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Frequently Asked Questions
About Ozone vs. Negative Ions

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Our IG-133, IG-133A, and IG-133DG ionizers put out almost zero ozone. And almost zero means immeasurable, once you get a few inches away from the ionizer.


We have a number of our IG-133A and IG-133DG ionizers here running 24/7, and we cannot smell ozone at all. We have a sensitive nose, and can only smell ozone if we stick our nose right next to the ion emitter (doing that increases the ozone production, by the way).



The OSHA 8 hour exposure limit is 0.1 PPM. And even 0.05 PPM is a lot of ozone. The odor of ozone at that level would be quite strong and would almost certainly bother some people.

Q&A about our IG-133- ionizers

"Do Your Negative Ion Generators Produce Ozone?"

All our room ionizers manufactured by us (the IG-133 series models and the IG-1215) are genuine negative ion generators. They are NOT ozone generators.

  • Some brands of "Negative ion generators" being sold by others are really ozone generators (or filters), and deliberately generate large quantities of ozone and positive ions. Ours do not.
  • Also, some "ionizers" sold by others do generate negative ions INTERNALLY, but few, if any, negative ions ever leave the unit and go out into the room. Most of these produce ozone. Please see the info on false advertising and misleading statements.



"On your IG-133A products page, it mentions 'Less than .02 parts per million ozone close to the emitter.' Would it be accurate to say it 'produces ozone only in trace amounts' "?

That would be somewhat accurate. But that statement implies that people are unavoidably going to be breathing small amounts of ozone. That is not the case.

Technically speaking, most corona-discharge type high-density ionizers emit a tiny amount of ozone as a by-product of generating a high level of negative ions. However, the ozone output is actually much less than .02 parts ppm, even within an inch or so of the ion emitter. Furthermore, the ozone levels even in a very small room would almost certainly never exceed safe limits, even if the ionizer is left running 24 hours a day. Ozone is an unstable, short-lived gas, and does not normally build up like you would think, unless you're generating enormous quantities of it on purpose.

Air circulation here is about as minimal as it gets. We have an ionizer in every room, and we don't have ozone. And some of the ionizers we've run were much more powerful than the ones we sell online. Not to mention that we also run an actual ozone generator (besides the ionizers) sometimes to get rid of stronger odors, such as manufacturing odors. That machine intentionally generates huge quantities of ozone, probably millions or billions of times the amount of that our ionizers put out.



"If a IG-133- negative ionizer was placed in a room were air circulation was minimal, how long would it take for the ozone produced by the unit to exceed safe limits for humans and animals?"

Ozone levels would almost certainly never reach, let alone exceed, safe limits*.  Ozone is an unstable, short-lived gas, and does not build up like other gases do (for example, natural gas or propane), unless you're generating large quantities of it on purpose.

We have run IG-133 series ionizers here in every room (sometimes two or more), and ozone was undetectable. And air circulation was minimal, which would maximize ozone levels. What is more, a couple of those ionizers were much more powerful than the ones we offer for sale here.

Anyway, all high-density negative ion generators can generate a tiny amount of ozone near the ionizer. Ours can generate amounts well below the EPA standard of .05 PPM (less than .01 PPM), and then only very close to the unit. The ozone level is unmeasurable. You will likely breathe in much  more ozone around a photocopier.

But here is the bottom line: ozone is an unstable, short-lived molecule, it is destroyed by other molecules of odors and pollutants in the air, and it is likely that no ozone would ever reach you.

We rest our case. :-)


* Maximum limits for ozone production by home electronics devices are .05 parts per million (ppm) in the USA, and .1 ppm in Europe.


"Does your Air Probe Sanitizer™ produce any ozone?"

NO! It uses hydroxyl ions and ultraviolet-C light.


Q&A about ozone in general

"What is the difference between negative ions and ozone?"

A: Negative Ions Ozone
Has an odor NO YES
Toxic in large amounts NO YES
Reduces particulates such as dust YES NO
Freshens air YES YES
Lifts mood YES NO
Counteracts positive ions YES NO
Deteriorates rubber, etc. NO YES
Requires constant adjusting NO YES*
Composition A normal oxygen molecule with an extra electron A molecule of oxygen consisting of three oxygen atoms

If you are using ozone, the amount of ozone generated should exactly match the amount of odors or pollution entering the living area, for best results. That way, they destroy each other and neither ozone nor pollution is present. The ozone generator should be turned down or off when the odors or pollution source is no longer present.


"Why do some people say ozone air purifiers are bad, but others say using ozone is just fine?"

The simple answer is that they're both right.

You can take two ozone generators (same make and model) and put them in two different locations (same square footage, etc.)

  • In one location, the ozone may be nearly zero five feet from the ozone generator.
  • But in the other location, the ozone smell may be overpowering.

Why the difference?

  • The air in the room where no ozone can be detected had higher levels of pollution and/or odors, which are both destroying the ozone and being destroyed by the ozone.
  • The air in the room where ozone can be detected had very little pollution and/or odors. Nothing to destroy the ozone. (And no need for ozone in a room like that!) 

And that is why we also offer a few products that generate some ozone. They generate safe levels of ozone when used properly, for tougher odor reduction problems.

Too much ozone is certainly bad for you. Having said that, there are machines available that intentionally generate very large quantities of ozone (we sometimes use one here in our shop to eliminate occasional manufacturing odors), but if the level of ozone produced even from those machines is properly adjusted, the ozone and the odors in the air cancel each other out and little, if any, ozone remains. Those ozone generators probably put out millions or billions of times the amount of that our negative ion generators do.

Popup information about ozone misconceptions

   We actually sell very few ozone generators. And we will only sell ozone-only units to people who actually need them (they must be ordered by phone), so the ozone will be destroyed by the odors they need to get rid of, and so will not build up. Our main products are non-ozone-producing, such as negative ion generators and the Air Probe Sanitizer.



"What is ozone good for?"

Ozone is unsurpassed for neutralizing stronger odors and pollutants. Even strong chemical odors, for people with multiple chemical sensitivities (also called multiple chemical intolerance, MCS or MCI). Around people, though, the level of ozone has to be controlled; see the note at the bottom of chart above.

Ozone can be used to purify and sterilize water. It is replacing chlorine to disinfect water in wastewater treatment plants in many cities throughout the USA.

Ozone can permanently remove tobacco smoke and mildew smell from cars.

Ozone is used to sterilize items and areas.

One thing people overlook about ozone 'pollution' in big cities: it is only present at harmful levels when man-made pollutants are there first. It is a scientifically proven and  accepted fact that the ozone "pollution" in big cities is a product of hydrocarbon emissions (from cars and industrial pollution) and ultraviolet light from the sun.
   Although high levels of ozone are certainly not good for you to breathe, it is our firm belief that if sunlight did not produce ozone, then pollutants would built up until they killed many people (until they made cars and smokestack emissions illegal). In other words, the ozone destroys the pollution. Remember, you read it here first.

We sometimes also run a large adjustable ozone generator besides the ionizers (to get rid of manufacturing odors in our shop, which bother an asthmatic staff member here).




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Comtech Research, LLC, Air Purifying & Cleaning Systems & Equipment, South Greenfield, MO

In Business Since 1989

Last updated on 12/26/2017