All things Ozone
Ozone is becoming more and more prevalent in commercial OPL facilities, and with this there is more information and testing that is being done on the subject. The forum readers may be interested in resent papers that have been published in regards to ozone laundry practices; such as disinfection testing and return-on-investment case studies. These links will allow you to read through the abstract of these papers.
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/conten ... 259&db=all
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/conten ... 192~db=all
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/conten ... 061~db=all
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/conten ... 088~db=all
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/conten ... 462~db=all
After reading through all these posts, the one that caught my eye was about joint commish at the hospitals. All they seem to care about is HOT and BLEACH! Who in the Ozone biz has talked to joint commish and how was it receipted.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) has concerns that high ozone levels result in the detrimental affects on the respiratory system including:
• irritation of the respiratory system causing coughing and irritation in the throat and chest
• a reduction in lung function, making breathing shallow and labored
• inflammation and temporary damage to the lining of the lung
There have been experiments in which a mouse was killed in 45 minutes at about a 100 PPM concentration of ozone...on the other hand, there have been experiments conducted on turkeys in which a small flock was raised for six weeks in a controlled environment in which their food was ozonated, their water was ozonated and their air was constantly maintained at 0.28 - 0.30 ppm ozone. Their survival and health was notably superior to two control groups, the first of which had no ozone at all, and the second had their food and water ozonated but no air ozonated. The survival rate of the first group was about 60%. The second group was about 80%. The totally ozonated group was 100% with about a 10% weight gain advantage.
One other down side to ozone is it's corrosiveness to certain plastics, most notably plastics used for electrical wire insulation and printed circuit boards
Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue. Ozone is very corrosive, it causes damage to the lungs bronchioles and alveoli (air sacs that are important for gas exchange.) Repeated exposure to ozone can inflame lung tissues and cause respiratory infections. Young children and the elderly are most susceptible to the high levels of ozone.
In addition to effects on humans, the corrosive nature of ozone can damage plants and trees. High levels of ozone can destroy agricultural crops and forest vegetation.
No agency of the federal government has approved these devices for use in occupied spaces.
Almost 100% absorption will occur if ozone is injected at a depth of 20 feet into water. No washer is 20 feet deep though. While mixing chambers and injecting it into long runs of pipe help, there is still an amount of ozone that does not get absorbed into the water. Washers that have ozone injected right into the basket have very little absorption!
Most washers equipped with ozone generators (not all), have a fair amount of off-gassing. It doesn't take long for the ozone to fill the air space within the washer and then start "spilling" out.
In Southern California the ambient ozone level exceeds the federal action levels most all summer days.
If you choose to use ozone, it is highly recommended that you receive approval from your insurance carrier & OSHA. You will also want to enter-lock the ozone generator to an ozone sensor that shuts down the generator when there is any “spilling”.
If you want to add ozone it is much cheaper & safer to use a low pressure high volume blower to blow in atmospheric air to your wash water. A simple calculation comparing amount of ozone present in your ambient air to the amount generated by the ozone generator will determine the size of the blower needed. You will never be sued for endangering your employees by using ambient air!
As an advocate for ozone washing, I don't think a defense is necessary. Laundrylist's information was filled with truths including that high levels of ozone are not good for you. That is why the system we sell has an ambient air ozone sensor that will shut off the generator automatically. What is a little confusing is that although he correctly describes how to reach 100% ozone saturation in water, that degree of saturation is not needed in washing. The off gas in the cylinder is actually a benefit to the wash process. Much of the older information about ozone in water comes from the bottled water industry. Ozone is used to sterilize all bottled water.
These principles were then used to start the ozone in washing process because guess what, they were putting ozone into water. Think back to the hype many years ago when chemicals supposedly weren't needed. That misunderstanding of ozone in washing set back the industry 10-12 years because of all the failures. Today, we know that chemistry is an integral part of a successful ozone system. Ozone mainly replaces hot water, not chemistry. Ozone is 100% more powerful than chlorine as an oxidizer and works faster. Tests show a proper ozone and chemical wash can have a 100% kill rate on superbugs while a 167 degree wash with chemistry can not. Like everything else in life too much of anything isn't good for you whether it's ozone, chlorine, sugar, or salt. That's why it's imortant to work with a knowledgeable, honest supplier. A safety sensor on your ozone generator is common sense and necessary, just like you have them on your boilers,folders, ironers, dryers, and washers.
