Ozone generation

I have recently performed a mold inspection on a government owned residential property and found high levels of Penicillium/Aspergillus. The home is currently leased and needs immediate remediation. I don’t offer this service but I was considering offering a partial remediation in the form of ozination. I’d like some feed back from any of you that deal with ozone generation and get your thoughts on this service.

Mike Howard
Double Check Home Inspections
Camrose, Alberta Canada

It is not ethical for you to treat a home you have inspected.

With my clients large amounts of ozones seems to relieve there symptoms. The only problem is there are studies that show even dead mold spores can cause cancer. Myself, I fell ozone has its place but only as a last resort such as in very old buildings that are can be impossible to clean the conventional way.
Also Stephen is right too.

Ozone Generators May Be Dangerous to Your Health (Fact Sheet)

Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners | Indoor Air | US EPA](http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html)

Ozone Generators May Be Dangerous to Your Health (Fact Sheet)

Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners | Indoor Air | US EPA](http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html)

Hi Mike

I have, and do use my Ozone Generator in my rental houses, rids them of cigarette smoke, and supposedly kills mold spores with a high enough concentration level.

My ex-wife owns this company if your interested in a deal on one, and she knows the ins and outs about Ozone Generators–http://www.queenaire.com/

When talking about mold we are talking about real commercial ozone generators, and of course you do not stay in the same room when they run. Ozone generators remove oxygen from the air killing any living organism.
Yes, there was a study just published in a trade magazine recentlty, about two years ago, I will need to look for it.

You Definitely NEED to abandon the property for a day–:D…go shopping…something, man, those babies will kill you…~!

Can you explain to me why it’s not ethical to offer a solution to a problem I’ve identified? In my area I’m the only company I know of that will be offering this service.

This resource by the U. S. EPA discusses specifically ozone as an air cleaning device and give recommendations on handling air pollutants: www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html#how%20is%20ozone%20harmful. I would recommend you look at it. They reference a lot of studies that went into their conclusions and report. Too much to talk about here, but the bottom line is they don’t work, especially at levels that are safe. Source removal is the recommended procedure for reducing elevated levels of mold and/or removing unwanted types of mold from the indoor environment. Another resource they have is: www.epa.gov/03healthtraining. This last page is more a training type format. Both have some valuable information.

As far as you performing remedial type tasks on a job you’ve inspected, you’re opening yourself up to conflict of interest claims. They can argue that you performed a task that wasn’t necessary and deliberately mislead them to up sell a job; especially if the ozone doesn’t work, or they continue to feel sick or that the problem wasn’t addressed completly. Same is true if you go in and post-verify the work. Also, some of the industry’s standard committees have stated that it is a conflict of interest. Take for example the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification’s (IICRC) S520 Standard & Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation (revised edition 2008) states in
section 4.2.1 about “assessments” that “when a preliminary determination indicates that mold contamination exists or is likely to exist, an assessment should be performed prior to starting remediation. An independent IEP (Indoor Environmental Professional) who has no business affiliation with the Remediator should be used for this purpose.” Further on it goes on to reiterate “An IEP engaged to perform pre-remediation assessment or post-remediation verification should be independent of the Remediator.”

I’m no lawyer, but I know the technical advisor for the IICRC and he has some stories to tell about court cases that he’s been called into where this very thing has come up in regards to remediation contractors that provide their own pre- and post- remediation inspections. I’m sure the same would be true for inspectors that remediate claims.

Thank you for feedback. It was very helpful.

At our last iNACHIOHIO chapter meeting we had a mold remediation company come in and the question of ozone came up. He said that would be a last resort and that only cleaning it and correcting the source of the mold will rid you of the problem. The key being correcting the source of the problem so it doesn’t come back.

The job in question is a government leased property. I have advised the government agency that is responsible for this home that IMMEDIATE action needs to be taken to remediate the mold problem. I have adviced them that an expert in mold removal has to be consulted and the mold has to be removed. I also advised that it may be prudent to use an ozone treatment now as the building is leased and the occupents are experiencing health problems due to the mold that is present. This is only as a stop gap measure before full remediation takes place and is in no way a solution to the problem.
I’ve looked at several different models of ozone generators online and believe that for an effective treatment a person would want to use the biggest model available. Any thoughts?

