The Sharper Image Air Ionizer was a hot seller a few years ago, and a few models included an "Ozone" feature. This blue light would create O3, and supposedly were useful for cleaning the air.

I've read reports about the O3 emitted by this devices, and had personal experience with my mother getting asthma coincidentally at the same time the device was turned on in her apartment.

Can the ozone emitted by this device cause negative health effects?


From http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma/AN00443

Answer from James T. Li, M.D.

Despite manufacturers' claims, ozone air purifiers don't remove asthma triggers from the air. In fact, inhaled ozone can make asthma worse.

Inhaling ozone, even in small amounts, can irritate the lungs. Specific effects may include throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath, as well as an increased risk of respiratory infections.

Another good source is http://www.epa.gov/apti/ozonehealth/effects.html - it has too many points of interest to cite, so I picked one study at random:

. Use of inhaled beta-adrenergic agonist medication to alleviate asthma aggravation is plotted against ozone concentrations during summer asthma camps conducted for children 7 to 13 years old, during the last week of June, 1991 through 1993, in the Connecticut River Valley, downwind of New York City. Each child's normal physician-prescribed medications were maintained throughout each week. An increase in the 1-hour daily maximal ozone concentration from 84 to 160 ppb was significantly associated with increased unscheduled medications administered per day. Source: Thurston et al., 1997

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