How to Sanitize an Office with Ozone

With a high level of interest in sanitizing, we are getting a lot of calls about sanitizing with ozone.  To start, ozone is a reliable method of sanitizing, odor removal, and killing mold; but it should be done with a measure of professionalism.  Ozone is a broad spectrum sanitizing treatment that is also a chemical-free process.

Ozone is what is called an oxidizer.  On the microscopic level, the oxidizing process is like a burn or micro-fire as the oxygen atoms from ozone attach and oxidize the target.  the outer membrane of a bacteria or virus is vital to microbial life.  Imagine what happens as millions and billions of oxygen atoms attached and burn holes in the outer membrane.  This process happens rapidly and ozone is touching every exposed surface.  

The big question is' "How do I know how much ozone to use, or how long to let it run?"  There is, frankly, only one accurate method.  Instead of trying to calculate cubic feet in the room or building, the ventilation, or the level of the problem, we use a quality ozone meter.  The basic instructions from researchers are that a room needs 5-6 ppm of ozone saturation for 30-60 minutes.  

We have previously suggested a "Rule of thumb" of 10,000 mg/hr ozone generation for every 1000 sq ft, but this is no assurance of reaching the levels needed to kill various pathogens, including the coronavirus.  But, without a professional ozone meter, we are left to guesswork when it comes to ozone sanitizing.

According to an NIH study, "In conclusion, ozone treatment is considered a safe and effective disinfectant tool for the decontamination of water and equipment [] and even for food applications []; indeed, food safety is a top priority []. Ozone may, therefore, be regarded as a valid alternate means of disinfection."  LINK

Dr. Gérard Sunnen is a medical doctor in New York City, specializing in the uses of ozone in the medical field, ranging from cutting-edge ozone therapy to the use of ozone as a disinfectant.  According to Dr. Sunnen. “Ozone has unique disinfectant properties. As a gas, it has a penetration capacity that liquids do not possess. In view of the fact that, SARS-CoV-2, MERS, and previous SARS strains persist on fomites (surfaces) for up to several days, it is suggested that ozone technology be applied to the decontamination of medical and other environments”.  LINK

It is possible to test various areas with a swab and send it to a lab to prove the effectiveness of ozone, but that is slow, expensive, and unnecessary.  The science about ozone has been around for a very long time.  Ozone bagging was used in the first world war to treat wounds against infection.  Ozone is commonly used in the commercial and industrial world as a sanitizer.  I had the opportunity to visit a fish farm in Missouri that used ozone to control any diseases in the tanks.

Bottom Line: We can debate ozone sanitizing but the science is already in and commonly used around the world.  There is no good way to accurately measure ozone levels except in controlled environments.  Ventilation is a factor, the type of material in the room, and other toxic conditions that may apply will influence the measurement of ozone.

Know that ozone works to kill pathogens at a very early level, and the rule of thumb is best for non-engineer types.  We suggest that a 30,000 mg/hr ozone generator will easily treat a 3,000 sq ft area.  Treatments should be about an hour.  Like we trust any other sanitizing product to perform per its claim, so ozone is basic science; and it will sanitize the area in a short period of time.