Ozone can be good or bad — depending on where it is. The good ozone occurs 10 to 30 miles above the earth and protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Bad ozone occurs at ground level and is produced in numerous ways, including auto exhaust, solvents, natural sources and unfortunately, air cleaners. Ozone is the main constituent of smog.
While it is true that air cleaners that use ozone are capable of removing odors as unpleasant as skunk, you may be putting your lungs at risk. Breathing ozone can cause coughing, allergies and asthma attacks, and it generally irritates the throat and lungs.
Dr. Christine Rogers, professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is a specialist in indoor and outdoor pollution. “Ozone is not a good thing for human lungs,” said Rogers. “And there is nothing magic about those public health levels you hear about,” she added.
Rogers said that the use of air cleaners — also referred to as energized or activated oxygen cleaners or pure air devices — and the amount of ozone you might be exposed to varies depending on what setting is used, the size of the room, and “how leaky your house is and how much air is coming in to dilute the ozone.”