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Do all air purifiers emit ozone? Health risk!

Do all air purifiers emit ozone? You’ve probably heard of Ozone, right? And you may not care about it. But Isn’t that bad for you? This question often gets asked about air purifiers, and the answer is: it depends.

Before we give all information based on our findings, here is what to know about ozone.

There are two types of ozone that people refer to, the good and the bad kind, and one doesn’t always correlate with the other. Just so you may know that air purifiers and ozone go hand in hand,

Ozone in its purest form (as opposed to when it exists in the air as smog) has many health benefits and can even be used in medicine to treat diseases like cancer.

The fact that the two types of ozone could be mistaken, helps explain the confusion about whether it’s a risk to your health.

What is ozone, anyway?

Do air purifiers with HEPA filters emit ozone?
Image Credit: Amazon

Ozone is a colorless gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. But it has some very potent properties. It’s an important part of our planet’s atmosphere, which protects us from ultraviolet radiation coming from space. The ozone layer absorbs much of that UV light. At ground level though, ozone can be harmful.

What does ozone do to our lungs?

Ozone is harmful to our lungs, especially when we breathe it in at high concentrations. Ozone can irritate and inflame our respiratory passages, making it harder to breathe. This can cause coughing, asthma attacks, and acute bronchitis. When ozone is inhaled over a long period, it also damages lung tissue, which may lead to permanent respiratory damage and sometimes lung cancer. We should avoid as much ozone as possible when buying an air purifier for our home.

Are we exposed to ozone at home?

Air quality in many parts of America is still a problem. A good number of Americans are exposed to poor air quality at home, at work, and while driving around town. Many homes use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to clean their indoor air as a result; however, these filters produce ozone as a byproduct. Does that mean that we’re unwittingly inhaling ozone at home?

Why should we care about this?

Ozone is a chemical compound, O3, that can form naturally in oxygen-rich environments—and it’s also a pollutant that can be produced by industrial activity. (It’s known as bad ozone.) While ozone can help protect us from other pollutants by forming an ozone layer of sorts, we should care about bad ozone because it contributes to smog.

Is air purifier ozone harmful?

According to many resources, ozone can be harmful in high concentrations. For example, it’s one of those things that can cause harm if you inhale too much of it for too long. The EPA also cautions against breathing ozone for more than a few hours regularly because of possible health effects (especially in those with respiratory issues like asthma). This leads us to wonder: Is air purifier ozone harmful?

Ozone gas is usually harmless at low concentrations, but high levels can cause respiratory issues such as coughing or shortness of breath. To minimize the negative impact of ozone, you should look into buying a good air purifier. So which one doesn’t give ozone?

Do all air purifiers give off ozone?

Do all air purifiers emit ozone?
Image Credit: Amazon

Unfortunately, not all air purifiers are created equal. Some air purifiers have been designed to emit ozone—which is a harmful pollutant, as well as being a key ingredient in smog—into your home or office. Avoid these! Instead, choose an air purifier that has been designed to not emit ozone at all. Ozone air purifiers give off strong odors; an ozone machine can make you sick; you’ll notice a burning smell from an ozone-emitting filter.

Now you know that not all air purifiers produce Ozone, so which one emits ozone?

Which air purifiers produce ozone?

Air purifiers that use an ozone-generating filter are marketed as effective at eradicating household odors, pollutants, and allergens from your home. However, these air purifiers produce ozone, a gas that is also produced by cars when they accelerate or heat up too quickly. While it’s true that both ozone produced in cars and air purifiers smell similar to rotten eggs, neither will harm you or your health if you’re exposed to it for short periods.

As you can see already which air purifying system brings out ozone, which means not all give ozone. So which one doesn’t give ozone?

Which air purifier does not produce ozone?

The best ozone air purifier is one that’s certified to produce no or low levels of ozone. The first step in choosing an air purifier is to figure out how you want it to improve your indoor air quality. For example, you might want something that removes allergens (like pet dander) or smokes/tobacco, or perhaps you want an air purifier with a HEPA filter.

Do air purifiers with HEPA filters emit ozone?

Ozone air purifiers, also known as ultraviolet air purifiers, emit ozone to destroy airborne bacteria and viruses. But do they produce ozone? Do HEPA filters produce ozone? Yes. Some studies indicate that high levels of ozone could be emitted by HEPA filters, which are found in most air purifiers today. Before buying an air purifier with a HEPA filter, you should read our guide on how to choose an air purifier instead!

How can we reduce exposure to ozone from air purifiers?

Ozone causes a variety of negative effects on humans and animals such as irritations of skin, eyes, and nose; loss of coordination; headaches; coughing; irritation of mucous membranes; and even death. To prevent this issue, try to avoid using filters that have been exposed to ozone.

Are there other things we can do besides upgrading the filter in our air purifier?

Yes! We have mentioned filtering your air using HEPA filters but that’s not the only way to improve indoor air quality. Here are some tips to help keep your indoor environment clean and healthy. 

Tips To Improve Air Quality & Health In Your Home includes, but are not limited to:

  • Cleaning products should be kept out of reach from children.
  • Keep pets (if you have them) away from the areas where they are going to sleep on the bed or couch. This could cause pet dander to collect in these places.
  • Use fans to circulate indoor air throughout the home.
  • Have everyone make sure their shoes and socks are put away at night. Dust accumulates on footwear overnight and then gets kicked around into the house in the morning.
  • Open a window. A good rule of thumb is to keep the temperature inside your house at no less than 72 degrees Fahrenheit and preferably 75 degrees. If this is impossible due to weather conditions outside, then make sure you have enough ventilation in place through healthy means.

What should you look for when buying an air purifier instead of relying on the brand name alone?

To prevent this issue, try to avoid using filters that have been exposed to ozone. When choosing an air purifier, look for models that utilize high-quality HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) that remove 99% of particles 0.3 microns and larger. These types of filters are expensive and hard to find, however, they will ensure that your plants do not get harmed by ozone pollution.

Conclusion: do all air purifiers emit ozone?

Ozone is poisonous to humans, but it’s a natural component of the atmosphere. It can be generated indoors through electric devices. It’s harmful to humans if breathed in at high concentrations. 

Therefore, when someone asks me “do all air purifiers produce ozone?”, I answer “no, not all air purifiers produce ozone.” Also, If you live near areas where smog forms, it’s recommended that you wear a mask when indoors. 

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