You have probably seen commercials about “bringing mountain air into your own home” with ozone generating air purifiers. To the untrained observer, this seems like a pretty convincing phrase, and would make you want to purchase one. However, be aware that anything that generates ozone in your home is not exactly good for your health. In fact, there have been some controversy behind the marketing of such purification systems that has led to health concerns. Your health would be very affected by the ozone it generates.
What is Ozone?
Ozone is a colorless and odorless gas like oxygen, but has three oxygen atoms instead of two, like the oxygen we breathe.
Why is it Dangerous to My Health?
Of course it is known that ozone is the one thing protecting the earth from the sun’s deadly heat and radiation from going beyond acceptable limits and therefore protects us all from being scorched to raisins. However, that does not mean that it is safe to breathe.
Why do the Companies Say it is Safe?
Companies that sell these air purifiers say that ozone is safe for use because they are obviously trying to sell their product. While, at the same time, it is used in controlled application, it can still be detrimental to someone using it in their home. Houses are much smaller than factories or warehouses. Even in very small amounts, ozone can damage your health.
What does Ozone do that is so Harmful?
After hearing that ozone is toxic, the most logical thing to ask, as a skeptic, is about what ozone does to people in the first place that causes so much concern. A number of observations have led to the conclusion that ozone causes a number of breathing disorders, including, and not limited to, bronchitis. Even plants are affected by any concentration of ozone.
How does Ozone do this?
Ozone harms you primarily because it is unstable. The tendency of single oxygen atoms is to bind with another atom to become stable, and you end up with O2 (breathable oxygen). Ozone has three of these atoms. Basically, the molecule cannot exist this way for a long period of time. It is only a matter of time before the “extra” atom binds with another, creating another new compound and leaving the stable oxygen molecule behind to part on its way. You can imagine what this can do to your lungs after prolonged exposure, binding unstable atoms with your lungs’ molecules.
What Alternative Options do I Have?
If you want clean air in your house, consider buying an air filter. These devices let air pass through their microfilters and filtering all sorts of pollutants, reducing microbes and dust in your house. There are many different variations, and they are within reach in the market. If you have bought an ozone-generating air purifier, you would do best to stop its use. This is intended as a message to push you to buy air filters instead, but a message intended to make you aware of safety issues in readily-available goods from markets you thought you could trust.