An ozonizer is a device used to produce or apply ozone. Ozonizers are used to purify air or water, destroying bacteria and removing many undesirable substances. Often, they use high-voltage electricity to produce ozone.
Ozone is a colorless gas. It consists of three oxygen atoms and is highly reactive. Ozone is present in the upper levels of the atmosphere, providing us with protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. At lower atmospheric levels, however, ozone is formed by pollutants and can be dangerous to the health of humans and other living things. It is used for many things, including deodorizing air, purifying water, and industrial-level disinfection.
Often, an ozonizer is used for air purification. According to proponents of ozonizers, the machines have the ability to eliminate odors, reduce chemical fumes, decrease concentrations of cigarette and other types of smoke, and remove harmful bacteria and mold. These tasks are said to be accomplished using a combination of ozone and negative ions. Air purification is the most common use of an ozonizer in the United States. In fact, some professional restoration companies use ozonizers to remove odors left behind by fires and floods.
Typically, an ozonizer designed to purify air at home or the office is small enough to allow for easy portability. Most plug into a regular electrical outlet. Some ozonizers feature handy timers and separate controls for manipulating ozone and negative ion emissions.
Another typical use for an ozonizer is cleaning a reef or marine aquarium. When used for this purpose, an ozonizer generates ozone gas for the purpose of oxidizing organic material in an aquarium tank and preventing the formation of algae. This ozonizer process is said to provide a cleaner ecosystem with less physical maintenance required.
Some companies, particularly those based in Asia and Europe, sell ozonizers designed for use in washing perishable foods. They report that washing foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats with ozonated water removes harmful bacteria, pesticides, and herbicides. They further state that use of an ozonizer will extend the shelf life of certain dry, but perishable foods and enhance the taste of drinking water.
Opponents of ozonizers claim the machines may emit harmful levels of ozone. It is worth noting that continuous exposure to certain levels of ozone can actually create or worsen certain respiratory conditions. However, in some countries, breathing ozone from an ozonizer is touted as a useful treatment for a range of ailments.