The use of ozone has increased enormously over the last few months in all parts of the world. At the beginning of the crisis it was considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most powerful disinfectant.
Since ozone is capable of destroying numerous viruses, bacteria and fungi, it was also believed to be effective in destroying microorganisms of the coronavirus family (e.g. SARS).
However, it is currently under review by the European Union for use as a disinfectant against COVID-19. The reason for this is that there is no conclusive information regarding its effectiveness, dose, mode of use or toxicity on human health and the environment.
Why is it better to opt for a system other than ozone as a primary disinfection method?
1. Ozone is neither storable nor transportable
The disadvantage of this purification system is that it cannot be stored or transported. It has been classified by the European Commission as an “in-situ” biocide because it has to be generated and applied on the same site. Because of its reactive and unstable nature, it needs to be broken down and transformed into oxygen in a short time.
Consequently, a special authorisation is required to place the various pieces of equipment on the market.
2. May not be used in the presence of humans or animals
It is proven that the presence of ozone gas in high concentrations (approximately 0.1 ppm or parts per million) is harmful to people. The World Health Organization considers that below a reference value of 0.05 ppm or parts per million for 8 hours ensures adequate health protection.
Disinfection of floors, surfaces, equipment, machinery or other materials that can accept water for a minimum time is carried out using ozone mixed with water. This method of disinfection is not harmful to health by inhalation.
On the other hand, disinfection with ozone gas, usually recommended for closed spaces, is harmful, as the concentration is higher.
On the other hand, it will be necessary to adequately ventilate the disinfected place before use.
Not any ozonizer can work as a disinfectant
Although the dose required for environmental use and surface treatment is not yet clear, the sale of ozonizers has grown throughout the months of the pandemic. In this sense, there are different models, some only for use by experts and others for non-professional use.
“The use of ozone in very low doses, with the presence of people, does not have a disinfectant action”ZonoSistem company representative
However, there are objections to some of the models because, as the experts point out, “The use of ozone in very low doses, with the presence of people, does not have a disinfecting action“. This, together with the fact that with the use of some ozonizers the user cannot be present at those moments when there is a high dose of ozone, generates controversy regarding the use of this technology.
4. It requires adequate protection equipment
As warned by the Ministry of Health, persons applying “biocidal products” must be protected by appropriate protective equipment according to the hazardous nature of the product.
“No one who knows anything about ozone would ever think of using it to kill the coronavirus. It is the most powerful oxidant after fluorine and one of the most toxic you can imagine, even if in small doses it serves to disinfect and kill bacteria”Bernardo Herradón, expert in Organic Chemistry and member of the Spanish National Research Council
5. May react with flammable substances and may produce dangerous chemical reactions on contact with other chemicals
As a hazardous chemical, ozone is highly reactive and corrosive to organic matter. In fact, Bernardo Herradón, an expert in organic chemistry and member of the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) stated in an interview for RTVE last June that “Nobody who knows anything about ozone would ever think of using it to kill the coronavirus. It is the most powerful oxidant after fluorine and one of the most toxic you can imagine, even if in small doses it serves to disinfect and kill bacteria”.
One of the advantages of ActivePure® technology is that it manages to protect the air in spaces and surfaces without producing ozone or other harmful chemicals in its continued use. In addition, it is harmless to humans, animals, and plants.
Consequently, this technology allows the rooms to remain occupied 24 hours a day with proven efficiency in qualified laboratories.
In any case, at Active Clean we believe that all the measures that can be used to achieve the eradication of COVID-19 are few and far between. Therefore, we believe that ozone can be used in a complementary and careful way as a support tool to maintain the most hygienic environment in general.