Ozone is simply a molecule with three oxygen atoms. It is widely known as the substance in the stratosphere that protects us from harmful UV rays. While it works well high up in the sky, it isn’t as welcome down here on the ground where it is classified as a pollutant. Given this classification, it might surprise people that some air purifiers actually produce ozone intentionally or as a by-product. Manufacturers argue that its highly reactive nature allows it to break down unwanted compounds in the air by binding with them to create less toxic chemicals. Critics say that this isn’t enough to make up for the detrimental effects.
More Harm than Good
According to studies, short-term exposure can lead to acute health effects such the aggravation of asthma, coughing, throat irritation, decreased lung function, and lung tissue inflammation. The respiratory system can bounce back if the environment returns to normal right away. However, prolonged exposure can make things worse and lengthen the duration of these health effects. Some studies have even noted increased mortality within urban areas when the ambient ozone level rises. The claim that ozone reactivity is a good thing isn’t always true either. It is ineffective against many allergens. It can also damage rubber components around the house.
Air Purifiers to Avoid
Ozone free air scrubber use different technologies to clean the air so buyers need to check each model if they wish to avoid ozone exposure. They should definitely steer clear of ozonators as these actually boast about generating ozone in high concentrations. The EPA warns against the use of these products in occupied spaces. Rooms have to be emptied before running these. Other purifiers create ozone as a by-product including ionizers, UV-C light, electrostatic precipitation, and photocatalytic oxidation models. Although these produce a smaller amount of the pollutant, people should still be wary about repeated exposure.
Air Purifiers to Acquire
If you want a true ozone free air scrubber, then you should go for cleaner technologies. For example, HEPA filters can be trusted to remove as much as 99.97% of particles in the air with size 0.3 microns and up. These are highly effective against allergens. However, these are not effective against VOCs and odors. That’s why you should also make sure that the unit has carbon filters to fill the gap. Both of these are ozone-free. Lastly, consider photo electrochemical oxidation technology. This utilizes the safer UV-A light to prevent the production of ozone unlike UV-C light.