FAQ

About Ozone

Is ozone Safe?

safetyOzone is completely safe when used properly.

Very high levels of ozone is desirable when treating areas for mold, bacteria and viruses; however, those treatments are done in unoccupied rooms only.  That means NO people, pets, or plants in the room.

Most Air-Zone Ozone Generators are capable of very high ozone output and feature adjustable ozone output.  This allows the user to perform a High Ozone Shock Treatment of areas stricken with mold, bacteria and virus contamination, while still allowing for very low ozone output when simple air purification is needed or people are present.  Unless you are intentionally shock-treating an area, it is recommended that the adjustable ozone output be set to lower levels, which will have no adverse effect on health.

Low levels of ozone are desirable for removal of odors and organic compounds in the air. Air-Zone Ozone Generators that are set to low output will produce continuous or pulse generation of ozone which falls within the naturally occurring ranges found in nature. Natural ozone levels are highest near high-energy environments such as waterfalls and lightning strikes… you probably know the air smells amazing in those areas, and does not cause adverse health effects.

The US Food and Drug Administration approves the use of ozone for killing bacteria in food.  The US Food and Drug Administration approves the use of ozone for use in food.   They state that ozone may be safely used in the treatment, storage, and processing of foods as a antimicrobial agent.  The FDA has approved the use of ozone in gaseous and aqueous phases as an antimicrobial agent on food, including meat and poultry. Responding to a petition from the Agriculture and Food Technology Alliance of the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., FDA published a final rule that permits use of ozone as a food additive (66 Fed. Reg. 33,829).

Isn’t ozone smog?

smog3Ozone is not smog.

While ozone is sometimes mistakenly referred to as smog, SMOG is actually a combination of hydrocarbons, among them being CO², CO, and SO². These hydrocarbons are most commonly created by the exhaust that comes from automobiles. Ozone pushes these hydrocarbons back to the surface of the earth in order to use it’s natural purification abilities to break them apart on a molecular level.

What is commonly called “ozone” in referring to the ground level air quality is really a mixture of these various toxic hydrocarbons, NOT O3 ozone. We know that Ozone is a colorless gas, when we look at SMOG we can see that it is certainly not colorless.

In fact, without ozone the Earth could not clean itself of the true SMOG, which is the hydrocarbons.

Ozone has a beneficial role in smog reduction because of its ability to break down and oxidize hydrocarbons and particulates in the air.  When it is said that the ozone level is high and there is more SMOG, it really means that while it is higher than normal at surface levels the real danger is not the O3 ozone, it is the hydrocarbons, the heavier-than-air ozone is trying to clean.

When excessive amounts of man-made hydrocarbons are produced, there will be higher concentrations of ozone as a natural reaction to an unnatural situation.

Does ozone really work?

Don’t take it from us. Take a moment to consider the well respected, peer reviewed studies provided on our Test Reports page.  A Test Reports page is available on both the Air Ozone and Water Ozone menu items.

In all cases a positive reduction in E coli, bacteria, molds, fungus and staph was achieved by introducing ozone gas into the testing environment.  Specific tests have also been performed on some of our individual units to determine the effectiveness of treatments using the specific Air-Zone unit.  Those tests are provided on our Test Reports page as well.

Excerpts from some of the test results follow:

  • Bacteriacidal Effects of High Airborne Ozone Concentrations
    on Escherichia coli Staphylococcus aureus         Conducted by Penn State University:   Quote: “The results presented here demonstrate that high degrees of bacterial sterilization can be achieved with airborne ozone”. . . . “The results suggest that efficient sterilization of airstreams could be accomplished in a matter of seconds by the use of ozone.”
  • Purdue University finds that ozone kills mold in grain.    Impact summary: Insects eat $12 million worth of stored grain in Indiana each year, and pesticides have been the tool that grain handlers use to stop them.   Purdue researchers, looking for ways to reduce pesticide use, found a potential alternative in ozone fumigation.   In initial tests, ozone fumigation killed more than 90 percent of major insect pests and cut Aspergillus fungus populations by more than half.   It leaves no residue in grain, does not escape into the environment, and appears to be economically competitive. Title: Ozone fumigation could replace pesticides in stored grain.

