Air Ozone Purifiers – Are They Good Or Bad?

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…

o You would die if there was no ozone.

o Ozone is simply oxygen with an added molecule.

o It is nature’s own air cleaner.

o Ozone is produced by nature and cleans the air.

o At low levels, as found in nature, it does a superb job of cleaning the air.

o Some purifiers allow for on/off Ozone, allowing you to “treat” the room

o All electric motors, and computers, produce Ozone

…and Ozone is Bad

o The EPA standard for ozone exposure is 80 parts per billion over 8 hours.

o Ozone levels over 100 parts per billion can causes injury to the airways

o “High Ozone” warnings signal that the air is bad.

o High levels can irritate lung tissue

o Even air purifiers that claim “no ozone” produce ozone if they have a fan.

For Asthmatics: Many people with asthma or lung problems consider avoiding ozone. If you like ozone for occasional room 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.

Conclusion: Do You Want It In Your Purifier?

My advice is to avoid ozone, and go with UV and Tio2 which is effective for mold and mildew.