Ozone is a gas that is comprised of three oxygen molecules and can easily interact with other chemicals. Simply put, it is bad for our lungs.
According to the EPA “When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.” Additionally, when used at safe levels, ozone is ineffective at eliminating indoor particulate matter.
So what does all this have to do with air cleaners? There are companies who make and market ozone producing devices, and then sell them as air cleaners. The reason these devices are sold as air cleaners is because ozone, in large amounts, can neutralize strong odors. This gives the user the feeling that the air is clean. The assumption is made that the smell is gone so the air must be clean.
In short, if someone has issues with indoor air quality and their lungs they should not use an ozone generator based air cleaner. How would one know? Read labels carefully. They are often marketed with phrasing the same as or similar to “energized oxygen or “pure air”. According to the makeup of the molecule, Ozone is a different chemical with different “properties” then breathable oxygen. These people should take other action to clean their air.
Some vendors say that these devices have been approved by the federal government. In fact, NO federal agency has approved these devices for use.
For more about air cleaners, read this blog post.