Ozone and Air Purifiers

May 22, 2017

Ozone and Air Purifiers

Not all air-cleaning devices are created equally. In fact, some air purifiers can even be harmful to your health. Ozone generators, often marketed as air purifiers, intentionally produce ozone to “clean” the air. However, the manufacturers of these air cleaning systems often overlook or intentionally downplay the harmful effects ozone can have on the human body.

Ozone Defined.
Ozone, also known as trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule. It occurs naturally in two distinct layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Ozone in the higher stratospheric layer is beneficial, filtering out some of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. However, when ozone occurs in the ground-level layer of the atmosphere, known as the troposphere, it is considered a harmful air pollutant. The most common ingredient in urban smog, ozone is harmful to breathe, and can cause damage to trees, agricultural crops, and other plants.

The form of oxygen that we need to breathe, which is constructed to two oxygen atoms, has a different molecular structure than ozone. Ozone is comprised of three atoms of oxygen, making it more unstable than the oxygen we need to breathe. The third atom often detaches from the ozone molecule to interact with other molecules.

The Dangers of Ozone Air Purifiers.
Ozone, with its third oxygen atom, is a highly reactive molecule. It can disrupt living cells. In water, and to a lesser extent in the air, it can break down bacterial cells. Because of this, ozone is often used as a highly effective disinfectant.

Ozone can also do damage to human cells. Ozone can cause lung damage when inhaled. Even tiny amounts of ozone can cause headaches, coughing, trouble breathing, chest pains, and nose and throat irritation. Long-term exposure can cause more serious chronic health conditions, especially for children and the elderly.

Why Some Air Purifiers Use Ozone.
Many companies promote ozone generators as a healthy way to clean indoor air. These companies often advertise ozone as “activated oxygen”, deemphasizing the detrimental effects of ozone exposure in humans.

Unstable ozone molecules oxidize everything they bump into. In this way, ozone generators remove odors and kill mold and mildew. However, ozone can also kill small pets and cause harm to human cells. Most experts agree that the health risks greatly outweigh the benefits of ozone air purification.

Why Austin Air Doesn’t Use Ozone.
Ozone is a dangerous air pollutant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has described the ozone produced by ozone air purifiers as a “toxic gas.” In addition, California legislation, Consumer Reports, and the American Lung Association have all released warnings concerning the use of ozone generators as air purifiers. While ozone generators may be effective against mold and mildew, they can result in severe health issues, especially for asthmatics. A good air purifier should improve the air we breathe, not cause damage.

Our mission at Austin Air is to “Change People’s Lives.” We do this by offering products that improve indoor air quality and promote general health. Austin Air purifiers are completely ozone-free. Instead, our air purifiers are designed with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. We always have the long-term health of our customers in mind. That is why Austin Air HEPA air purifiers work to eliminate ozone from your indoor air rather than release it into the air you breathe.

Austin Air HEPA air purifiers are a safe and healthy way to improve indoor air quality. We use activated carbon and true HEPA filters, never ozone. If you would like to learn more about how Austin Air can help improve your health and the quality of the air in your home or office, email us at sales@austinair.ca or call one of our Austin Product Specialists at 1-(888)-236-9525. We will help you find an air purifier to best serve you.

For those seeking cleaner indoor air without the use of ozone, try Austin Air’s HealthMate model line. It comes in both standard HM400, which effectively cleans up to 1500 square feet, and junior HM200, which is perfect for smaller areas up to 700 square feet.

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