Does Ozone Treat IAQ Problems

This blog is often used to share the questions we get from calls to our office so that others can find solutions to similar questions.  

We had a question about a toxic building problem.  The concern was that workers were complaining about the conditions at work that were making them sick or tired.  Would ozone remove or solve the potential indoor air problems for the building.

According to National Air Quality Institute (NAQI), one of the best indicators of a sick building is the complaints and reactions of workers while they are at work.  The complaints could be itchy eyes, tired eyes, afternoon headache, bout of nausea, fatigue or lethargy, or breathing issues.  If these symptoms go away when the workers are out of the building, it is more than possible that the building is sick or toxic.

The EPA estimates that 6 out of 10 buildings are considered sick due to (i) inadequate ventilation, (ii) Chemical contaminants from indoors sources, (iii) Chemical contaminants from outdoor sources, and (iv) Biological contaminants. Sometimes these conditions are temporary, however, these can be long-term problems as well. Often problems result from poor building design or occupant activities. Problem odors can also result, typically due to biological pollutants (such as mold and mildew), and these can be very difficult to address because the source is hidden in hard-to-reach areas.

Using ozone has been used to treat a sick building.  Ozone will kill pathogens like bacteria and virus.  Ozone will also kill mold and mildew.  

The conclusion is that light treatments during unoccupied period will improve the indoor air quality problem.  Try 30-60 minutes of delayed nightly treatment.  Use the 1530G timer to set the duration, and then use an external inline timer (like a christmas tree timer) to turn on the unit at night when the building is vacant.

The big question is if the workers report relief from their common problems with occasional ozone treatment.  Do not use treatment of more than an hour.  Adjust how often you use the ozone treatment.  A weekly treatment would be suggested, but a nightly treatment at the low output level is an option as well.