Here’s what you need to know about finding an ozone free air purifier that both cleans your indoor air and keeps you safe from the dangerous side effects of ozone.
One of the few (positive) effects of the coronavirus pandemic is a new public awareness of the importance of indoor air. As indoor virus spread was proven to be a major risk, everyone from parents to school administrators to site managers started researching ways to ensure that the air in indoor spaces is safe to breathe.
Thanks to advancements in technology, options for air purifiers for large spaces and homes are more plentiful than ever. But despite the plethora of possibilities on the market, consumers must be aware that these air cleaning systems could potentially endanger them.
The truth is that many devices you may consider using to improve air quality can actually make it worse. Here’s what you need to know about finding an ozone free air purifier that both cleans your indoor air and keeps you safe from the dangerous side effects of ozone.
Ozone and air purifiers: What’s the connection?
A naturally occurring chemical, ozone is found in the Earth’s stratosphere and serves as a shield that absorbs much of the Sun’s harsh ultraviolet radiation. It’s composed of three oxygen molecules, while the oxygen that we need in order to breathe only contains two molecules.
Ozone’s third oxygen molecule is unstable, which means that it easily attaches to airborne pollutants, including everything from biological pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and molds, to allergens including dust and smoke. Almost instantly upon contact, ozone destroys the contaminants that come into its path.
The ability to eradicate pollutants on contact make ozone an awesome air purifier. Decades ago, ozone generators were the air cleaning device of choice for homes, schools, workspaces, and commercial centers. The problem is that ozone’s destructive force isn’t confined just to airborne contaminants – it’s harmful when inhaled, even in relatively small amounts.
While air purifiers that use ozone to clean indoor air have now been relegated to mostly industrial use – and utilized only when a site is evacuated of people for several days — there are other air purifiers that create ozone. Many ionic air purifiers, which use an electric charge to cleanse the air, have the unfortunate side effect of creating ozone.
Even UV air purifiers, which use specialized bulbs to destroy airborne pollutants, have the potential to emit ozone. And an ozone free UV air purifier can be surprisingly difficult to find. The EPA specifically states that consumers should carefully research UV air purifiers and ionizers, due to the fact that so many of them generate ozone as a byproduct of their air cleaning.
What’s the negative impact of breathing ozone?
In the same way that outdoor pollution can be harmful to your health and the environment, an excess of ozone indoors has the potential to hurt your wellbeing and day-to-day quality of life.
Worryingly, the California Air Resources Board explains that ozone gas emitted by air purifiers “has been found to react with existing chemicals in the air to create additional toxic pollutants, most notably formaldehyde and ultrafine particles.”
According to the EPA, inhaled ozone is linked to a litany of health issues, including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Throat irritation
- Lung inflammation and damage
- Exacerbated allergy and asthma symptoms
- Increased susceptibility to respiratory infections
Beyond the potential catastrophic effect on your health, ozone emissions are also damaging to the environment. Ozone hurts plant growth and leads to loss of species diversity, and has an overall negative effect on various ecosystems. For both sustainability and protection of human health, consumers must embrace air purifiers that don’t emit ozone.
Choosing the right zero ozone air purifier
It’s clear that finding an indoor air purifier with no ozone emission is mission critical. You may think you can simply select an air purifier without an ionizer or UV bulbs, or one that’s marketed as “ozone-free.”
However, some air purification systems label themselves as ozone-free even when they actually do! So how can you know whether or not an air purifier really doesn’t emit any ozone?
Industry watchdog Underwriters Laboratories launched the UL-2998 certification to provide independent, third-party confirmation that an air purifier is ozone-safe. A UL-2998 air purifier device is guaranteed not to emit ozone as a byproduct of its air cleaning processes.
TADIRAN AIROW™ is a highly powerful air purification system that was recently UL-2998 certified as being ozone-free. The hydrogen peroxide-based air purifier leverages water molecules already present in the air. Via unique proprietary technology, TADIRAN AIROW transforms them into pathogen-eradicating hydrogen peroxide.