You’re probably quite familiar with the “ozone layer” (the part of the earth’s atmosphere that protects us from UV radiation). However, ozone (a form of oxygen) has a variety of other surprising applications. First things first, let’s quickly discuss how it’s made; ozone is created when oxygen atoms split and combine with a third, available oxygen atom – this O3 molecule sometimes goes by the term “activated oxygen.” Think of the smell in the air after a spring storm. That’s ozone, having been created by lightning during a storm, cleaning out the air and leaving that fresh, clean sensation. Whenever ozone is created, it will, in time, naturally revert back to oxygen.
Over the years, scientists have found various health-promoting applications for ozone – some of those now include food storage, water purification and mold removal. Let’s take a closer look at each and, ultimately, how they can help improve your health:
You probably wash fruits and vegetables at home on a fairly regular basis — well, before they even make it to your local market, process facilities and grocery stores rinse them with gallons of water. The truth is, all that rinsing isn’t enough to completely sanitize food from bacteria/mold, even if there’s chlorine present in the water.
That remaining bacteria can cause a slew of health problems, not to mention shorten the shelf life of the food. To address both of those issues, some food processing plants have begun using an ozone injection system that sprays ozonated water during final rinse. In the facilities, micro-organism growth has markedly declined.
Ozone can also be used in cold storage. Ozone gas can be distributed through cold storage facilities to extend shelf life, eliminate mold and control orders. Ozone-sterilized ice can also be used to pack foods such as seafood. The end result? Healthier and more potent food…naturally.
Drinking Water Disinfection
Ozone can also be used in water as a substitute for chlorine. For most (consumers and business owners alike), it’s preferable to chlorine or other chemicals because it’s 100% natural and, when the job is done, it simply reverts back to harmless oxygen. The cherry on top is that ozone also effectively removes odors and color from water. That sort of efficacy hasn’t gone unnoticed – currently, over 280 water treatment plants in the United States have adopted ozone. It’s also being used for bottled water, making that industry the fastest growing market for ozone use in North America.
Through real-world use and countless studies, ozone has been proven to disinfect and markedly improve the efficiency of all types of water filtration systems…and it’ll do so with no ill health effects (in fact, there’s actually a type of ozone therapy that involves drinking ozonated water).
Toxic Mold Removal
Unchecked, mold can become a serious issue in just about any type of home; symptoms often include respiratory ailments, fatigue, headaches and even depression (everyone has a slightly different sensitivity to mold).
In today’s energy-conscious environment, homes are being built with heavy insulation to make them airtight and more energy efficient. The problem with that trend is it can lead to mold proliferation. Mold thrives in wet or humid environments. We all know about mold in our showers and you’ve probably used cleaning products specifically designed to handle them. However, with thousands of airborne mold spores (which you can’t see), typical house cleaners just can’t eradicate ALL the mold colonies. Soon enough, they’ll just take hold again and you’ll be stuck with a vicious mold cycle.
When ozone encounters mold or bacteria, it changes their chemical composition. That is, it infiltrates their cells walls, denatures and ultimately kills them…all on contact. For those in the know (professional remediation/restoration companies, etc), ozone has slowly become the go-to solution for mold. Over the past decade, more and more home owners have jumped on board as well. They’ve begun to either rent or buy ozone generators, and used it as a key part of their weekly or monthly cleaning arsenal.
Just remember most ozone generators create very high levels of ozone, so the room/house needs to be unoccupied by humans or animals during treatment (otherwise, the high levels of O2/O3 can cause mild lung irritation).
For example, to get rid of mold in an average bathroom, shock treat it for about an hour with an ozone machine. After it’s done, give it another hour to let all the O3 naturally change back to O2. When time’s up, re-open all vents and windows and enjoy your fresh-smelling room. 🙂
In conclusion, ozone, for the most part, is a largely misunderstood molecule (because of the ozone layer and pollution, its gotten a bad wrap in the media for years). In reality, it’s an incredibly versatile and effective version of oxygen. The three applications discussed in this article only scratch the surface. Next time, we’ll delve deeper into specific detox and full-body treatments.