OxyFile #151


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)

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