Is ozone safe? Here’s the short answer: If you’re a germ, no. If you’re looking for a powerful sanitizing solution, absolutely.
Ozone (or O3) is a naturally occurring gas that protects us from both dangerous UV rays and harmful bacteria, viruses, and molds. As a powerful antimicrobial agent, ozone is one of the best ways to sanitize all of your equipment and surfaces.
But there are also unsafe ways to use it. We’re breaking down the precautions you need to take to safely sanitize with ozone.
How does ozone kill germs?
Ozone kills germs through a process called oxidation — the same process that causes rust. When the ozone molecule comes in contact with bacteria, viruses, and molds, the chemical reaction destroys the very structure of the germs. Ozone works better than bleach and iodine to remove germs from hard-to-reach areas on your gear.
Through this completely dry process, ozone eliminates many common disease-causing germs, including:
- VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus)
- MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus )
- E. Coli
- Influenza virus A
- Candida albicans
These germs can wreak havoc on your team or unit, so you need a robust sanitizing system to get rid of them. With the power of ozone, you can significantly reduce the germs living on your gear and in your locker rooms — preventing a number of dangerous and even deadly diseases.
How to safely use ozone sanitizers
Like many other antimicrobial agents, ozone is powerful. So it’s not surprising that ozone can affect your health. Much like you would with liquid cleaners or bleach, you need to handle ozone with care.
The most important thing to know about ozone safety: do not inhale it. Ozone inhalation could cause headaches, shortness of breath, coughing, sore throat, and fluid buildup in the lungs. While uncomfortable, these symptoms are not life-threatening. If you’re exposed to ozone, your symptoms should begin to fade as soon as you leave an ozone-contaminated room and should resolve themselves within 48 hours. However, repeated exposure can eventually cause asthma.
That’s not to say that ozone sanitizers aren’t safe — you just have to avoid exposure. Ozone chambers seal off the gas with your gear inside, allowing for high ozone concentration levels without releasing the gas into your common areas. Safety features, like ozone sensors and auto-locking chambers, can further protect you from accidental ozone exposure.
You can also sanitize rooms up to 2,000 square feet with ozone by closing the doors to the room, creating a chamber of its own. Of course, this requires a bit more precaution. Make sure to wait at least five hours after engaging the ozone cycle before returning to the room to ensure that concentrations return to normal. Ozone can also harm plants and animals, so always be mindful of beloved pets and office succulents before turning on your ozone generator.
Find Ozone Sanitizers with Built-In Safety Features
Ready to invest in your team’s health and safety? Look for an ozone sanitizer that will protect you from germs and potential ozone exposure.
At Global Ozone, we’re dedicated to protecting your team in more ways than one. All of our Sports-O-Zone and Decon Zone sanitizers include ozone safety systems to ensure that the ozone stays in the chamber — not in your lungs. And they will leave your equipment smelling fresh and safe to use in just 32 minutes.
Our Gear Blaster product gives you the option to sanitize entire gyms, locker rooms, and training facilities — or just to sanitize your items overnight. If you’re using our Gear Blaster to sanitize large spaces, make sure you follow our instructions to protect yourself and others. Always wait for ozone levels to decrease before re-entering the space.
Interested in trying out our safe, easy-to-use ozone sanitizing systems? Reach out to us today for a quote.