Ozone generators are often marketed as an air purification equipment and are touted for its ability to kill dust mites. Just how much of the claim is true? And if it does, is it safe for humans?
Read on before getting an ozone generator, because it can be a double-edged sword.
What Is An Ozone Generator?
The ozone generator isn’t a term that you commonly come across in air cleaning devices. To understand what an ozone generator is, you’ll need to know what is ozone.
Ozone is a highly reactive gas that’s made up of 3 oxygen atoms. Unlike oxygen (O2), a stable molecule of 2 oxygen atom, ozone’s molecular structure is unstable.
You’ll find ozone at its natural state in the upper layers of the atmospheres. It helps to block and decrease the intensity of harmful UV rays on the earth’s surface.
In commercial applications, ozone is used in water purification, air purification, and aquaculture.
An ozone generator is an equipment that produces and releases ozone into the air. It is sometimes marketed as ‘air cleaners’ or ‘O3 Ionizers’.
Does Ozone Generator Kill Dust Mites?
A study was conducted by the University of Wonju, Korea to determine if dust mites mortality is affected by ozone.
The study found when exposed to a high concentration (400 mg-min/L) of ozone; dust mites do indeed perish.
Therefore, an ozone generator does kill dust mites when the ozone in the air reaches a particular concentration.
However, the question that begs an answer is whether it is within the safety limit for humans.
Is Ozone Generator Safe?
While humans benefit from ozone’s UV blocking property and commercial application, exposure to ozone, even to small amounts, can lead to adverse health effects.
When inhaled, ozone does severe damage to the respiratory system, and individuals may show a sign of:
- breathing difficulty
- shortness of breath.
Serious side effects include bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The ozone’s safety level is not more than 10 (part per billion) ppb in the air. An increase of 10 ppb leads to a 0.3% increase in mortality, according to a study.
The concentration of ozone required to kill dust mites far effectively exceed the safety level for humans.
Better (And Safer) Alternatives For Removing Dust Mites
I wouldn’t suggest getting an ozone generator just for the sake of killing dust mites. The possible risks of doing so are worst than the misery inflicted by the tiny pests.
If you’re looking for ways to kill dust mites (safely), here are a few options.
- Use an air purifier – It traps dust mites that are sent floating in the air. Place the air purifier near the mattress for the best effect.
- Spray essential oils – Particularly clove oils, as it is proven to be the most lethal amongst other types of oil.
- Use a steam cleaner – Steam cleaner is useful for killing dust mites in carpet, bedding, and mattress. The hot vapor will destroy the mites and denature the allergen too.
- Use a HEPA vacuum – HEPA vacuum removes dust mites from your home and traps the pest safely within the dust box.
Check out these guides to help you deal with dust mites without using the questionable ozone generator.
Yes. Ozone generators kill dust mite, BUT at an emission level that’s unsafe for humans. It isn’t worth taking risks with ozone generators just for the sake of exterminating the mites. As mentioned, there are other better ways.