Ozone Effects on Health and Plants
Ozone or trioxygen (O3) is a triatomic molecule, consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic O2. Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant with harmful effects on the respiratory systems of animals. The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere filters potentially damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth's surface. It is present in low concentrations throughout the Earth's atmosphere. It has many industrial and consumer applications.
There is a great deal of evidence to show that high concentrations of ozone, created by high concentrations of pollution and daylight UV rays at the Earth's surface, can harm lung function and irritate the respiratory system. Exposure to ozone and the pollutants that produce it has been linked to premature death, asthma, bronchitis, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems.
There is evidence of significant reduction in agricultural yields because of increased ground-level ozone and pollution which interferes with photosynthesis and stunts overall growth of some plant species.
Ozone has been implicated to have an adverse effect on plant growth, "...Ozone reduced total chlorophylls, carotenoid and carbohydrate concentration, and increased 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) content and ethylene production. In treated plants, the ascorbate leaf pool was decreased, while lipid peroxidation and solute leakage were significantly higher than in ozone-free controls. The data indicated that ozone triggered protective mechanisms against oxidative stress in citrus.
Ozone Generator (Ozonator)
Ozone generators produce ozone, and are sometimes sold as whole house air cleaners. Unlike ionizers, ozone generators are designed to produce significant amounts of ozone, a strong oxidant gas which can oxidize many other chemicals. The only safe use of ozone generators is in unoccupied rooms, utilising "shock treatment" commercial ozone generators that produce over 3000 mg of ozone per hour. Restoration contractors use these types of ozone generators to remove smoke odors after fire damage, musty smells after flooding, mold (including toxic molds), and the stench caused by decaying flesh which cannot be removed by bleach or anything else except for ozone. However, it is not healthy to breathe ozone gas, and one should use extreme caution when buying a room air purifier that also produces ozone.
For more information (background, pictures, experiments and references): Ozone
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