lördag 9 januari 2010

Ozone Air Purifiers: A Review Of Issues And Concerns

By Manuel Vintagoli

Mechanical devices known as ozone air purifiers have been around for decades. They are patterned after the concept of the fresh outdoor smell that follows a thunderstorm. The smell you get is ozone. It is formed by the presence of a pale blue unstable gas. If you begin with an oxygen molecule, that has two oxygen atoms and add a third atom of oxygen, you get ozone.

Air purifiers that use ozone work by combining with other molecules. They thus become heavy enough to settle out of the air. This is fine if the goal is to remove odor, to kill mildew and destroy mold. Unfortunately, breathing oxide into the lungs can scar lung tissue. Damage can be serious enough to ruin health or even to be fatal if the concentration is strong enough.

When using ozone purifiers for sites of flooding, chemical spills, sewage backup and similar accidents, professionals are often called in to operate the equipment. These professionals know how to operate the equipment safely. People are animals are removed from the vicinity until the clean up is completed. The workers will take care to avoid breathing the ozone so as to eliminate ozone exposure.

The technology involved that creates the ozone has also improved the process of filtering the created ozone out of the environment once it has done its work. Any home air purifiers that use ozone or an ionization process also need to ensure that the filter is working correctly. If you can smell the ozone when the purifier is working, chances are good that the ozone production level is high enough to cause breathing problems and potential for headaches.

Standards have been set that describe acceptable levels for the presence of ozone indoors and outdoors. When these levels are exceeded in the workplace, employers must provide protection or face penalties and fines. Home medical equipment that exceeds acceptable levels over a period of time should be avoided if possible.

Two factors regulate how much ozone is acceptable to breathe. If you are exposed to a high level of ozone, it can damage the soft tissue in the body. Similarly, a low-level exposure over extended periods can create damage to the lungs and airways.

Health agencies through the world have set a maximum limit for exposure to ozone outdoors at fifty to eighty parts per billion (ppb). Indoor air purifiers voluntarily limit ozone levels to fifty ppb. The level of effect that is experienced by exposure to ozone is reduced as you move away from the source. A home air purifier should be operated at a distance of at least two feet. Ten feet from individuals is even better.

When you select ozone air purifiers, make certain to reduce the amount of free ozone in the room to a minimum. Look for labels and reviews to tell you the level released into the area. Ozone in the upper atmosphere prevents the inhabitants of Earth from high levels of ultraviolet rays. Ozone helps to reduce the level of air pollution. In the upper atmosphere, ozone can't hurt your lungs as it can when it is breathed by people and animals.

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