Ozone is something that we’re all familiar with, but how much do we really know?

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Over the years, it has become a struggle to find any clear, accurate and unbiased information regarding the topic. In fact, it is often misconceived, leading to irrational fears.

As a result, many of us miss out on the benefits of Mother Nature’s greatest gift to mankind, ozone.

Our objective is to share information as it becomes available, therefore, keeping everyone updated.
When it comes to “Ozone”, “Ground Level Ozone”, “Ozone Pollution”, and “Smog”, the lines are often blurred.
To be able to understand and identify the misconceptions out there, you will need to get the fundamentals right.

“Ozone” is a natural gas made up of three oxygen atoms. It is present in the stratosphere to protect us from the harmful effects of certain spectrum of UV rays. Over the years, ozone has been used across industries and has shown to be beneficial in both air and water applications.

Ozone is also created at the ground level by nature to eliminate harmful pollutants created by man. These pollutants consist of a smorgasbord (smog) of gases and suspended particles from vehicle and factory exhaust, posing a danger to our health. The more pollution man creates, the more ozone nature creates to eliminate it. Therefore, to sustain life nature creates ozone (O3) to eliminate smog (which is toxic).

However, there is a lot of misleading information about ozone. This misunderstanding originates from a study used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its recommendations. The study defines “smog” as “ozone” – thus interpreting ozone as something bad for human health.

The definition of “ozone” is found in the first footnote in the Summary page of the study “Estimating Risk Reduction and Economic Benefits from Controlling Ozone Air Pollution”. Often, EPA refers to smog as “Ground Level Ozone” and “Ozone Pollution” – which is very misleading. Some articles just use the word “ozone” to describe smog, causing further misunderstanding.

EPA Definition of Ozone
Footnote in the summary page of the study “Estimating Risk Reduction and Economic Benefits from Controlling Ozone Air Pollution”.

But ozone is the good guy who eliminates the toxic pollutants in the smog, not the pollutant itself. Ozone (O3) is never bad. Even at high concentrations, it might cause discomfort but is not toxic.

Therefore, bear in mind that when you read “ozone” is hazardous or toxic, they are actually referring to smog.

OzoneInfoCenter will bring latest news and views on ozone in the interest of caring and sharing. We aim to clarify confusion and “clear the air”.

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