Saturday, March 29, 2008

Air Ozone Purifiers: Are They Good or Bad?

By Mark E. Richardson

Ozone is like the sun. Without ozone you would die. Yet too much can affect your health. So when air purifier companies try to sell you that ozone air purifiers are “death machines” or ‘healthy air miracles” the truth is somewhere in the middle.

How The Controversy Started

A year ago Consumer Reports claimed the Sharper Images Ionic Breeze air purifier emitted 150 to 300 parts per billion of ozone in samples taken 2 inches from the machine. This report led to the highly successful Ionic Breeze infomercials being pulled from TV. The Breeze image ionic Sharper Brand died, replaced by the Oreck air purifiers with overpriced infomercial units.

( Sharper Image’s Breeze Ionic Midi, breeze ionic plus professional, and breeze ionic quadra review models no longer have an Ozone problem. )

Let’s look at both the “good” and the ‘bad” about Ozone in Air Purifiers:

Ozone is Good…

• You would die if there was no ozone.
• Ozone is simply oxygen with an added molecule.
• It is nature’s own air cleaner.
• Ozone is produced by nature and cleans the air.
• At low levels, as found in nature, it does a superb job of cleaning the air.
• Some purifiers allow for on/off Ozone, allowing you to “treat” the room
• All electric motors, and computers, produce Ozone

…and Ozone is Bad

• The EPA standard for ozone exposure is 80 parts per billion over 8 hours.
• Ozone levels over 100 parts per billion can causes injury to the airways
• “High Ozone” warnings signal that the air is bad.
• High levels can irritate lung tissue
• Even air purifiers that claim “no ozone” produce ozone if they have a fan.

Conclusion: When used properly ozone is very helpful at treating odor, mildew and mold. In 1985, even though I was an asthmatic, I used an ozone purifier. It helped my sleep by treating a mold and mildew problem in my bedroom.

For Asthmatics: Many people with asthma or lung problems consider avoiding ozone. If you like ozone for ocassional rom treatment (as I do) find a unit with low levels, timed, and don’t sleep too close to it. You may also want to treat the room and leave the room empty for 3-6 hours. The ozone will fade in that time.

So Do You Want It In Your Purifier?

My advice is to find a unit that offers optional, timed ozone when you need or want it.

I now own an air purifier with optional on/off ozone that has a 2 hour ozone timer. I use it maybe 1 or 2 days a week when any room in my house gets musty smelling, and in the bathroom when it smells moldy, or mildewy . It freshens the room better than anything.

I hope I have “cleared the air” on the great ozone conspiracy.

Mark Richardson is a Los Angeles based Health Practitioner and Author. He has been interviewed on over 300 radio and TV stations across the U.S. on how he cured his allergies and asthma by changing 3 things in his external and internal environment. He is a contributing editor to which offers help to consumers in understanding air purifiers. To compare and find purifiers at wholsesale prices try you can email Mark at

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