Ozone… General Info


This is a gas, which is one of the several components of air. That means all of the air around you right now. Adding some ozone to the air with ozone machines will accomplish one thing for sure- it will remove malodor molecules from the air by breaking down the odor molecules.

There are a number of ozone machines, and they are not all alike, except for the fact they generate ozone.

Some are as small to only work in a car, a truck, a restroom. These only have a very small output, and would be useless in a home, office, store, etc.

Larger ones have a control that determines the output, from very small amounts to fairly large outputs. These range from single homes, to restaurants, to auditoriums, depending on cubic feet of air needed to treat.

Many restaurants, bars, taverns, etc have these machines, especially places that allow smoking in their establishments.

The problems associated with ozone depend on the amount added to the air. Like most anything, it can be helpful, or dangerous, depending on the amount, like water. We all need some water, but too much can kill you.

Ozone can be used to control odors following a water damage, or a fire damage, and depending on the severity of the problem, how much ozone is needed to remove the odors. The worse the odor, the more ozone is needed.

So, for small odor problems, only a slight amount is needed, and people can be present without problems, for severe odors like after a fire, a lot of ozone is needed, and people cannot be present where there are very large amounts of ozone.

OK, how much ozone is safe to be around, and how much is dangerous?
It has to do with how many parts per million of air. Small amounts are in the air all of the time, naturally. This is around 2 parts per million of air. If you have a small odor problem and add some ozone, the amount should be 3 to 4 parts per million. You cannot smell the ozone when at 3 or less parts per million. You begin to smell it when it passes the 4 parts per million.

For severe cases say a fire, the amount of ozone from big output machines can increase to as much as 3000 to 5000 parts per million of air. This much ozone becomes dangerous, and this is what a lot of people think of any time ozone is mentioned, without realizing there is some in the air all the time, and only know- "Ozone is dangerous."

When there is any appreciable malodor, and a spray will not cure it, or if it's in an inaccessible location, such as in the floor, sub floor, cement, walls, or ceilings, then a more powerful cure is needed.

An ozone generator makes a corona electrical discharge, creating a gas called ozone. This is distributed with fans into the air. It can also be blown under carpets with air movers.

Ozone is formed with oxygen in the air. A third radical molecule is added, which not being stable, rapidly combines with anything it can adhere to, changing the composition slightly. It will combine with almost any hydrocarbon, and since the odors you smell are a gas given off from a hydrocarbon, the ozone alters the smell, along with chemical composition.

Every living thing is based on hydrocarbons, including the mildew, and bacteria. Ozone will kill living organisms with enough exposure for long enough, even plants and pets. Take cautions when using this. Keep customers and pets out, remove fish, and plants from the treated areas. Close all outer doors tightly during treatment. Put a warning sign on the outside of the door, warning not to occupy this room because of the ozone treatment going on inside.

Under normal use, ozone is not dangerous. The small deodorizing equipment will not generate dangerous levels to people. A respirator is not needed when going in to shut the machine off. Ozone can be an irritant to eyes, so eye protection is a good idea when going in to open all windows and doors to air out. A timer can be used to shut off the ozone machine at a certain hour also.

An ozone treatment is very effective, and will penetrate walls, etc., because it is a gas, and will go anywhere air is. Separate clothing in closets, open up cushions in furniture, open drawers, etc. to get the most effect from the circulation of the gas.

Ozone, in large amounts, has a deleterious effect on foam rubber. Remove this from the treated area if possible. If not, chances are it will have to be
replaced. Small latex items can be covered with petroleum jelly.

Ozone in the air will NOT combine with water to form peroxide. While it seems it might, and some people are concerned with this possibility, it cannot happen. First, there are not enough molecules of ozone in the air that MIGHT combine with water to form peroxode to actually do this.

At maximum of 3000 to 5000 parts PER MILLION of air, the amount needed to form peroxide would be hundreds of thousands per million, which is simply not reachable.

The ozone molecules are constantly breaking down, because they are not stable in the air, or anywhere, and when they touch anything, the break apart, this is what does the deodorizing, and if a molecule in the air touches a molecule of water, if peroxide would form, this is also unstable, and breaks down immediately.

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