 

  •      The United States Food and Drug Administration approves the use of ozone for use in killing bacteria in food.:  The US Food and Drug Administration approves the use of ozone for use in food.   They state that ozone may be safely used in the treatment, storage, and processing of foods as a antimicrobial agent.  The FDA has approved the use of ozone in gaseous and aqueous phases as an antimicrobial agent on food, including meat and poultry. Responding to a petition from the Agriculture and Food Technology Alliance of the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., FDA published a final rule that permits use of ozone as a food additive (66 Fed. Reg. 33,829).

Do your Ozone Generators also function as ionizers?

Yes, all of our ozone generators put out negative ions, but not nearly as much as compared to a standard ionizer. Most ionizer products output more than 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 per cubic cm. This is way too much. Too much ionization turns your walls and furniture black with dirt and soot, and causes breathing irritations.

According to air science, outdoor fresh air has 200 to 500 ions per cubic cm, indoor air has 100 to 200 per cubic cm, and a forest will have 1,500 to 5,000 ions per cubic cm. Our ozone generators produce reasonable levels of negative ions of about 10,000 to 30,000 per cubic cm., which is more than enough to gain the positive benefits of negative ionization. Therefore, the amount of negative ions output from our series of products is good enough for giving indoor air that fresh clean smell, but not too much as to turn your walls black.

For purifying the air and removing odors only an ozone generator can kill viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. Ionization has no effect whatsoever on these compounds. Ionizers are toys compared to a real ozone generator. Ionization may make the air “smell” fresh but as soon as you turn the unit off the effect is over. Not so with ozone.

After careful testing we found that even extremely high amounts of negative ions were not effective in purifying the air. An extremely high amount of ions may give a false sense of clean air, but they can become irritating very quickly. Too much ionization can cause headaches and sore throats, as well as turning the surfaces in your home black with a dusty film that is very difficult to wash away.

Is an Ozone Generator going to remove the dust in my home?

These are the best HEPA filters available todayNo, Ozone is not going to remove dust.  The only way to remove dust is to filter the air.  This can be accomplished with a true HEPA filter like the Austin Air True HEPA filters featured on this site.  Ozone kills mold, bacteria, viruses, and odors, but it does not remove dust from your home.  Filters collect the dust and dander rather than just pushing it around the room as an ionizer does, so that it does not become airborne again.  The idea is to remove the dust from your home, not simply move it from here to there.

Air-Zone sells quality, hospital grade Austin Air HEPA filters that are more cost effective than store bought brands.

Although ionizers claim to remove dust from your home the truth is they only move it around the inside of your home.
Even those ionizers with collector plates or grids are only going to catch 5-10% of the dust that passes by them. The rest of the dust is going to be electronically glued to your walls, floor and ceiling.  The dust is going to adhere to every surface in your home.

To truly remove dust from your rooms please see our Austin Air True HEPA Filters which actually filter dust, pollen, animal dander, and other airborne contaminants out of the air.

The only true way to remove dust out of the air is to filter the air.

HEPA Filtration

What Types of Pollutants Can an Air Cleaner Remove?

There are several types of air cleaning devices available, each designed to remove certain types of pollutants.

Particle Removal
Two types of air cleaning devices can remove particles from the air — mechanical air filters and electronic air cleaners. Mechanical air filters remove particles by capturing them on filter materials. High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are in this category.

Electronic air cleaners such as electrostatic precipitators use a process called electrostatic attraction to trap charged particles. They draw air through an ionization section where particles obtain an electrical charge. The charged particles then accumulate on a series of flat plates called a collector that is oppositely charged. Ion generators, or ionizers, disperse charged ions into the air, similar to the electronic air cleaners but without a collector. These ions attach to airborne particles, giving them a charge so that they attach to nearby surfaces such as walls or furniture, or attach to one another and settle faster.

How is the Performance of an Air Cleaner Measured?

Medium efficiency filters with a MERV of 5 to 13 are reasonably efficient at removing small to large airborne particles. Filters with a MERV between 7 and 13 are likely to be nearly as effective as true HEPA filters at controlling most airborne indoor particles. Medium efficiency air filters are generally less expensive than HEPA filters, and allow quieter HVAC fan operation and higher airflow rates than HEPA filters since they have less airflow resistance.

Higher efficiency filters with a MERV of 14 to 16, sometimes misidentified as HEPA filters, are similar in appearance to true HEPA filters, which have MERV values of 17 to 20. True HEPA filters are normally not installed in residential HVAC systems; installation of a HEPA filter in an existing HVAC system would probably require professional modification of the system. A typical residential air handling unit and the associated ductwork would not be able to accommodate such filters because of their physical dimensions and increase in airflow resistance.