Ozonated WaterThere’s been a lot of talk in the past about ozone and how it can help improve your health and quality of life. Consequently, many companies offer products called ozone generators that are designed to produce ozone and inject it into your air or water to help clean it.  In this article, we’ll explore the the ins and outs of this topic and hear what some experts have to say on the subject.

 

Let’s start with the question: What is Ozone?

In short, ozone is oxygen.  Typically, the oxygen we breathe is actually two atoms bound together–this O2 molecule comprises the majority of the gaseous oxygen on Earth.  Ozone is a molecule of oxygen with three atoms of oxygen bound together.  That’s it.  Ozone is oxygen with one extra atom attached.

Great.  So, why do we care?

That’s a very good question.  Oxygen really only “wants” to have two atoms attached to it’s molecule.  It’s the chemical version of “two’s company, three’s a crowd.”  This third oxygen atom can, in some cases, detach from the ozone molecule, reattach itself to other biological “nasties” in your water, and change their chemical composition thereby rendering the nasties harmless.  The extremely simplified way to think about it is this; the extra atom of oxygen binds to the bacteria or other organic material / microorganism in the water.  This causes the microorganism to die because of over-oxygenation (or other chemical processes), the now dead microorganism is then filtered out of the water thereby increasing the water’s purity.

Sounds wonderful!  Where and how can we use this technology?

Many cities are already using water-based ozone systems as one step to help clean municipal water supplies.  When used properly and in conjunction with other techniques, this is a great way to help purify the water that comes out of your tap.  There can also be a case made for adding an ozone generator to your swimming pool or hot tub water circulation system.  If you think about the amazing amount of bacteria that can result from a nice warm wet environment like a spa, you can clearly understand the need for a strong active disinfectant system.  Ozone can be one part of this system.

Where you do not want to use ozone generators is in your home or office or other enclosed space.  An air-based ozone generator can be quite harmful to your lungs and can exacerbate health problems for those with asthma or other breathing ailments.  Despite advertising claims by many companies selling these products, it has been shown that airborne ozone can cause quite strong effects when presented in high concentrations in our breathing air.

Conclusion

In short, ozone is good and helpful when introduced into a water supply.  Ozone is good and helpful when in the upper atmosphere as it helps block ultraviolet solar radiation.  Ozone is no good at all and can be quite harmful when injected into the air that we breathe.  Drink your ozone, don’t breathe it.  😉

 

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