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Human exposure to ozone in school and office indoor environments: By Heidi Salonen, Tunga Salthammer and Lidia Morawska

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    Initially the first thing we noticed was those pesky mosquitoes suddenly disappeared from the office. We asked the makers if GermXit® had anything to do with this and found out that mosquitoes don't like Tea Tree Oil, it repeals them, so that was an added bonus. Clean air and no more mosquitoes.

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    When we moved to a new office, everyone started to get sick. We asked for the air conditioners to be cleaned but that didn't seem to help. So we had GermXit® installed and hoped that would do the trick.  Over the next few months the sickness levels dropped and the staff started to comment that they hadn't had a cold or flu for a long time. Some of the staff have now bought GermXit® for their home too.

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  • “...we found that the number of illnesses dropped around 80%. Further the nasty smell that dominated disappeared.”
    MOPU Superintendent

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If your a parent or work in an office and are thinking of buying an ozone machine to improve your indoor air quality, you might want to think again and read this very interesting article by Heidi Salonen, Tunga Salthammer and Lidia Morawska. (From Aalto University,  Finland, Queensland University of Technology, Australia and Fraunhofer WKI, Department of Material Analysis and Indoor Chemistry, Braunschweig, Germany)

Ozone is an atmospheric trace gas with high oxidizing potential. Its presence is essential in the stratosphere but is undesirable in the troposphere because it can react easily with many compounds, thus generating oxygenated organic species and particles. Human exposure to ozone is primarily by inhalation, but reactions on skin are also reported Acute and chronic health effects and the contributions of ozone to morbidity and mortality are summarized in (WHO, 2006).

More recent studies have shown that daily exposure to high levels of ozone may cause DNA damage, as previously reported for operators in photocopier centers  According to Nazaroff (2013), outdoor ozone is also a pollutant of special concern. Of particular importance is the exposure of children to ozone, as exposure could have lifelong consequences.

Moreover, it is widely known that the physiology of children and adults is different. Although children have higher air intake per kg of body weight, their airways are narrower, which makes them potentially more vulnerable to air pollutants. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA (2017), long-term exposure to higher concentrations of ozone may be linked to permanent lung damage (e.g., abnormal lung development in children).

Further, ozone has been associated with school absenteeism due to respiratory illnesses, medication use, respiratory problems associated with asthma, decreased respiratory functions, and increased hospital admissions for asthma. It has been estimated that a 10 μg/ m3 increase in 1 h maximum ozone leads to a grand mean of 0.21% increase in mortality, without controlling for other air pollutants.

In the urban atmosphere ozone is formed by reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with short atmospheric lifetimes in the presence of sunlight. Outdoor air is the most common source of ozone in indoor air (EC, 2006), and it has been estimated that, depending on the air exchange rate and ozone removal rate, indoor ozone concentrations are 30%–70% of outdoor levels when specific indoor sources (e.g., air purifiers, laser printers, photocopiers) are not present.

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“…we found that the number of illnesses dropped around 80%. Further the nasty smell that dominated disappeared.” MOPU Superintendent