Title: Use of Ozone Generating Devices to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Date of publication: June 1996
URL: aiha.allenpress.com/aihaonline/?request=index-html
Authors: Mark F. Boeniger
Bibliographic info: Journal article, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. Journal (56): 590-598 (June 1996).
Publisher: American Industrial Hygiene Association
Abstract: Room ionization has been in widespread use to "freshen" indoor air for more than 100 years. This use is sometimes promoted with the claim that ozone can oxidize airborne gases, and even particulates, to simple carbon dioxide and water vapor. Aside from whether ozone can improve indoor air quality, the potentially deleterious consequences to public health of overexposure to ozone are of concern. The literature on both allegations is reviewed. It indicates that ozone is not a practical and effective means of improving indoor air quality, especially in light of its potentially serious risk to health.

The reference discusses ozone toxicity and also reviews its action in combination with indoor air pollutants, including data on the half-lives of fourteen common pollutants in the presence of ozone. With ozone, only alkene compounds reacted and were converted into aldehydes, organic acids and ketones. The total volatile organic compound concentration increased, and multiple new compounds were produced.

Ozone was not found to decrease odors once ozone dissipated, indicating lack of chemical removal, and ozone did not affect organic compound concentration in air, although ability to smell odorous compounds decreased in the presence of ozone. Ozone was also not found to have effectively decreased the odor from tobacco smoke after an overnight exposure.

The author concludes that introducing ozone in indoor air may present a risk to human health, especially if it is present with other air contaminants. Detrimental effects, primarily to the respiratory system, have been well documented. Health effects from chronic exposure are less well studied, but there is evidence of irreversible damage to the lung.

Dilution ventilation with clean air, combined with eliminating or controlling the source of pollutants, are proven means of reducing indoor air contaminants and improving indoor air quality. Compared with the use of ozone these alternative strategies are safer and more effective in removing contaminants from indoor air.
Additional Notes:
Keywords: generator, oxidation, carbon dioxide, public health, risk, hazard, irritant, exposure, alkenes, organic acids, aldehydes, ketones, ventilation, dilution, respiratory, lung damage
Record Last Revised: Record #123, revised 2/14/2001

TO PRINT THIS PAGE Select PRINT under your FILE menu,
or click the PRINT button at the top of your
browser window.

Pollution Probe and Technology and Health Foundation and their funding partners assume no liability or responsibility whatsoever arising from the use of any information found in or accessible from the HealthySchools.com site. All use of this site is subject to our disclaimer. If you have questions about the site please contact us at: email@healthyschools.com.

All contents ©2004 by Pollution Probe and Technology and Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
Database structure, search engine, and dynamic content generation by CMAC Web Design and Small & Rubin Ltd..