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#149308 - 09/05/03 08:28 PM Is Ozone dangerous?.
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I've heard it said that if you happen to inhale the Ozone that comes from a bad electrical contact or arc, that it can damage lung tissue.
Does anyone have any evidence that this is true?.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149309 - 09/05/03 10:19 PM Re: Is Ozone dangerous?.
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
For starters, in the US there are material safety data sheets published for most industrial materials. [It may take a physicist and a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret...]

Ozone can deteriorate insulating rubber goods—gloves, line hose and blankets. Some is specifically marketed as “ozone resistant.”

#149310 - 09/05/03 11:35 PM Re: Is Ozone dangerous?.
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Thanks Bjarney,
I just wondered about this, with the pungent aroma that Ozone has, I thought surely it must be harmful, however I have read in the past, reports disputing the volatility(is this a word?!) of Ozone.
Go figure!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#149311 - 09/06/03 06:42 AM Re: Is Ozone dangerous?.
C-H Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Volatile is indeed a word, but it means "Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures". (I had to check with a dictionary to be sure) That'll be those chemicals that smell terrible, not the ozone.

I too have been told that ozone is dangerous for the respiratory tracts. Laser printers, copying machines and cars all produce it. I would think the amount from bad electrical contacs is neglible in comparison.

From Clean Air Standards :

In 1997, EPA updated the national air quality standards for ozone, after years of intensive scientific review determined that the old standards were not adequate to protect public health.

The new ozone standard moves from a one-hour standard of 0.12 ppm, to an 8-hour standard of 0.08 ppm. The change was necessary because scientific studies showed that ozone smog poses health problems when people are exposed to lower concentrations for longer periods of time, as occurs when children play outdoors.


Ozone is the principle component of ground-level smog. It is formed when hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide pollution from vehicles, power plants, refineries and other sources combine in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent that damages lung tissue.

Recent research with laboratory animals, clinical subjects, and human populations has identified a cascade of adverse health effects from ozone at levels common in the United States. Effects include increased respiratory symptoms, damage to cells of the respiratory tract, declines in lung function, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, and increased risk of hospitalization and early death.

· Short-term exposures to ozone can cause a decline in lung function, including rapid breathing, decreased lung volumes and flow, and increased twitchiness of the airways. Exposure early in life may lead to acceleration in the decline of lung function that is a normal process of aging.

· Respiratory symptoms can include coughing, throat irritation, shortness of breath, and pain on taking a deep breath. Asthmatics can experience wheezing, a hallmark of an asthma attack.

· When children with allergies and asthma are exposed to ozone, they can be more responsive to allergens that can trigger an asthma attack.

· Ozone triggers an inflammation response in the cells lining the lungs, causing them to rupture and leak. Repeated exposures may lead to structural changes in the respiratory tract including increased production of fibrous tissue associated with lung scarring.

· Ozone compromises the lung's natural defense mechanisms, increasing susceptibility to respiratory infections such as colds, flu, and pneumonia.

· Short-term exposures are also associated with an increase in daily mortality, and increased hospital admissions and emergency department visits for respiratory causes. A recent risk assessment estimated that ozone sends 53,000 people to the hospital, 159,000 to the emergency room, and triggers 6,200,000 asthma attacks in the Eastern half of the United States each summer.

#149312 - 09/09/03 05:31 PM Re: Is Ozone dangerous?.
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Thanks for the info!.
Just speaking of Ozone, I read in yesterday's paper that the Ozone layer down here, will have a hole in it this summer, that will be larger than the size of Australia!.
Unusual how something that is harmful to our health, is saving us from perishing too.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#149313 - 09/09/03 08:02 PM Re: Is Ozone dangerous?.
Big Jim Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Denver, CO USA
O k, I just took a test for a freon license so I'm kind of up on this. First, we've got apples and oranges - ground level ozone and stratospheric ozone - same chemical, O3, but important difference in location. As you might guess, you don't breathe much stratospheric ozone unless you live in a high altitude jet. That ozone blocks and scatters ultraviolet light. Too much UV has several environmental consequences, all bad. Freon eventually migrates to the stratosphere and kills ozone so we don't dump freon any more. Ground level ozone is somewhat contraversial. Some claim no problems but the EPA recently reduced the allowable occupational exposure limits by a factor of 10. They were convinced by studies that show increased rates of lung problems and a few others. I would suggest you ventilate any work area you suspect of being ozone-rich (and who knows what else the arcing fried?) I've become more cautious as I've gotten older. I think back over some early years in a truck repair shop and worry about the asbestos. I don't want to hurry anything else along.


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