Should I use an Ozone Generators or Air Purifiers that emit small amounts of ozone to kill mold in my home, office or vehicle?
Before or after reading this article you are going to find other websites and literature from the medical and enviromental communities that will recommend usage of Ozone Generators to kill mold in environments. The problem with this is that they are not fully educated on the science of ozone and it's effects on other chemicals and agents it comes in contact with.
Toxicologist, Dr. Jack Thrasher, Phd
did NOT recommend using an ozone generator but other indoor and environmental professionals say it's ok. The difference between these other so-called "professionals" is that they ARE NOT scientists and are only quoting information and literature from other "so-called" professionals.
So why is it really bad?
Ozone generators produce photocatalytic oxidation that is effective in destroying airborne mold. However, expert toxicologist: Dr. Thrasher strongly cautioned mold victims against using these ozone generators. He said that if you oxidize an organic chemical of any kind it will create free radicals. Period. End of Story.
According to Standford University "Free radicals can cause damage to parts of cells such as proteins, DNA, and cell membranes by stealing their electrons through a process called oxidation. (This is why free radical damage is also called “oxidative damage.”) When free radicals oxidize important components of the cell, those components lose their ability to function normally, and the accumulation of such damage may cause the cell to die. Numerous studies indicate that increased production of free radicals causes or accelerates nerve cell injury and leads to disease. Dr. Thrasher also warned us that ozone can be highly irritating to your mucous membranes and lungs.
Ozone Generators do facilitate the removal of volatile organics and THIS is what attracts "so-called" building professionals to argue with customer and clients and pursuade them to use Ozone in their space..... but people need to be aware and recognize that these machines SHOULD NOT BE USED - ANYWHERE where you, your family, your pets or plants are living.
Are "Air Purifiers" or "Air Fresheners" that emit ozone safe for daily use?
The answer is NO. Now knowing that ozone can cause cell death and nerve cell injury, you might see it as strange that someone might want to breathe more of it—or want you to. But, despite Federal Trade Commission and state actions against their claims, there remain people who want to take some money from you in exchange for an “air cleaner”, "air purifier" or “air freshener” that claims to work by generating ozone.
For the sake of your health and your family's health please take the time to read the EPA's publication here http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html on why this is a potentially harmful idea.
The bottom line is this: To generate enough ozone to be potentially effective, the ozone equipment would have to produce dangerous amounts of ozone. Contrary to suggestions from some sales people, no federal agency approves, much less recommends, ozone generators for use in occupied spaces. There are other kinds of air cleaners you can buy. Some use high efficiency particle arrestance (HEPA) filters or charcoal to work safely, according to a California consumer bulletin in 1998. If you are in the market to buy a "SAFE" and "EFFECTIVE" air purifier, see our researched list of air purifiers that do an effective job without all of the harmful by products HERE. But as for the cleaners using ozone: The bulletin states that air cleaners that rely on ozone generation just don’t destroy enough microbes, remove enough odor sources or reduce indoor pollutants enough to provide health benefits—and “may contribute to cell death, nerve cell damage, rapid aging from free radicals, eye and nose irritation or other respiratory health problems” and “can cause damage to building materials and electronic devices as well as create NEW offgasing of chemicals and VOC's.”
Architect, Cheryl Ciecko of http://www.avoidingmold.com/
says: "Use ozone to resolve mold problems? NO!"
Long term serious health consequences may result. It will likely be years before the damage becomes apparent, but the health damage from ozone can be life-threatening. There is no known way to determine how long ozone stays in the air, once fogged, since ozone cannot been seen or smelled. The results from ozone fogging could linger in the air for a month or more. Everyone living in the space or visiting for an unknown amount of time will be affected. Ozone is only recommended for uninhabitable spaces (like a storage shed).
"Manufacturers and vendors of ozone devices often use misleading terms to describe ozone. Terms such as "energized oxygen" or "pure air" suggest that ozone is a healthy kind of oxygen. Ozone is a toxic gas with vastly different chemical and toxicological properties from oxygen. Several federal agencies have established health standards or recommendations to limit human exposure to ozone." The EPA is very blunt on this topic. Read more through the EPA website: https://www.epa.gov/…/ozone-generators-are-sold-air-cleaner…
Ozone Generators and Interior Mold Remediation: A Recipe for Disaster?
Here is also another great article by our contributing writers over at Mold Sensitized: They explain why using an Ozone Generator might just be a recipe for disaster. In this article they discuss the science behind it http://www.moldsensitized.com/ozone-generators-and-interior-mold-remediation-a-recipe-for-disaster/
California sets new standards for the use of Ozone
California has banned any air purifiers that produce Ozone because Ozone is a lung irritant. From Consumer Reports: Dedicated ozone generators, a subcategory of room models, produce large amounts of ozone by design. According to manufacturers, that is to reduce allergens such as dust, smoke, pollen, germs, and mold. Ozone, however, is a serious health concern, prompting the State of California to ban the sale of ozone generators (and other air purifiers that emit more than 50 parts per billion of ozone) from the general market.