Ozone Applications: An In-Depth Discussion By Brad Hunter Health Freedom News Vol. 14, No. 2, March 1995 Ozone is a form of oxygen that contains three atoms (O3) compared to the standard two (O2) in an oxygen molecule. Ozone as a gas is blue; both liquid (-111.9C) and solid ozone (-193C) are an opaque blue-black colour. At altitudes from 60-90,000 ft., ozone occurs naturally as a gas in concentrations of 10-20 parts per million (ppm). In these concentrations ozone is a powerful absorber of high frequency light radiation and it stops most of the Sun's ultra-violet rays. At ground level it exists in a greatly diluted state and is always present in minute quantities (.001-.003 ppm) as we breathe it. The human threshold for its unique pungent scent is .001 ppm; below that amount you can't even smell it. It does not become an irritant until levels of .1 ppm are exceeded for an eight hour exposure, and below those levels there have never been any permanent side effects from inhaling it. Ozone occurs naturally around crashing surf, white water rapids, and lightning storms. At ground level there is more oxygen than ozone, and as we rise up in our atmosphere the oxygen decreases and the ozone increases - hence, the beautiful blue sky we enjoy when we gaze up from planet Earth. It is the ozone that makes it blue. So why, you may ask, is there a negative twist on ozone and air pollution? In order to measure hydrocarbon air pollution, an index is required. High levels of hydrocarbons have a corresponding ozone level measured in hundredths of a ppm, so by measuring the ozone, we know how bad the pollution is. The TV weather reporter doesn't tell you that ozone as a molecule only last 20 minutes maximum at ground level where it is busy cleaning up that pollution. Carbon monoxide (hemoglobin has a greater affinity for it than for oxygen), when contacted by ozone, is changed to carbon dioxide and oxygen. Benzene, chlorides, sulfur and 40 other compounds are also oxidized by ozone contact. Charts are available that show safe non-symptomatic and symptomatic irritant exposure levels for humans, so yes, there are dangers with high levels of ozone (too much of anything can be dangerous) but that is not to say that ozone is dangerous per se. Ozone has long been internationally recognized as the most powerful oxidant known to chemical science. Well known as an industrial oxidizer and sterilant, it has uses in over 30 different industries. Existing applications include: production of chemicals, synthetic fibers, jet lubricants, and pharmaceuticals; clean rooms for manufacturing computer chips, circuit boards, and bio-medical products; treatment of industrial liquid wastes such as cyanides and phenois; water treatment, performing as a bactericide, viricide, and flocculant, used to handle organically dissolved metals, odor and taste producing hydrocarbons, sewage effluent, aqua culture and fish farms, and sanitizing both fresh and salt water aquariums such as Seaworld at Orlando, FL; food preservation uses such as fruit, vegetable, egg, cheese, and meat storage, cold storage and plant preservation; sterilization of containers for aseptic packaging; deodorization of gases and exhausts from industrial processes; replacing chlorine for bleaching woodpulp for paper; mining extraction of metals and minerals; and sanitation in water, soft drinks, and beer bottling plants. Ozone's most well known use is in water treatment as a primary stage disinfectant because of its bactericidal and viricidal efficacy. EPA and FDA acknowledge ozone's ability to kill 99.9992% of all pathogenic life in water. Although accepted for use in European health clinics for 25 years or so, health applications of ozone remain controversial in the United States. There are, at present, three technologies utilized for the generation of ozone; ultra-violet light, cold plasma, and cold corona arc. Ultra-violet light in the 180-90 nanometer frequency generates ozone from ambient air without producing nitrous oxide compounds. UV cannot generate the high levels that are required for industrial or health applications even with oxygen feed; it cannot generate more than 1-3 micrograms of ozone per milliliter of oxygen. Cold plasma is a lost engineering technique of inert rarefied gas mixtures in a vacuum tube with no filament. To my knowledge, three companies are working with it now. This is where the future lies, this same technology that was utilized in the Teslaire medical machines of the 1920's and `30's. Cold corona arc is the most maligned of the technologies, yet it generates the serious ozone needed for industrial and health applications and is useful for general air purification. When engineered properly, ambient air feed cold corona arc produces no appreciable increase in nitrous oxides. Cold corona remains the most cost effective means by which medical and industrial concentrations are achieved. Different uses of ozone require different concentrations to obtain desired results. For instance, ultra-violet-light generated ozone is adequate for hot tub and pool disinfection, but large pools, water parks, and municipal water treatment require cold corona ozone to generate serious ozone. All studies on benefits of ozone in health sciences utilize and oxygen tank and regulator for productions of an ozone/oxygen mixture. The oxygen feed rate from the tank is measured in micrograms of ozone per milliliter of oxygen, noted as mog/ml or ug/L. The protocols and specific doses have been established by over 40 years of documented uses in Germany. In order to achieve a desired result with ozone, one must work within the range (ug/L) specified and proven by use on 10 million German patients over those 40 years. Use too little ozone and it will not work, or too much and it has a detrimental effect. The required concentrations and quantities have all been established and published. If someone tells you that you will get over an illness by bag aeration with an air feed UV ozone system, you had better turn and walk away. As it is in all engineering, math tells us that specific results require specific amounts to attain specified effects. Ask questions, be an informed buyer! Note: The FDA has not approved any ozone device for medical use within the United States, yet they were in existence prior to the FDA. Same or like devices were grandfathered in and are used by N.D.'s. Seek the advise of knowledgeable health professionals. (Brad Hunter is a licensed engineer and a member of the International Ozone Association) ------------------------------------------------------------------- Health Freedom News is published by The National Health Federation, a nonprofit corporation at 212 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia, CA 91016. 818-357-2181. In Canada, Health Freedom News comes as apart of membership to The Consumer Health Organization of Canada. They can be reached at 250 Sheppard Ave. E., Suite 205, Box 248, Willowdale, Ontario M2N 5S9. 416-222-6517.