Ozone is a source of indoor air pollution. In another of the EPA’s studies and releases on “ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners” (www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html) there is a lot of good resource materials that can be considered unbiased. “There is a large body of written material on ozone and the use of ozone indoors. However, much of this material makes claims or draws conclusions without substantiation and sound science. In developing Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners, the EPA reviewed a wide assortment of this literature, including information provided by a leading manufacturer of ozone generating devices. In keeping with EPA’s policy of insuring that the information it provides is based on sound science, only peer reviewed, scientifically supported findings and conclusions were relied upon in developing this document.” (U.S. EPA) It goes on to explain how ozone is harmful: “The same chemical properties that allow high concentrations of ozone to react with organic material outside the body give it the ability to react with similar organic material that makes up the body, and potentially cause harmful health consequences. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs (see - “Ozone and Your Health” - www.epa.gov/airnow/brochure.html). Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections. People vary widely in their susceptibility to ozone. Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone. Exercise during exposure to ozone causes a greater amount of ozone to be inhaled, and increases the risk of harmful respiratory effects. Recovery from the harmful effects can occur following short-term exposure to low levels of ozone, but health effects may become more damaging and recovery less certain at higher levels or from longer exposures (US EPA, 1996a, 1996b). Manufacturers and vendors of ozone devices often use misleading terms to describe ozone. Terms such as “energized oxygen” or “pure air” suggest that ozone is a healthy kind of oxygen. Ozone is a toxic gas with vastly different chemical and toxicological properties from oxygen.” It sums things up later when it says, “Are Ozone Generators Effective in Controlling Indoor Air Pollution? Available scientific evidence shows that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants. Some manufacturers or vendors suggest that ozone will render almost every chemical contaminant harmless by producing a chemical reaction whose only by-products are carbon dioxide, oxygen and water. This is misleading.” Also, “There is evidence to show that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is not effective at removing many odor-causing chemicals.” “If used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone applied to indoor air does not effectively remove viruses, bacteria, mold, or other biological pollutants.” Finally, “If I Follow Manufacturers’ Directions, Can I be Harmed? Results of some controlled studies show that concentrations of ozone considerably higher than these standards are possible even when a user follows the manufacturer’s operating instructions.” Scientific studies that lead to these conclusions are included in this document and I would encourage anyone questioning the use of ozone as an air purification device or element of such effect to do the research first, making sure that they understand not only these facts, but the personal facts that only they can get answered by their doctor (sensitivities for example). I should probably include the EPA’s recommendations for care that are also included in that document: "What Other Methods Can Be Used to Control Indoor Air Pollution? The three most common approaches to reducing indoor air pollution, in order of effectiveness, are: Source Control: Eliminate or control the sources of pollution; Ventilation: Dilute and exhaust pollutants through outdoor air ventilation, and Air Cleaning: Remove pollutants through proven air cleaning methods. Of the three, the first approach – source control – is the most effective. This involves minimizing the use of products and materials that cause indoor pollution, employing good hygiene practices to minimize biological contaminants (including the control of humidity and moisture, and occasional cleaning and disinfection of wet or moist surfaces), and using good housekeeping practices to control particles. The second approach – outdoor air ventilation – is also effective and commonly employed. Ventilation methods include installing an exhaust fan close to the source of contaminants, increasing outdoor air flows in mechanical ventilation systems, and opening windows, especially when pollutant sources are in use. The third approach – air cleaning – is not generally regarded as sufficient in itself, but is sometimes used to supplement source control and ventilation. Air filters, electronic particle air cleaners and ionizers are often used to remove airborne particles, and gas adsorbing material is sometimes used to remove gaseous contaminants when source control and ventilation are inadequate. " I wish anyone dealing with these problems and pollutants the absolute best. I would encourage anyone that has a problem to talk to their doctor, and, when applicable, talk to a professional that can help define the condition(s) of the indoor environment in which they live. The reason I say all of this is that you don’t want to put anything in writing that may end up putting you in a weird position if someone occupies or handles the space inappropirately and then wants to turn around and come after you because you gave them the advise. If you don’t feel comfortable writing a protocol for remediation then you may want to advise them to either hire a indoor environmental professional or a remediation professional that is qualified to help them. Keep it simple and advisive without putting yourself in a position of responsibility, especially when dealing with ozone on mold.

As a remediation/restoration contractor let me caution you on the use of ozone. It can cause damage to a number of materials . While ozone has it place such as controling odours. I’ve used it for over 25 years.In my opinion it should not be used as the only means for mould remediation. Check out an IICRC certified company in your area.This is not an area for the untrained to venture in. Just my 2 cents.