Science

The Science Behind Ozone Generators

An ozone generator is a device that produces ozone gas that is then released into an area containing either air or water to kill microorganisms and remove odours. These devices are used for various industrial purposes, e. g. to disinfect hospital laundry, to deodorise smoke-damaging objects, to kill insects in stored grain, and to disinfect the rooms used for surgery.

For residential use, ozone generators are commonly marketed for odour reduction and as a way to improve indoor air quality. Since the 1990’s, health authorities in Canada and the U. S. Council against the residential use of ozone generators, because of the potential health risks related to ozone. It is not advisable to use an ozone generator in areas where there are pets or people, but their use under carefully controlled conditions in unoccupied rooms is considered acceptable by health authorities.

Ozone is a very unstable gas that rapidly turns into oxygen and cannot be stored or transported. Instead, it must be produced by an ozone generator on site if it is to be used. Even in low concentrations, ozone can be harmful to plants and respiratory system in humans and animals.

At high concentrations, ozone can kill microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and mould. It can also deodorize objects and interiors. However, many scientific studies suggest that the concentrations of ozone had to kill microorganisms efficiently and remove odors its harmful to humans and should only be used in uninhabited spaces and under professional supervision.

Manufacturers of these devices claim that an ozone generator in the home can be safely used to clean and purify air, eliminate odours, and get rid of mould and fungus.

Some health authorities maintain that as many ozone generators sold for residential use are capable of producing ozone levels that can cause health problems, such as lung damage, chest pain, cough and throat inflammation. Health Canada and the U. S. Climate Protection Organisation advise against using an ozone generator in the house.

An ozone generator uses either the drop discharge method or the UV light method to produce ozone. The spatter discharge method is commonly used in ozone generators that are sold as air filters and odour removers. It works by applying an electric current to an ozone that generates the material, electrically charges the air inside the device and turns it into ozone. The UV light method uses a specific type of UV light to produce ozone and is commonly used to purify water in spas and swimming pools.