Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive gas made up of three atoms of oxygen. It is reactive because the gas will easily degrade back to its natural state,or normal stable oxygen (O2). What really does the work when it comes to ozone is the extra free oxygen atoms or free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive and they can oxidize almost anything (including viruses, bacteria, organic and inorganic compounds) after short periods of contact, which makes ozone an incredibly powerful oxidizing sanitizer or disinfectant.
In fact, ozone is far more powerful and reactive than other common disinfectants such as chlorine and hypochlorite, it kills germ over 3000x faster. Unlike chlorine or hypochlorite ozone doesn’t degrade into other toxic by-products. Due to the possibility formation of carcinogenic by-products such as trihalomethanes (THM) chlorine or hypochlorite are no longer being used in many countries.
In contrast, ozone rapidly degrades into pure oxygen and doesn’t generate similar toxic residue. Because ozone harnesses the power of oxygen and doesn’t generate toxic by-products. Ozone has become one of the dominant water treatment methods in Europe and in the United States of America, due to the lack of toxic byproducts. Ozone for air sanitization is less popular than the in water because ozone is harmful to the lungs to breathe, therefore all air treatments must be done in unoccupied spaces.
Experimental data shows that ozone is effective in reducing airborne bacteria of unoccupied room. Over 90% of airborne bacteria in this real world experiment were reduced after ozone shock treatments. Viruses are more susceptible to ozone than bacteria because bacteria are protected by a cell wall. Ozone has been demonstrated to easily damage the protein lipid coating on the surface of the virus and it damages the RNA replication mechanism of all viruses. This means it is ideal for the destruction Ozone is a gas, and as a gas can permeate the tiniest hidden place in a room or facility, and with powerful oxidizing power, its disinfection efficiency is superior to UV radiation and unlike HEPA filters it actually works! Since ozone shock treatments are performed in unoccupied rooms only and all the residual ozone breaks down naturally after the treatment, so it is perfectly safe for humans. With the tremendous oxidization power and it’s penetration capacity leaving behind residues after the treatment, ozone is recommended for use in disinfection of SARS-contaminated environments.
1. Gérard V. Sunnen, SARS and Ozone Therapy: Theoretical Considerations, http://www.triroc.com/sunnen/topics/sars.html (2003).
2. W. J. Kowalski, W. P. Bahnfleth, and T. S. Whittam, Ozone Sci. & Eng., 20, 205-221 (1998).
3. T. Masaoka; Y. Kubota, S. Namiuchi, T. Takubo, T. Ueda, H. Shibata, H. Nakamura, J. Yoshitake, T. Yamayoshi, H. Doi, T. Kamiki, Appl. & Environ. Microb., 43, 509-513 (1982).
4.Development of a Practical Method for Using Ozone Gas as a Virus Decontaminating Agent: James B. Hudson , Manju Sharma & Selvarani Vimalanathan (2009)
5. Ozone Disinfection of SARS-Contaiminated Areas Kenneth K. K. LAM
Degree of Odor : Minor Medium Extreme
Size of Room 100sq/ft 5-7 min 15min 30 min
250sq/ft 15 min 30min 45min
500sq/ft 30min 45min 1 hour
1000sq/ft 45min 1 hour 1.5 hours
1500sq/ft 1 hour 1.5 hours 2 hours
2000sq/ft 1.5 hours 2 hours 2.5-3 hours
2500sq/ft 2 hours 2.5-3hours 3-4 hours
3000sq/ft 3 hours 4-5 hours 6 hours