Consumers who have experienced a fire or recently restored a house may want to get rid of the odour left over by using an ozone generator. Many ozone generator manufacturers claim that ozone is not only an effective way to remove air pollution, but that it is relatively safe as well. However, according to the EPA, while some levels of ozone are acceptable, ozone generators can often exceed safety limits and cause health issues. Ozone generators are also unlikely to get rid of most indoor air pollution.
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Ozone is very similar to the oxygen needed for the human body, except it has an extra atom of oxygen added to the molecular structure. This extra atom can easily attach to other molecules, hence the idea that one can "oxidise" pollution to get rid of it. However, according to the EPA, the "oxidising" theory is highly debatable when it comes to ozone generators.
According to Air Purifier Power, when ozone from an ozone generator comes in contact with the skin, it can form the toxic compound hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide, commonly known as bleach, is formed by immersing ozone into water. Thus, when ozone comes into contact with moist parts of the body, such as a lung, it essentially forms bleach and can cause respiratory problems.
The Food and Drug Administration regulates ozone from medical devices, and OSHA limits how much ozone an employee may be exposed to, but nothing regulates how much ozone a home generator may produce. According to the EPA, how much harm an ozone generator can do depends on the size of the room that contains the generator. In addition, ozone generator settings do not have an industry standard; a medium setting can vary drastically between brands.
According to the EPA, ozone is sometimes useful for decontaminating a room not used by anyone. However, there is no scientific research data about the long-term or short-term side effects of the decontamination of biological and chemical pollutants with ozone. Anything containing a dye or pigment is likely to experience damage from ozone decontamination. People are also especially advised to not enter a room with a high level of ozone.
The EPA suggests that ozone generators do little to reduce air pollution and odours. Scientific research accepted by the EPA shows that ozone can take months, and even years, to remove indoor chemical pollution. At this slow reaction rate, ozone is essentially considered inert with compounds like carbon monoxide. For substances that ozone does quickly react with, scientific studies accepted by the EPA show ozone produced a larger mass of harmful compounds than the substances which it eliminated.
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