Are you using an Ozone generator in your home?
It need not be exactly the ozone generator, even when you use a humidifier/mister/air-conditioner ozone dissipates into your room atmosphere.
You don’t think about or use misters or humidifiers unless there is a necessity for it, but when you do, the only thing that comes to your mind is good air quality that gives you comfort in your place.
These devices do the required job well, but at the same time, it dissipates ozone too into the environment, which can be sensed by you easily.
Then I am sure this question of “How long will it take for Ozone smell to dissipate?” be lingering in your mind.
The answer to the above question relates to a matter of time and space and depends on numerous other factors as well.
Let’s start step-by-step.
What is Ozone?
For people who are new to this topic, let’s know what Ozone is first before we move on to other things. It is similar to Oxygen, but it is bonded by three molecules of oxygen.
There may be chances where you would have heard about this layer of shield – called Ozone Layer- which protects our Earth from harmful Ultra Violet rays.
When rays enter through this layer, it gets filtered and makes it suitable for living beings to thrive on this planet.
The Greek word “ozein” means “smell”; ozone has been derived from this Greek word. A smell that you realize at or before the time of rain is due to the presence of ozone only.
The smell will be like metallic for someone and like chlorine for some or a burning wire/ electric spark for others.
This is the kind of smell; you may sense when you turn on the mister/humidifier initially if you are not used to it before.
But you can be sure, it is not a foul smell. This “Ozone Smell”, definitely makes one wonder how long will it take to dissipate?
Even small concentrations (as low as ten parts per billion) in the air will make you realize the smell of ozone.
You may be surprised to know that ozone exposure will significantly affect your health conditions.
Therefore, you have to be more careful when you have a sense of smell of ozone, especially when they are in higher concentrations.
Ozone Dissipation: How Long?
Duration of the presence of ozone in the atmosphere is between a minimum of 30 minutes when the doors of your house are open.
The duration will extend for a maximum period of 4 hours before it gets converted into breathable oxygen.
Lower levels of ozone concentration will get cleared in about two hours; however, if the levels happen to be higher, then the duration for dissipation will be about 3 or 4 hours.
If a room is small, for about three to six hours, ozone emission will be allowed. For deodorizing the whole house, duration in the range of 30 hours, sometimes, more will be needed.
After using the ozone generator, you may have to wait for about 4 hours, if not more, for the residual ozone to fade away.
Ozone-based Humidifiers and Air Purifiers – Benefits and Drawbacks
First things first, not all humidifiers and air purifiers release ozone. Before getting into further, let’s know the basics and learn what they signify.
Humidifiers assists in humidifying the area, while the air-purifier purifies the environment by way blowing air through the fan and filtering out the bad particles and items using filters.
You are very well aware that every scientific invention has its own merits and demerits and these ozone-based humidifiers and air purifiers are no exception to it.
Let’s look at the merits first:
They help to keep the room cool, especially when large masses of people gather and work inside the room. These individuals emanate body heat and body odor and it has to be dealt with. As a result, Misters and humidifiers are used to keep the room temperature at the nominal level.
These humidifiers, make the air breathable and pleasant. Sometimes they also act as an air purifier. Air-purifiers help to keep the air clean by releasing ozone molecules into the atmosphere. Air pollutants stick to these ozone molecules and get extinguished finally.
Here comes the trick, even though there are advantages, it releases ozone which takes its course of time to dissipate. So, these humidifiers and purifiers created health hazards indirectly, without your knowledge on a day-to-day basis.
Health effects of ozone
Ozone, present at stratosphere (second layer of atmosphere upward from the ground), protects the earth as well the human beings from the harmful UV radiations.
Since these UV radiations cause skin damages, cancers, suppressed immune systems, scientists are concerned about the depletion of the protective ozone layer and ways of restoration to its original natural state.
However, in the atmosphere, on the ground level, even relatively low concentrations turn out to be a pollutant, resulting in a variety of many adverse health effects especially to children, asthma inflicted patients, adults of old ages, outdoor workers, and people subject to deficiencies of vitamins C and E.
Even though a person seems to be healthy, the ozone exposure, that too the direct exposure, may lead to major health problems, relating mostly to lungs (reduced lungs function, to combat bacterial infections), inflammation in the airways and respiratory systems.
Even if the exposure happens to be for a short while say less than 8 hours, you may observe the symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, irritations in the throat and lungs, pains during a deep breath. You may just conclude that such symptoms are associated with the contraction of the airways.
One soothing solution is that the effects of short-term exposures could be reversed; the effects arising out of long-term exposures are difficult to be reversed, making it more critical to control.
Do you know what happens when these devices work?
The fan spins and it disperses a combination of cold air, mist, and a few gases, one among them is ozone.
The rate of ozone dissipation varies according to the type of humidifier and its range/capacity.
A lot of factors come into play to decide, which we see in further paragraphs.
Regarding space, two things play a part – one is the quantity of the ozone dispersed while the next one is the area it is filling up. The huge volume of ozone in a small area takes a long time to dissipate and when the area is big, it can considerably take a lesser time.
The ozone smell may still linger in the environment, but the smell won’t be that heavy. Apart from the size of the area, the ventilation system also plays a role. A good system enables quicker dispersion while a bad one needs an external force to make it dissipate faster.
To your surprise, there will be instances, where even the level of ozone has reached a safer degree for you to enter, you can still sense the “Ozone Smell”.
Having answered the question of space, now let us barge on to the question of time.
The answer to the above scenario is – Ozone volume and area of space it occupies are indirectly proportional – in calculating the time it takes to dissipate.
Simply put in other words, a huge concentration of ozone in a smaller area will take more time and vice-versa.
You should also follow the guidelines given while operating the Ozone unit. There you will get an idea about the volume of ozone released and how long will it take for it to dissipate.
Using that as a yardstick, you can operate it efficiently. To be on the safer side, you can also take more time than it is prescribed in the operation manual to enter the room, to avoid the direct effects of ozone in your body.
Now you have been loaded with the necessary knowledge about ozone-based humidifiers and air purifiers and the time taken by ozone to dissipate. You must act wisely when you use it and be safe.
Meen Smith is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for the elderly. She has already worked as an associate editor on various moms, babies, home appliances, kitchen, and healthy living blogs. In her spare time, she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.