Ozone – Another new technology introduced to the Laundry that will require a great deal of training to understand and deal with. I like new tech and have looked into Ozone. Here are some questions raised for a LAUNDRY. Ozone is used in industries but laundry is a new field.
1) Ozone generators require Dry air (corona discharge type) and causes the formation of Nitric acid if the humidly rises too high. Nitric acid is Very corrosive.
2) Food and drink industries need a sterile environment and have higher grades of Stainless Steel throughout their facility. Laundries have lower amounts of stainless when you are dealing with the Most reactive oxidization agent we can have. How does laundries equipment hold up?
3) You are placing a manufacturing facility in the laundry. Normally our Chemicals are off site and we buy in bulk. What happens when we are NOT manufacturing what we need?
4) There are Tunnels and washer seals that have enough problems with oxidization agents (Bleach, peroxyacetic acid ect...) .How are the different seals holding up. Ozone attacks Bio matter such natural rubber, nitril and such. In order to realize the same life of our seals do we need different materials? A lot of the serial industries have gone to Viton and better.
5) All the cost sheets I see do not include any maintenance cost. What is the life expectancy of the ozone generators parts? Remember we now are making our own chemical so we can not run low anymore and we sure cannot store ozone.
We will have a safe unit delivered and we will have to keep it that way. Laundry people put on a great number of hats on a regular basis and have delt with chemicals that range from the top to the bottom of the PH scale and all the reactions of each chemical we have. Including all the NEW ones that were tried and either worked or not. The superior effect of ozone is unprecedented yet I ask do we (Laundry) NEED this?
As a supplier of Ozone laundry systems basically since the early development of the process in the early 1990's i would like to chime in on this discussion. Basically both points have much merit, BUT both need to be put into context. First of all, like many other chemicals in the laundry, ozone in high enough concentration can be and is hazardous. With that being said, the first comment about the mouse dying at exposure of 100PPM is true , However it must also be pointed our that OSHA regulates exposure to ozone. The set forth limits are very safe, providing that the ozone system operates in the perameters.
The perameters set forth are as follows:
0.1PPM of Ozone exposure is permitted continuously for an 8 hour period
0.2PPM of Ozone exposure is permitted continuously for a 4 hour period
0.3PPM of ozone exposure is permitted continuously for a 15 minute period - Up to 3 times during a 8 hour period.
0.31PPM or above of Ozone levels at any time is ILLEGAL!!!
Therefore you could understand why the the lethal dose killed the mice - That is more than 300 times higher that the maximum exposure levels allowed by OSHA.
Secondly, the gas issue from a washer should also be addressed.
There are many types of ozone system designs. Keep in mind that 1% of undissolved ozone will easily emit enough ozone to exceed the OSHA Maximum levels. Many systems on the market are able to dissolve 90-95% of the ozone into the water. However there are also systems that at best, due to the design, can only dissolve 50% of the gas. The rest of the gas remains in the wash wheel, where it can and WILL eventually leak into the room. THE GAS IN AN UNDISSOLVED FORM IS VERY DANGEROUS AS IT WILL LEAK INTO THE WORKSPACE. It has been documented with several system that the gas leaking out around the vents or soapboxes of a washer/extractor are in some cases 4-5 time the legal limit
A room monitor can be a good solution if it is used in the proper way.
Keep in mind though, that if the sensor fails, then over exposure to personel could be a possibility. THis should not be the only safety built into the system. We perfer to engineer the system to be much more efficient,
You would never install a hot water heater without a thermostat, because of safety reasons. Then why would you install a system that creates a gas that in high enough concentration could be hazardous, without multiple safeties built into the system.
Ozone has been around for about 20 years, there are alot of good products out there, but remember that there are also some cheap companies that take alot of short cuts and can jeopardize the safety of your employees.
Please do your homework if you are looking at purchasing an Ozone Laundry System. Make sure that service support is availble for your product. Find out how the systems deal with the off-gas or undissolved ozone that they create. and Finally, look at the quality of the individual componets of the system.
