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Ozone: A Powerful Lung Irritant

Ozone and Your Health

Ozone: A Powerful Lung Irritant Ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms; its the same molecule that makes up the "ozone layer" of our upper atmosphere. Stratospheric ozone is a good thing because it protects us from dangerous UV rays; however, ozone in the air we breathe can be harmful to your health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that "relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections."

Ion generators and ozone generators create charged particles (ions) and emit them into the surrounding air. These ions combine with impurities (like dust) in the air, forcing the impurities to cling to a nearby surface. Consequently, ion generators often produce dirty spots on nearby walls and floors because they do not eliminate impurities; ion generators simply force impurities to cling to a surface (in the same way that static electricity can make a sock cling to a shirt). Ion generators are the second most popular type of air purifiers, but you won't find any ion generators or ozone generators for sale at AchooAllergy.com because ion generators and ozone generators both emit ozone, a powerful lung irritant that can lead to asthma at elevated levels. Not only do they emit ozone, but ion generators are not effective as air cleaners. The EPA tells us: "Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution." The EPA advises the public to "use proven methods of controlling indoor air pollution," which include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation, and using proven methods of air cleaning.

The American Lung Association (ALA) agrees that "ozone is a potent lung irritant and exposure to elevated levels is a contributor to the exacerbation of lung disease; it is especially dangerous for persons with asthma and other chronic lung diseases, children, and the elderly."

The ALA does not suggest the use of ozone generators because "ozone generators, negative ion generators, and certain other electronic air cleaners that are not listed by the FDA, or cannot otherwise prove that their ozone emission levels are lower than 0.05 ppm, may produce levels of ozone recognized as unsafe for humans and are not recommended for use in occupied spaces because of the risk of generation of ozone."

Consumer Reports (1992), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (1995), and the U.S. EPA (1995) concluded that tabletop and room unit ozone generators are not effective in improving indoor air quality.

Many of our competitors sell ozone generators and ion generators as air cleaners, but at achoo! ALLERGY, we are here to help you breathe better with products that are scientifically proven to work safely and effectively--and we would never sell a product that may be harmful to your health. That's not a chance we're willing to take.

Shop all of our non ozone emitting air purifiers or learn more in our informative Air Purifier Buying Guide.