Ozone disinfection is a disinfection technique that became popular with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The lack of information raised numerous doubts about its effectiveness and also about its safety, as it is a harmful substance for people. In this article we analyze the efficacy and safety of ozone disinfection and what effective alternatives exist.
How does Ozone disinfection work? The process consists of releasing Ozone (O3) in the space to be disinfected. Ozone is a gas that exists naturally in the upper layers of the atmosphere, with a great oxidizing capacity. In this way, it is capable of oxidizing the covering of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, thus producing their inactivation.
Being a gas, has a greater range than other chemicals and it also reacts by producing oxygen, so it does not generate waste like other chemical options, and it has the ability to neutralize odors. Despite having certain advantages, it has limited efficacy and has harmful effects on health.
Ozone has certain efficacy limitations and is not safe for humans
Ozone has not been included in the list of virucidal products prepared by the Ministry of Health and not recommended as an effective disinfection solution against SARS-CoV-2 because there are no conclusive studies that demonstrate the efficacy against this pathogen. Despite being a great oxidant and having a certain germicidal capacity, the studies carried out in the wake of the pandemic give results of very limited efficacy.
The other major problem posed by Ozone is its harmful effect on human health when breathed. The amount of Ozone to be used is limited by WHO recommendation and regulated by the UNE 400-201-94 standard to: <100 µg / m³ (equivalent to 0,05 ppm) in a two-hour exposure.
Despite this limitation, not safe to use with people in space, the room must be ventilated to eliminate the ozone and the people who apply the substance during the treatment must wear adequate protection.
What alternatives exist to disinfection with Ozone?
During the health crisis caused by the pandemic, the use of other germicidal options with proven efficacy and a greater number of conclusive results was recommended. Ultraviolet disinfection is one of the most recommended options due to its proven efficiency and effectiveness.
La ultraviolet disinfection It works by radiating Type C Ultraviolet Light onto surfaces, objects, or the air to inactivate pathogens and perform disinfection. UV-C radiation destroys genetic material of microorganisms, thus preventing them from performing their vital functions and, therefore, reproducing and causing infections.
Ultraviolet disinfection has a disinfection rate greater than 99,9% and it is effective against viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, yeasts and some spores, in addition to a proven efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. Although ultraviolet radiation is harmful to human, ultraviolet disinfection equipment They have security measures to prevent exposure, such as motion sensors with automatic shutdown, delayed start, alarms and remote control.
With regards to air disinfection, the effectiveness is even higher, 99,93% in the case of Stonex equipment and its use is totally safe with people in space, since they do not have external radiation outside the equipment that recirculates the air. This equipment is also more efficient than simple air purifiers.