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What about ozone in nature?
Ozone (chemical brand O3) is a natural component of the upper atmosphere. It is created by the action of sunlight on atmospheric oxygen. three oxygen atoms are chained together to form an ozone molecule. Ozone is unstable in itself and therefore decomposes to "ordinary" divalent oxygen O2 in a short time.
Ozone has an important role to play because its very thin layer in the upper atmosphere protects life on our planet from harmful UV radiation. A separate chapter consists of ground-level ozone, which is an aggressive irritating gas. It is caused by intense sunlight by a photochemical reaction or by an electric lightning discharge during a storm.
Practical use of ozone in industry and households
Ozone is a very strong oxidizing agent due to its composition (three oxygen atoms in one molecule). This is one of the most effective disinfectants we know. Artificial ozone is used, for example, for the chlorine-free treatment of drinking water, pool water, water treatment in the food industry, bleaching and other industrial areas. Another important area of practical use is air disinfection. Ozone very effectively removes all pollutants in the air, including viruses. This feature has significantly expanded the application area and ozone generators are currently expanding en masse from purely industrial use through corporate offices, fitness centers, theaters, cinemas to households. A specific use of smaller ozonators is the removal of odors and pollutants from cars, especially air conditioning units.
Ozone limit values for safety and health
The use of ozone has its pitfalls, which must be taken care of. Due to its disinfecting properties, which is due to the fact that it is a strong oxidizing agent in the form of an irritating gas, which has a harmful effect on the human body even at low concentrations, its level must be very carefully monitored in areas where people, but also animals move.
Health and safety standards set maximum exposure values for ozone. Indoors, the maximum permissible values within the regulations are between 0.05 and 0.1 ppm. In the outdoor environment, the limit for ground-level ozone is set at 120 µg / m3.
Safety rules for the use of ozone generators (O3)
The hygienic limit of the ozone level, as already mentioned, is 0.05 ppm. Most of us experience this level by smell. The danger is the numbness of the ability to sense the smell of ozone by repeated inhalations. There is a risk associated with this property that we will no longer perceive the presence of ozone after a few breaths, which can have fatal consequences. Ozone is dangerous for humans, especially in the gaseous state. When inhaled, causes breathing difficulties, headaches, nausea, irritation of mucous membranes, eyes and skin. In high doses, ozone can cause collapse and subsequent death. Ozone also causes permanent lung damage in large quantities. It is important to know that all ozone generators produce ozone in an amount that reaches a concentration of tens to hundreds of ppm in a small room in just a few minutes. In general, the concentration is highly dependent on the state of the environment. Specifically, it depends on the temperature, the oxygen ratio in the air and its humidity. If the ozone generator is in operation, it is absolutely necessary to prevent anyone from entering the disinfected areas, until these areas are really perfectly ventilated after the generator is switched off.