It’s been quite a few years now that ozone-producing air purifiers have been
on the market. The manufacturers of these products have been claiming that the
ozone removes indoor air contaminants and acts likes an air freshener as its
sweetish smell (think of the odor in the air during a thunderstorm) masks other
odors. But what they aren’t telling you is that ozone (O3) is a lung
irritant that can cause chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath even in
people who don’t suffer from asthma and other lung ailments.
Since ozone occurs naturally in our atmosphere it’s difficult to understand
why it’s considered dangerous. To explain, the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) started a campaign called ‘Good Up High – Bad Nearby’. Ozone in
the upper layers of the atmosphere is good for us as it helps to filter out UV
rays from sun while ozone down at our level is bad for our health.
If you don’t live in California, which has banned the sale of ozone-generating purifiers (unless the
amount of ozone they emit is very, very low) you’ll still see these purifiers
for sale in stores and on-line. Don’t buy them. We feel so strongly that these
products are hazardous to your health that we will not allow them to apply for
use of the Good Housekeeping Seal or advertise in Good Housekeeping
If you already own an air purifier, make sure it doesn’t produce ozone and
if it does, stop using it and cut the cord before you discard it so no one else
can use it either. Before purchasing a replacement see our guide to air
Check out Good Housekeeping’s guide on How to Buy an Air Purifier, 6 Ways to
Protect the Environmentand Your Family, and HEPA Vacuum Cleaners.
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