Is Ozone Noxious? Or is it Natural?

Misinformation is to the Internet as rumors are to high school.  The truth may be quite different from the rumor, but if it is repeated often enough ... the lie starts to sound like the truth.  And, I have heard more than my fair share of half-truths and malicious rumors about ozone.  

Here is the latest misleading comment, "Ozone is a noxious gas".   Really?  Noxious by definition is "poisonous, toxic, deadly, harmful, and dangerous".  Is this how you really understand ozone?

Let me say that anything in nature can be abused, overused, and misused.  Water is found in nature.  Is it noxious?  After all, people can drown in it.  Floods are a massive amount of water out of control.  Pollution mixes with it to make people sick.  And, then here is .... dant ta dah .... hyponatremia, where drinking an excessive amount of water will KILL A PERSON!  So, now you know that water can be noxious, right?

So you know, ozone is found in nature.  There is our ozone layer protecting us from excess UV light.  There is ground level ozone that sanitizes our world.  And, did you know that the average lightning storm produces more than 200 tons of ozone causing that fresh smell after the storm is gone.

Did you know that in industry ozone is used to sanitize fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, and eggs?  Are you aware that the ozone has been declared "Generally Recognized as Safe" by the FDA?  You can read for yourself in the federal registry:

The National Ozone Association has worked for many years to knock down the hype and misinformation about ozone.  Some of the mistakes come from those selling ozone generators on the Internet.  Other ugly comments come from groups and manufacturers who are trying to destroy the growing competition from ozone services.  

Now, instead of calling ozone noxious, it would be more intelligent to call it "Reactive".  Ozone is an oxidizer, not a chemical or poison.  By the way, regular oxygen is an oxidizer; and ozone is just another form of oxygen that causes things to oxidize more rapidly.  And yes, it is possible to die from too much oxygen in a bad application.  Just ask a diver about that.  Neither water or oxygen should be called noxious except by those trying very hard to stretch the term to slander an otherwise normal concept.

To be fair, ozone can be misused, abused, and misrepresented.  This is one of the big reasons NOAI has formulated the "Best Practices for Ozone Remediation" that is intended to prevent the improper use of ozone for common services, such as: odor removal, sanitizing, mold treatments, and more.  Any ozone applicator or service can get this 40-page document, read it, and adopt these best practices earning a compliance seal for their company.

As a reactive process, ozone detached one oxygen atom that bonds with environmental threats.  The reaction is actually oxidation, and there is no chemical used in the process.  And, there is no chemical residue after the process is done.  But, here is your warning.  Ozone will react with the mucus membrane of your nose, throat, and lungs; so the first protocol for any serious mold treatment is that it must be done in a vacated room or building.  High levels of ozone will cause a tickle cough, the tired lung feeling, and prolonged exposure could lead to more complex health concerns ... like an embolism.

Since every professional should know, no treatment can be started until the building 100% vacant of people and pets.  There are about a dozen key factors for the proper use of ozone, and it helps to know the Pros and Cons about ozone so it is not incorrectly applied.  Every person offering ozone treatments have three ways to show they are a professional worthy of public trust.  They are:

1- Membership in the National Ozone Association
2- Completion of the Certified Ozone Technician course and certification by testing.
3- Adoption of the Best Practices for Ozone Remediation.

If anyone plans to use any type of ozone service, ask if they comply with these basic professional standards.