Does UV-C produce harmful ozone?

Does UV-C produce harmful ozone?

What is Ozone? Is it Bad?

Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is found in small amounts at both the upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be "good" or "bad" for your health and the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere. The EPA states that Ozone is "Good up high, and bad nearby."

You may be already aware that Ozone in our upper atmosphere protects from the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Without this protective layer, life on earth would likely not exist. Although, Ozone down low is toxic to humans because of it's reactive nature with our cells.

Ozone is a gas made up of an unstable configuration of three (3) oxygen molecules. This unstable configuration allows Ozone to react quickly with other elements and organic material. It is these interactions with organic material that makes up the body and potentially cause harmful health consequences. 

When inhaled, Ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections. 

Manufacturers and vendors of Ozone devices often use misleading terms to describe Ozone. Terms such as "energized oxygen" or "pure air" suggest that Ozone is a healthy kind of oxygen. Ozone is a toxic gas with vastly different chemical and toxicological properties from oxygen.

What is Ultraviolet-C?

Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) is a short-wavelength, ultraviolet light that breaks apart germ DNA, leaving it unable to function or reproduce. In other words, UV-C light is germicidal (UV-A and UV-B light are not). UV-C can even neutralize “super-bugs” that have developed a resistance to antibiotics. 

The UV-C light breaks the bonds between DNA and RNA chains inactivating them so that they cannot develop, reproduce, or function. By destroying the organism’s ability to reproduce, it becomes harmless since it cannot colonize. After UV-C exposure, the organism dies off leaving no offspring, and the population of the microorganism diminishes rapidly.

Ultraviolet germicidal lamps provide a much more powerful and concentrated effect of ultraviolet energy than can be found naturally. Germicidal UV provides a highly effective method of destroying microorganisms.


Does UV-C light create ozone?

No, UV-C light does not produce ozone. However, the shorter Ultraviolet-V (UV-V at 185 nanometers) wavelength of UVV light actually generates ozone. This occurs because UVV light reacts with oxygen to break it into atomic oxygen, a highly unstable atom that combines with oxygen to form O3 (Ozone). 

Ironically, UV light in the 240-315nm wavelength will break this third oxygen atom attachment above and convert it back to oxygen. The peak ozone destruction occurs at the 254nm wavelength. So, a UV-C lamp at the 253.7nm wavelength will actually destroy Ozone! 

OCTOdent's UV-C lamp is at the 253.7nm wavelength for peak Ozone, bacteria, and virus destruction. 


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