What is the Fuss about Ozone? EPA Warnings

Before you hire that odor removal service or sanitizing service, it may be wise to find out the truth about ozone and odor remediation.  Even a good idea make be done in the wrong way.  

Frankly, it is important to note the three type of ozone concerns:

  • Depletion of the ozone layer
  • Hot Days, Smog and Ozone
  • Use of ozone for odor and sanitation

The Ozone Layer:  For those worried about the ozone layer, there are certain cleaning products, refrigerants, and firefighting products that are known as "ODCs" or Odor Depleting Chemical".   Notably, chlorofluorocarbons, and halons.  These are essentially outlawed and not a concern for anyone that might be using ozone in a commercial or isolated sanitation project.  In fact, if you are worried about the ozone layer, such efforts may seem to help, but not really.  Any ozone produced at ground level quickly reverts back to normal oxygen in about 15-20 minutes.  EPA has prosecuted those improperly using these products.

Ozone and Smog:  On hot sunny days, the sun reacts with oxygen and can over-produce ozone, which EPA warns is an irritant to nose and lungs.  This can cause those with breathing issue or doing heavy labor to have some trouble breathing.   When you combine the naturally ozone phenomenon with additional pollution from cars and factories, smog and pollution is made worse.  See: http://www.epa.gov/glo/health.html for their warning about ozone.  This too is not related to the industrial use of ozone, which is far bigger than most know, or the narrow us of ozone in odor and sanitizing a facility.

So far, the most people know about ozone is negative.  There is a lot to learn about the positive use of ozone.  New detergent-free laudries use ozone to odor-free and sanitized launtry.  Municipalities use ozone to sanitize their water system.  The industrial use of ozone has dramatically reduced the need for chemicals in our water, food, and workpace.  Ozone has many great uses, and the more we learn, the better it gets.

Ozone for Odor Removal and Sanitizing:  Thus, we come to the last area of ozone application.  It may surprise many that ozone is one of the best and most effective sanitizers in the world.  It comes from nature (a form of oxygen), and it reverts back to oxygen leaving no residue.  When used in a odor removal or sanitizing process, a building is treated to a "Shock Value" amount of ozone.  People and pets are not allowed in the building while this happens because it will irritate the lungs.  

Some hospitals use ozone to sanitize their operating rooms between surgeries.  Cruise ships use ozone to sanitize their water and avoid ship-wide infection.

For homes and commercial buidlings, ozone generation elimiantes the most powerful odors and every area has been sanitized better than hiring a crew of cleaning specialists.  No, it does not hurt the ozone layer, and it differs from what the EPA warns about a High-Ozone day.  However, an ozone treatment, like other professional services, should not be done by amateurs.  There are things that can go wrong, and one of the common problems is that the problem is not fully remediated.

NAOI strongly advises the public that no ozone service should be retained unless they are a "Certified Ozone Technician".  The difference is the difference between a novice provider to a fly-by-night service that could do more damage than good.  There are protocols to follow, and it is not as simple as hauling in an ozone generator and flipping the switch.

In nearly each and every case of complaint, we find that the wrong equipment, misuse of equipment, and failure to know the right processes cause a situation where the service is not effective, some damage is done, and untrained people deliver inferior services.  Therefore, buyers are warned to not hire a odor removal service or sanitizing service unless they are CERTIFIED by a true third-party organization like NOAI.  National Ozone Association

Report any abuses to abuse@naoi.org