We know Ozone as a molecule which protects us from the harmful UV rays. It is also a very good oxidizing agent. Hence,for commercial purposes, the trioxygen O3 has been used since long as a purifier for drinking water, treatment of industrial effluents and exhausts, deodorization of sewage gases and as a sterilizer. Use of ozone for private purposes as purifier in households is increasing manifold, ozonator being the most common. Ozonator is a purifier cum sterilizer which purifies by using ozone as its cleaning agent.
For domestic and household use, Ozonator consist of an aerator with a hose at its end which adds ozone to the mix. It is inserted in water, oil or food to sanitize them by oxidization. For example, the hose pipe is inserted in the water container or a zip-lock plastic bag containing the food item, allowed to function for 10 minutes or as per the instructions and then removed.
Ozone is a highly unstable molecule which breaks down into normal dioxygen upon slight change in environmental conditions. Hence ozone production must be such that it is put to use as immediately as possible. This phenomenon also ensures that no toxic substance is left behind as ozone being a reactive gas is converted to life supporting oxygen we breathe in upon breakdown due to chemical changes. Once ozone has sterilized the product, dioxygen and water is formed upon decomposition. Another important characteristic is its efficiency in killing bacteria and fungi. It can even eradicate bacteria such as streptococci.The food and beverage is thus pure and fit for consumption far better than any other option available.
Ozonator is also used for indoor air purification. Normal air purifier doesn’t kill pathogens which continue to circulate and often result in unbearable odour. However, using ozone air purifier ensures that the air is free from germs. Thus it helps in reducing the chances of airborne respiratory diseases and lung infections like allergies.
The use of Ozonator as home purifier is a smart choice. Not only is it safe it provides additional features over other purifiers. Use it for edibles or to clean the air you breathe in. But, ozone in high proportions could be dangerous and lethal. Its controlled usage in regulated amounts should be ensured to avoid hazards, although, such conditions are rare as the manufacturers ensure complete safety. The current national standard is of .08ppm. It has a sharp smell similar to chlorine and could be known in concentrations as low as .04ppm.
Moreover, ozonizing food supplements, herbs and medicines is strictly prohibited. Ozone can react with chemicals and enzymes and may result in poison. Ozonated oils should not be used frequently as supplement because high levels of ozone possess possible threats. It is a reasonable choice over others, however, it doesn’t remove metals.
So is its use harmful or helpful? The answer to this question is a debatable issue since the evidence to prove any of the sides is still under study. Lack of long-term specific research makes it difficult to reach a proper conclusion on its adversity. It is, indeed, a strong oxidizer hence prolong and excessive usage should be avoided. It is advised that it must be used occasionally. Then why to use an appliance which can’t be used freely and frequently when purifiers are so essential specially when pollution rates have become a major concern? It is cheaper in comparison plus the toxic production is far less.
Like two sides of the same coin, it shares its pros and cons equally likely. But what weighs more – the pros or the cons, could only be told with time.
In India, it is slowly gaining its market. How so ever, the prospects of customers switching from the old to the new and being content and success of ozonators as an unbeatable purifier is yet to be found.