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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
ACCURACY vs PRECISION of MEASUREMENTS
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR FILTERS, OPTIMUM INDOOR
AIR FILTERS, SOURCES FOR
AIR FILTERING STRATEGIES
AIR FILTERING CONTINUOUS FAN OPERATION
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
AIR HANDLER / BLOWER UNITS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
AIR SEALING STRATEGIES
AIR TEST FOR MOLD: ACCURACY
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
AIRBORNE MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
ALLERGEN TESTS for buildings
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL ENTRY POINTS in buildings
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
BOD WASTEWATER TEST
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION FLAMES
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CACTUS FUNGI / MOLD
Cadmium in the home
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARBON DIOXIDE - CO2
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
Carbon Nanotube Hazards
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET PADDING ASBESTOS, MOLD, ODORS
CARPET FUNGICIDAL SPRAY
CARPET STAIN DIAGNOSIS
CARPET & other STAIN TESTS
CARPET TEST PROCEDURE
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CARPETING, SELECTION & INSTALLATION
CAT DANDER in buildings
Cell phone Radiation Hazards
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER
CHLORINE in WATER, HOW TO TEST FOR
CHLORINE IN SEPTIC WASTEWATER
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DIRECTORY of OIL TANK EXPERTS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
Disinfecting Buildings with Bleach
DRAFT HOODS - gas fired
DRAFT MEASUREMENT, CHIMNEYS & FLUES
DRAFT REGULATORS, DAMPERS, BOOSTERS
Diethylstilbestrol - DES
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST ANALYSIS for FIBERGLASS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS & HUMAN EXPOSURE
ENVIRO-SCARE - PUBLIC FEAR CYCLES
ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings
Fiberboard Insulation Sheathing Mold
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIBERGLASS PARTICLE CONTAMINATION TEST
Fireplaces & Woodstove Contaminants
FLAME COLOR, BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS IN buildings-mold
FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS
FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOORING MATERIALS, Age, Types
Formaldehyde Gas Hazard Reduction
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GAS EXPOSURE SCREENING TEST
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
GAS LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
GAS LP & Natural Gas Pressures
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GLARE, Sunlight/Lighting Control
Goodman HTPV RECALL
HEATING OIL PIPING TROUBLES
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
Indoor Air Pollution Book Online CPSC
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY METHODS COMPARED
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION MOLD RESISTANCE of FOAM
INSULATION, UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
Legionella Legionnaires' Disease
Legionella BACTERIA & HVAC Equipment
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MILDEW ERRORS - MOLD PHOTOS
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD
MOLD CONSULTANTS / INSPECTORS
MOLD CULTURE TEST KIT VALIDITY
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS
MOLD TESTING METHOD VALIDITY
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
Museum Artifact Preservation
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL, HEATING, EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
OIL HEAT ODORS
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
OIL TANK LEAK ODORS
OIL TANKS INSPECT LEAK TEST ABANDON REGS
OXYGEN - O2
OZONE AIR PURIFIER WARNINGS
Ozone Air Cleaners Not recommended
Indoor Ozone Gas Harmful
Ozone Air Cleaners & Chemical Reactions
Ozone-Generators & Indoor Air Chemistry
Ozone Generators for Indoor Air Pollution?
Ozone Air Purifiers for Odors?
Ozone to Prevent Mold Growth?
OZONE EXPOSURE STANDARDS
Hazards of Indoor Ozone Gas
Ozone to Kill Toxic Mold
Ozone Air Purifiers
Ozone Indoors - More Odor Problem
Ozone to Get Rid of Odors in a Car
OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
Pesticide Exposure Hazards
PET ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
PET STAINS on FLOORS
PET STAINS on WALLS
PLASTIC CONTAINERS, TANKS, TYPES
PLASTIC HEATER VENT
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SEPTIC METHANE GAS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in buildings
SEWER GAS ODORS
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in buildings
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
THERMAL TRACKING Indicates Heat Loss
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TANK SAFETY
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TEST CHOICES & WATER TEST FEES
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
World Trade Center Collapse Dust Photos
Ozone generators & Ozone based air purifiers & air cleaners: do they work? are they recommended? As reported by the U.S. EPA, ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners intentionally produce the gas ozone. Often the vendors of ozone generators make statements and distribute material that lead the public to believe that these devices are always safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollution. Page to photo: one of our ozone gas detector test instruments using a Draeger bellows pump and a colorimetric gas sampling tube.
For almost a century, health professionals have refuted these claims (Sawyer, et. al 1913; Salls, 1927; Boeniger, 1995; American Lung Association, 1997; Al-Ahmady, 1997). The purpose of this document is to provide accurate information regarding the use of ozone-generating devices in indoor occupied spaces. This information is based on the most credible scientific evidence currently available.
In inspecting and testing many buildings we often encounter both owners and consultants who try to solve an existing problem by treating the symptom (for example an odor) rather than by treating the cause (a dead animal, for example, or insufficient fresh air intake, for another example).
The proper way to get rid of an indoor mold problem is to remove the problem mold and correct the conditions that caused it to grow. Attempts to rely on odor killers, mold killers, deodorants, or ozone generators are futile and may be harmful. Details follow.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Ozone-generating Air Cleaners are NOT RECOMMENDED to Purify Indoor Air and NOT RECOMMENDED as a Mold Treatment
Ozone Indoors - Bottom line: at airborne concentrations of ozone which are safe, that is, are unlikely to be a hazard to humans, ozone is ineffective at removing contaminants. At high levels in indoor air, ozone is likely to be hazardous to building occupants, and in our direct experience its use at high levels indoors can lead to surprise chemical reactions and oxidations of other building materials that in turn lead to new indoor odor, VOC, and other problems.
