Understanding the O3 Sanitizer™
or ozone is basically supercharged oxygen. Regular oxygen is
O2 and ozone is simply O3.
Nature regularly transforms oxygen into ozone through forces
such as lightning and ultra-violet light striking the earth.
O3 then acts as a natural sanitizer.
After a short period of time the ozone reverts back to
regular oxygen at ground level.
How We Learn About It
We learn about ozone in two different ways. The first is the
protective ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that helps to
reduce the amount of ultra-violet light that strikes the
earth. This layer of O3 is gradually
being depleted as a result of specific pollutants such as
aerosols and the older refrigerant gases. Steps have been
taken to reduce these pollutants, but there is an ongoing
concern about protecting the ozone layer.
The second way we learn about O3 is
the ground level ozone in polluted cities. Automobiles and
industry put out excessive levels of hydrocarbons into the
air through exhaust emissions. When ultra-violet (UV) light
from the sun strikes hydrocarbons, ozone is created. For
millions of years, nature has created ozone by sunlight
striking hydrocarbons, emitted from decaying matter, as one
way it keeps the earth clean. This is nature’s response to
pollution in the air. When the exhaust emissions are high,
the O3 levels become high as a
response to the hydrocarbons. The level of ozone in some
cities may exceed 200 parts per billion (ppb) on days when
pollution is high.
On the other hand, without O3 and UV
light the earth would be an odorous place with mold, mildew
and viruses running rampant. The forces of nature are
designed to keep the outdoors clean and healthy.
Unfortunately, there is normally very little ozone in our
indoor spaces where we spend nearly all of our time. This is
because the buildings where we live and work are designed to
shut nature out.
How It Is Used
Ozone is created by man for purification purposes. It is
injected in nearly all bottled waters and is widely used in
Europe for treating municipal water supplies. O3 is also
used for indoor air treatment but it must be employed in a
manner that is both safe and effective.
The typical way O3 is used
commercially for air treatment is by blasting a high level
of ozone into an unoccupied space. For example, if a hotel
wants to change a smoking room to a non-smoking room, they
use an ozonator such as the LightninAir Industrial Cleaner
to pull odors out of the carpet, drapes, bedding, etc. Smoke
damage restoration services also use O3 to remove odors.
The FDA has approved O3 for treatment
of air and water in food processing plants. Water damage
restoration companies treat air with O3 at
high levels in unoccupied spaces to get rid of smells as
well as mold and mildew. Some restaurants, bars and casinos
are now beginning to use ozone at relatively low levels to
keep the air smelling fresh and clean at all times.
High Level Use
The O3 Sanitizer may be used to treat
unoccupied spaces, including the entire home or office. This
is the most effective way to attack microorganisms and
reduce strong odors because it allows the O3 to
go after pollutants at the source. Ozone has been proven to
reduce levels of mold, mildew and other microorganisms. It
will also help accelerate the dissipation of chemicals from
new carpet, furniture and paint.
Simply close off the problem area or shut the windows and
doors in the entire home. Next, set the O3 dial
to correspond to the size of the area to be treated. Then
leave the space for 1 to 4 hours depending on the severity
of odors. Upon return, open the doors and windows to let in
fresh air until the O3 smell is gone.
Perform this procedure as often as necessary until the odors
Many users prefer a plug-in timer, like is used on lamps, so
that it comes on everyday for a few hours while they are at
work and then shuts off a couple of hours before they return
home. When they walk in the air smells fresh and clean and
the O3 has reverted back to normal O2.
Some users keep the O3 Sanitizer at a
relatively low setting while in the home or office. This can
hold down microorganism growth while keeping the air
smelling fresh and clean. However, caution is advised
because O3 levels may exceed those
recommended by government agencies. Each home is different
so it requires a trial and error process to locate the right
setting on the dial.
If you choose to use the O3 Sanitizer
in occupied spaces, set the ozonator dial at a modest level
initially and let it run for a couple of hours. If you smell
ozone when you walk into the room, turn the dial down or
off. On the other hand, if you smell household odors, turn
the dial slightly up. Repeat the process until you walk into
the room and do not smell household odors or ozone—just
clean fresh air. Caution is the key to use of the O3 Sanitizer
in occupied spaces.
Excessive ozone concentrations can cause mucus membrane or
respiratory irritation. Individuals with serious respiratory
problems such as emphysema should consult their physician
before use. Those with a poor sense of smell should also
exercise caution. If O3 is detected
when entering a room turn the O3 Sanitizer
dial down or off. If a dry throat, cough or watery eyes is
experienced ventilate the area and discontinue use.
The level of O3 generated at a
particular setting on the dial will vary with humidity,
altitude, household contents, level of pollutants in the
space and other factors. The average person is able to smell
ozone as the room level approaches 20 ppb indoors. The FDA
sets an upper level of 50 ppb in continuously occupied
spaces for sensitive persons such as the very young, the
elderly and the sick. The EPA has set a target level of 80
ppb for outside air in cities, but that is regularly
exceeded. A rule of thumb is to turn the Sanitizer dial off
or down if the O3 smell is detected.