What is ozone?
Ozone
is the best of nature's tools for cleaning the air, a unique and natural phenomenon that helps us in many ways. The ozone layer around the Earth protects us from the harmful UV rays of the Sun. The ozone in our atmosphere also helps clean the air and reduce pollution, and it works actively to create a much healthier environment to work and live in. Together with fluorine, it is the most powerful oxidizer in the world. Some call it a miracle, others say it's amazing. Whatever you call it, it is a safe and clean way of removing mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria and other contaminants present in the air. Ozone is sometimes called "activated oxygen". It contains 3 oxygen atoms instead of the 2 atoms we normally breathe. Interestingly enough, ozone occurs quite frequently in nature, usually as a result of lightning which happens during electrical storms. In fact, that "fresh, spring rain" smell we notice after a storm is almost always a result of the creation of ozone in nature. Ozone is also created in waterfalls.

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How is ozone produced in nature?
Ozone is produced by the UV rays of the sun. It is also created in the atmosphere when oxygen is exposed to an electric discharge, such as lightning. That fresh smell you feel after a storm is in fact ozone.

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How is it produced in OzonoAML generators?
OzonoAML air purification systems use a controlled electric discharge to produce a constant supply of ozone. Approximately 19,9 % of the air we breathe is oxygen. Duplicating the action of lightning under very controlled conditions and using a high voltage discharge, we divide the oxygen molecule in 2 separate oxygen atoms. These oxygen atoms are highly reactive and recombine in groups of 3 atoms each; this is called ozone. There are basically two ways of producing ozone: by means of UV ray lamps with an adequate wavelength, and by electrical discharge or corona effect. Most generators produced in the world use the electrical discharge method, basically simulating lightning. The generators which use UV rays are rare, because they produce low quantities of ozone and their maintenance costs are high compared to the generators which use the corona effect.

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How does ozone act against smells?
Ozone is an oxidizing agent, and when it comes into contact with any organic smell molecule, oxidation (chemical combustion) happens). Result: the smell is permanently destroyed.

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How does ozone act against viruses and bacteria?
Bacteria are microscopic, unicellular creatures with a primitive structure which absorb nutrients and produce metabolic products from and to the outside, and they multiply by division. The body of the bacteria is sealed by a relatively solid cell membrane. Viruses are tiny independent particles, made up of crystals and micromolecules. Unlike bacteria, they multiply only inside the host cell. When ozone comes into contact with a bacteria or a virus, it immediately destroys the cell membrane. When the cell wall is broken, the cytoplasm is deactivated by ozone. This happens in less than a second.

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How does ozone act against tobacco smoke?
It eliminates the irritation caused by phenol gases, by oxidizing them. Phenol gases are an invisible part of smoke, which causes eye soreness and creates offensive smells. Ozone completely frees any place from the effects of smoke, instead of just filtering some of the visible particles, which is what an "electronic air cleaner" would do.

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How long does ozone last?
As soon as ozone is formed in the generator and disperses in the air, various processes occur, which include: a) Oxidation of smell-causing agents, which consumes ozone, b) Reactions against fungi, mold, bacteria and other contaminants which consume ozone again, through oxidizing reactions, c) Total reduction ( or return to oxygen) of the extra, unnecessary ozone, due to the chemical instability of ozone. This reduction process will occur in a time lapse of approximately 30 minutes. Therefore, despite being very powerful, ozone doesn't last long …it simply does its job and disappears.

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Will the smell come back?
No. Ozone destroys the source of the smell. However, in the case of mold, the smell will come back if the humidity that originates it is not eliminated.

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What is the right level of ozone?
The appropriate level is that at which all the ozone that is generated is being used fulfilling its function. However, this balance is not easily achievable. Initially, the generator's output is adjusted to a high level to get rid of the problem of smell as soon as possible. As this is achieved, less ozone is required to destroy the diminishing smell, which leaves remnants of ozone in the air. If the output level is not lowered within a while, there will be more residual ozone in the air. If the air smells of ozone, then there is more ozone than is needed to do the job. Simply lower the rheostat that controls the output level. This is a case in which more is not better.

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How can we determinethe ozone levels?
There is a variety of methods, from those which use chemical reactives to the modern digital level monitors. Residual ozone manifests itself to the human being at 0,01 a 0,03 parts per million, well below the permitted levels for continuous exposure. As it has been said, residual ozone is extra ozone which is not needed. All you have to do is adjust the rheostat.

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Is ozone dangerous?
Ozone has been known for a century, so we have quite a lot of information about it. Various regulating offices, including the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Agency) have stipulated the permitted ozone level at 0,1 parts per million, basing themselves on the historical safety of ozone. Note that this permitted level is for a continuous exposure of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Ozone which is generated for smell and pollution control is used in very small concentrations, between 0,02 and 0,05 parts per million. OzonoAML ozone generators operate within these standards. This means that the ozone level generated according to the standards for control adjustment, is in fact lower than the level found in atypical rural, non-industrial environment. Ozone does not create harmful chemical structures, unlike some chemical-based disinfectants, deodorants and cleaners. It is reconverted to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water, soon after it has been produced. We can discover that the ozone levels are too high because of the presence of a "metallic" o "electric" smell, mouth dryness eye irritation or headache. If any of these symptoms appears, reduce the output level of the generator or leave the place, and the symptoms will quickly disappear.

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Which are the applicable rules related to ozone?
In Canada, the Labor Compensation Board has specified that exposure to ozone during 8 hours for 5 days a week to an environment containing 0,1 ppm is innocuous. The concentrations we will be using will be between 0,01 and 0,03 ppm, which is within those standards.

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How should I handle the bad publicity about ozone?
Most publicity regarding the negative effects of ozone refers to high concentrations, compared to the low concentrations we find when we use OzonoAML generators correctly. Also, much criticism in all the world came from manufacturers of chemical substances, who regarded deodorization by ozone as a replacement rather than a complement to the techniques for the application of chemical elements. The fact that ozone has survived this criticism is a tribute to its effectiveness as a valid deodorizing technique. Today, things have changed, and many generator manufacturers suggest that ozone is the only system needed. We insist that we must realize that a combination of both techniques is essential for a quick , permanent and effective deodorization. The bottom line is that ozone, just like many highly effective chemical products available to professionals, must be used correctly if it is to be used safely. Just like you should never leave chemical products within the reach of children, just like nobody would ever drink a deodorizing substance, ozone gas must also be used according to the same precautions dictated by common sense. Use the information presented in this text to answer the customers' queries. If you have a question which you feel you won't be able to answer, please contact us and we will answer with appropriate information.

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