Notice: our discussion of the ineffectiveness of ozone as an indoor air cleaner and the potential hazards of indoor use of ozone for deodorizing, cleaning, or killing mold, is focused on the issues surrounding ozone and equipment that produces it indoors. AHAM , The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, certifies the effectiveness of various types of portable air cleaners.
Some vendors suggest that ozone-generating devices have been approved by the federal government for use in occupied spaces. This is not the case. The U.S. EPA emphasizes in its own publications that NO agency of the federal government has approved these devices for use in occupied spaces. Because of these claims, and because ozone can cause health problems at high concentrations, several federal government agencies have worked in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to produce this public information document.
The same chemical properties that allow high concentrations of ozone to react with organic material outside the body give it the ability to react with similar organic material that makes up the body, and potentially cause harmful health consequences. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs (see - "Ozone and Your Health" - www.epa.gov/airnow/brochure.html). Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation.
Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections. People vary widely in their susceptibility to ozone. Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone.
Exercise during exposure to ozone causes a greater amount of ozone to be inhaled, and increases the risk of harmful respiratory effects. Recovery from the harmful effects can occur following short-term exposure to low levels of ozone, but health effects may become more damaging and recovery less certain at higher levels or from longer exposures (US EPA, 1996a, 1996b).
Manufacturers and vendors of ozone devices often use misleading terms to describe ozone. Terms such as "energized oxygen" or "pure air" suggest that ozone is a healthy kind of oxygen. Ozone is a toxic gas with vastly different chemical and toxicological properties from oxygen. Several federal agencies have established health standards or recommendations to limit human exposure to ozone.
Ozone-generating Air Cleaners Used to Remove Odors May Produce Excessive levels of Ozone Gas and May Cause Problematic Chemical Reactions with Other Building Contents
Ozone is a highly toxic gas but even highly toxic substances can be encountered safely. The main concern with this material is that concentrations to which people are exposed do not average more than 0.1 ppm over an 8-hr day, and do not exceed that value by more than a factor of 2 or 3 during the exposure." 
While expert use of ozone can be successful in some deodorizing applications, we have received primarily complaints from people who tried using ozone to get rid of indoor odors only to find that they had made things worse.
Question on Getting Rid of New Smells After Using an Ozone Generator Indoors:
We have investigated a number of post-ozone treatment complaints and have been able to resolve the problem successfully, but not always at low cost. Ozone gas itself is very reactive - an oxidant. It does not stay around long after it has been generated in a building unless there is a continuing source such as an ozone generator still at work.
But when high levels of ozone have been produced in an enclosed space, we find that other materials in the space become partly oxidized, subsequently giving off horrible, often chemical-like odors. We have traced odors to painted surfaces, furniture, upholstery, curtains, carpeting, carpet padding, and other materials.
Try making a smell-patch test - see SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors to determine just which building component has been oxidized. Following this procedure we can often narrow down the source of post-ozone-treatment smells to a single material that can then be removed or remedied, such as carpet padding or a specific piece of furniture. More about tracking down odors in buildings is at ODORS, Smells, Gases in Buildings-Diagnosis & Cure.
The following data is obtained from "Ozone-Generating Air Cleaners and Indoor Air Chemistry" , a U.S. EPA Document
This article continues at Ozone Generators for Indoor Air Pollution?.
At OZONE TOXICITY we include calculations demonstrating the actual ozone concentration produced by a small ozone generator.
At GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS we also found and reported that use of Ozone indoors may also lead to formic acid formation.
We discuss various agencies' ozone gas exposure limits at OZONE EXPOSURE STANDARDS.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Ozone Generating Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers
Question: Apartment manager treated my apartment with ozone generator, ruined carpet, killed my plants, I have chest pain
I was told by an apartment manager when I moved in to my new apartment that it was a smoke free facility and when I was ready to move in,I went in the apartment they had for me and it smelled of cigarette smoke. I told her that I had allergies to cigarette smoke, so I couldn't move in and she said that they would repaint and clean the carpet so that I could move in.
Originally she told me that if any of the residents had smoked in their apartments that they would replace the carpet and they didn't do that for me. What I found out later is that there had been two chain smokers that had lived in this apartment. So they said they would put an ozonator in here and that the smell would go away and said it was okay for me to be in the apt while it was on.
I have had chest pain on my right lung now for three months and have no energy and am having a very hard time seeing specialists because of this. She told me that they would not replace the carpet when I moved in because they had just replaced it when earlier she told me that they would. All she has done since I have been here is lie to me. DO NOT USE AN OZONATOR AND BE PRESENT AND REMOVE ALL PLANTS AS MY BIG FIG TREE LEAVES TURNED BLACK. SO WHAT DO YOU THINK IT HAS DONE TO MY LUNGS?????? - Jan-Marie 3/15/12
For our opinion & advice on determining if you have been injured by ozone exposure, see our suggestions at 3 Steps to Assessing Possible Harm from Exposure to Ozone Gas O3.
As we replied to Josh in that Q&A, by no means do we advocate panic about ozone exposure, but it is quite evident that some applications of ozone make sense and others do not. There we also note the ozone issues arising from over-dosing or over-exposing building interiors and contents just as you describe. Details about oxidizing damage from over-doing an ozone treatment are at OZONE TOXICITY.
Questions & answers or comments about using ozone generators in buildings as general air cleaners & who does or does not recommend their use.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Allergies, Allergens, Allergy Testing in Buildings - References & Products
Mold Contamination Testing, Cleanup, Prevention: references & products
OTHER IAQ ISSUES: How To Find and Address Other Indoor Air or Indoor Environment Contaminants Besides Mold
Mold or allergens may not be the only or even the main indoor environmental contaminant. Don't let media attention to mold cause so much enviro-scare fear that other, possibly more urgent hazards go un-addressed.