FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 18, 2007 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today advised the public that ozone generators should not be used in the home, school or office environment.
“Devices sold as indoor air purifiers, indoor air cleaners, and personal air purifiers that intentionally produce ozone are a health hazard,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA.
Dr. Galvin explained that ozone is a gas that can exacerbate chronic lung conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cause health problems, including respiratory tract irritation, inflammation and permanent lung damage. The gas can also interfere with a person’s sense of smell and make it difficult for individuals to fight respiratory diseases and infections.
Even when consumers use these devices according to manufacturers’ directions, the concentrations of ozone from ozone generators are often considerably higher than public health standards. Studies by both the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have lead to recommendations that ozone generators not be used in occupied space indoors. When ozone combines with certain chemicals such as pine or citrus-scented cleaning chemicals and personal hygiene products in an indoor environment, breakdown products are formed that may be even more irritating than the original chemical compounds.
Consumers should be aware of marketing strategies that refer to ozone as “activated oxygen,” “super oxygen,” “saturated oxygen,” “mountain-fresh air,” or “energized oxygen.” These words falsely imply that ozone is a “healthy kind of oxygen.”
Ozone at ground level is an outdoor pollutant, and is the primary component in smog. Despite manufacturer’s claims, ozone does not effectively purify the air, kill bacteria, viruses, or mold, remove smoke, dust, or other particles, or remove odors.
Ozone generators are made by a host of manufacturers and marketed under various names. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) website lists many devices by name and manufacturer. The list can be downloaded at: www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/o3g-list.htm.
For more information about air purifiers and ozone generators, the DPH fact sheet Ozone Generators: What You Need to Know is available on the DPH website at http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/Ozone_Generator_Fact_Sheet.pdf or you can call the DPH Environmental and Occupational Health Assessment Program at (860) 509-7742.