An ozone generator is configured and marketed as an air cleaning device for houses, offices, or similarly occupied spaces. Although the manufacturers of this home appliance purported it to be safe for indoor usage, health experts oppose the claims. Before we directly jump to the topic of our discussion, i.e., ozone generator dangers, we need to understand what this appliance is, basically, what its purpose is, how it is used, etc.
As the name signifies, ozone generator is a device, configured for the purpose of producing the gas, ozone. As per the producers, it helps in removing smoke, mold growth, pet odor, cooking odor, and microbes from the rooms. In simpler words, it is effective to deodorize and sanitize rooms effectively. According to the supporters, the dangers related to these devices are negligible and the device is safe for regular usage. Not only in house or office rooms, it can be used in cars and other automobiles too.
What are the Dangers?
Chemically, the ozone molecule is made up of three oxygen atoms. The oxygen molecule that we breathe is composed of two oxygen atoms. Under certain conditions, this molecule (O3) splits up into one diatomic oxygen (O2) and one basic oxygen atom (O). The released atom is capable of binding with organic substances in the environment, thus helping in removing organic impurities.
In the working mechanism of both commercial and homemade ozone generators, the basic oxygen is the key agent in removing odor, mold, and microbes. This same oxygen atom is the cause of medical concern, as it can even bind to organic substances inside the body and cause health conditions. In medical science, it is a known fact that exposure to high concentration of ozone is detrimental to the health. Similarly, using this appliance in an occupied room is equally risky.
Ozone inhalation can lead to health complications, which may be mild, treatable to severe, irreversible cases. Some of the medical signs resulted due to ozone exposure include throat irritation, cough, chest discomfort, and breathing difficulty. Performing physical activities is another reason for breathing in high amounts of ozone, thus causing severe health effects. Also, the risk for getting respiratory tract infection is increased manifold with ozone inhalation.
The tolerance level for ozone exposure is different for different people. And recovery of the medical symptoms can be expected, if the exposure time is short and the concentration level is very low. However, prolonged exposure to ozone gas or high level exposure can lead to severe health problems. Patients with underlying respiratory tract disorders are at a higher risk of manifesting serious conditions than healthy people.
The ozone generator dangers are minimal and this home appliance is safe provided that the generated ozone amount falls within the recommended range, suggested by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). However, it is to be borne in mind, that the EPA does not provide certification for any type of air purifier devices, including the ozone generator. No other organization of the Federal government approves use of ozone related devices in occupied rooms.
The best solution is to go through the market reviews, study about the scientific applications of this device, and then decide whether it really helps in purifying indoor air or not. You can outweigh the pros and cons of this generator before buying one for your home. Remember that, too much ozone in occupied areas and inhalation of the gas cause negative health effects. To clear your doubts about ozone effects on health, you can consult a health care specialist.
If, at all, you are using an ozone generator, adjust it at a low setting, set the timer, and maintain optimal ventilation. Most importantly, keep the door shut and stay out of the room for some time, at least 1-2 hours after the device has shut down.
Disclaimer: This HomeQuicks article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.