust most ozone air purifiers to produce anywhere close to this amount of ozone. 

Self-Policing

In addition, the smell of ozone will become unpleasant and obnoxious well before reaching harmful levels, serving as a built-in and self-policing safety mechanism. If this happens, you know to make an adjustment (i.e. adjust setting of machine, increase air flow, place in more open/larger area).

However, at proper levels (0.02 ppm to 0.05 ppm), it will have a pleasant and clean smell to it, reminiscent of the smell outside after a lightening storm.

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