When ozone is found in the upper atmosphere it is known as stratospheric ozone. There, it is naturally occurring, environmentally beneficial and works to shield the Earth's surface from the sun's harmful ultraviolet light. However, ground-level ozone found in the Earth's lower atmosphere, where we live and breathe, is a harmful air pollutant.
The air we breathe in the Earth’s lower atmosphere is composed of two atoms of oxygen. Ozone, on the other hand, is a form of oxygen that contains three atoms of oxygen, creating an even purer form of air. The third atom of oxygen, however, has the ability to detach from the ozone molecule and interact with other substances. This ability to alter other chemical compositions makes ozone air purifiers dangerous.
Ozone is an unstable and highly reactive oxygen molecule the ability to disrupt other cells. For example, ozone can be an effective disinfectant because it can breakdown bacterial cells in water and, in a limited way, in the air. This is why some believe ozone air purifiers to be beneficial, as they can break down bacterial cells found in the air. However, ozone air purifiers can also do the same damage to healthy human cells, causing potential lung, throat and nasal tissue. In some cases, long-term health can even be impacted from ozone exposure, particularly for children and older adults.
Some products like to promote ozone air purifiers as a healthy way of cleaning the air. These products give ozone names like "activated oxygen", downplaying the harmful effects of ozone on the human body. While high levels of ozone can breakdown odor causing particles, most residential odors do not require such an extreme method of removal. Additionally, the health risks can outweigh the benefit of ozone air purifiers.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), products which use ozone are not approved by any agency of the federal government. The EPA has even labeled the ozone intentionally produced by these machines as a "toxic gas", with smog as the main component.
The California legislation, Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Reports and the American Lung Association have all published warnings against the use of ozone air purifiers. Ozone air purifiers are not effective for allergy sufferers and can cause serious health effects in asthmatic children and adults. Air purifiers are supposed to help improve the quality of the air we breathe, not cause harm.
At Alen, our mission is to help people Live Better by offering healthy ways to improve air quality and general health. Alen HEPA Air Purifiers are designed to positively impact the long-term health of our customers with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) type filtration, not ozone. Alen HEPA Air Purifiers even work to limit the amount of ozone in the air, making them a safe and healthy way to improve your indoor air.
All Alen HEPA Air Purifiers are ozone-safe, utilizing only HEPA type filtration. Are you interested in learning more about Alen HEPA Air Purifiers? Visit our Product Advisor or Air Purifiers product page, or call an Alen Product Specialist 800-630-2396 to see which of our air purifiers may benefit you best.