The air we breathe is essential to our health and well-being. But did you know that the air inside our homes and workplaces can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside? Indoor air pollution can be a serious health hazard, and it’s important to be aware of its dangers. However, there is one pollutant that we easily misdunderstand: Ozone, and why it is dangerous.

Why is Ozone dangerous…also, what is Ozone?

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Scientists studying the upper atmosphere discovered ozone in the late 1800s

Ozone is a gas that’s formed when certain chemicals react with sunlight. It’s often used in air purifiers and ozone generators because it’s thought to be effective at killing bacteria and viruses. However, ozone is also a potent lung irritant and can be dangerous to your health.

Scientists discovered ozone in the late 1800s. At the time, they were investigating the upper atmosphere and found a new form of oxygen different from the oxygen we breathe. This new form of oxygen was more reactive and was later named ozone.

At first, ozone might seem like a good thing as it can help with air purification and surface cleanliness. But ozone becomes dangerous when at high concentrations. It can react with organic material inside and outside the body, damaging the lungs. 

Ozone can also worsen asthma and chronic respiratory diseases, as well as the body’s ability to fight respiratory infections. In addition, those with respiratory difficulty can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone.

Although people vary widely in susceptibility to ozone, a healthy person can feel the effects. For example, ozone exposure while exercising can be dangerous. With the increased rate and depth of breathing, we increase the risk of harmful respiratory effects ozone can cause. Even in low levels, it may be possible to recover from the detrimental effects, but at high levels, the results may be more severe. 

The problem with Sharper Image Ionic Breeze:

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Ozone is a potent lung irritant and can be dangerous to your health

What about air purifiers that have claimed that the use of ozone was to clean the air? The most well-known item exposing how ozone can be dangerous was Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze. After claiming that ozone was a healthy way to clean the air, and ignoring how it could be dangerous, they found themselves in legal trouble. In 2007, the company settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged that the company misled customers about the effectiveness of their Ionic Breeze air purifiers.

Where Sharper Image went wrong was in their testing. The Ionic Breeze created a high amount of static electricity, filling the air with ozone. But at the time, there was little understanding of the effects this would have on people. Better studies could have prevented the company from moving forward with the appliance. It’s reasons like these why Puraclenz uses third-party studies for our products.

Do Puraclenz devices emit dangerous Ozone? 

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Puraclenz produces minimal ozone, below dangerous levels

A Puraclenz unit produces minimal amounts of ozone. When using any form of UV light, it is impossible to eliminate all traces of ozone, but it is possible to keep it below dangerous levels. Like HEPA air purifiers, like Puraclenz improves air quality in a safe and effective way. 

Our technology at Puraclenz is based on the same air purification methods used by NASA. At NASA, the decontamination system uses high-power ultraviolet, light-emitting diodes to sanitize surfaces. This process only takes minutes and removes airborne contaminants as well, without producing dangerous concentrations of ozone.

The P7000 can purify the air of the banquet hall, which might make it seem like it needs more power and UV light. However, our products use a shielded UV bulb that emits wavelengths above 250nm. Ozone is created by light at 185nm, so the amount of ozone that does get through is far below dangerous levels.

So, if you need a P7000 for a high school cafeteria or a p750 for a home office, you won’t need to worry about ozone either way. The only UV light you should be worrying about is the kind that gives you a good beach tan on your next vacation.

All Puraclenz products are certified ozone free and pass the Underwriters Laboratories Air Cleaner Standard for Zero Ozone Emissions).