As an ozone generator manufacture I also agree with some of the points made by The Laundry List's post. I would like to add further information to some of these points.
- We have not seen the study that spoke of in regards to the mouse subjected to 100ppm ozone for 45 minutes, (if you have a link to this information we would like to see it). However to be clear 100ppm of gaseous ozone in the ambient air is a "very" high amount. To put it in reality, OSHA regulation in an occupied space is, no more than 0.1ppm ozone in an (8) eight our period. Ozone systems that are properly designed for the commercial laundry application no matter the methodology used should be accompanied with an ambient ozone monitor/controller that can be used to shut down the system if the level achieves or exceeds this level. The good thing about our keen sense of smell is, humans can typically detect ozone by the nose at dosages lower than 0.1ppm, usually as low as 0.03ppm. Therefore if there is ozone exposure to personal they will notice it very quickly before it achieves regulated levels.
As the previous post mentioned ozone can cause coughing, headaches, and other respiratory effects. However most of these effects can be rectified by leaving the area and going to a place with fresh air (not to say that any effects or ozone in the occupied space or ozone exposure in these spaces are acceptable in any way).
Further, in the 100 year plus history of the commercial use of ozone no human has ever been killed by ozone inhalation. It is interesting that there is more fear of ozone's use than the fear of chlorine use, which chlorine gas exposure kills people every year!
- Corrosiveness..... this is true, like any oxidizer ozone is corrosive and breaks down material that are not resistant. Thankfully in the commercial laundry industry, this is known fact with all other chemicals used with in a facility and therefore the washer manufactures use chemical (including ozone) resistant materials. These are materials such as stainless steel, viton, buna, teflon (used as wire insulation), to name a few.
- Absorption......In most applications that use ozone, such as well water or surface sanitation for food and beverage (which ozone is approved for by the FDA), it is true that the ozone is required to be dissolved in solution. Well water applications have contaminants that cannot be seen in the water but are suspended in it, such as iron and bacteria, ozone must be dissolved into the water to be able to oxidize these contaminants and precipitate them from the water allowing a filter to catch the particles, thus cleaning the water. In surface sanitation applications the ozone is dissolved into the CLEAN water (free of contaminants), so that this water can act as a carrier, tho carry the ozone to the surface that requires sanitation, if it is not dissolved the ozone will not make it to its destination, therefore the surface cannot be sanitized.
Laundry is NOT well water or surface sanitation!...... The water is already clean and does not require the ozone to be dissolved.
- There are two types of laundry systems that are currently prominent today, a Direct Injection Ozone System and a diffusion Ozone System.
The direct inject system uses a venturi to dissolve ozone into the water on the cold water fill line, and introduces this ozonated water into the washer only upon fill. Due to natural physics of a gas in liquid, like your soda the ozone gas comes out of solution when it reaches the washer, because the washer is at atmospheric pressure (there is no pressure to keep the gas in solution). Once agitation begins the gas further is off-gassed from solution. In this process the ozone gas is typically going to remain in solution for no more than 2-3 minute at degrading levels through this time. The problem.....the ozone does not remain long enough to do as much good as it could and because the ozone is added on fill there is no way to control any potential off-gassing of ozone from the washer into the occupied space.
The Ozone Diffusion method..... delivers ozone to the washer at the point of the washer's sump or at the bottom of a sump-less washer's wheel. The ozone is initiated once the water level has filled the washer, often by a signal from the closing of the drain valve or by a chemical signal used programed into the wash program. With this function the ozone can be controlled to operate through out the duration of the wash step. the ozone can often be controlled by the ozone generator via gas flow rates, pressure and ozone output level adjustment found on the ozone generator. These systems as mentioned by BobHalpin's post typically come with an ambient ozone detection controller, so that at any time through the wash or wash step the ozone generator can be completely turn off if ozone does come out of the washer causing ambient ozone levels to achieve or exceed OSHA regulations.
The premise of the diffusion method is to get the ozone into the washer, because it is the ozone the is the cleaner (oxidizer). The ozone in gaseous form is allowed to permeate through the linen during agitation, essentially trapping the ozone in the linen so that it can oxidize the soils and microbes. As the ozone oxidizes soils and pH helps to open fibers the suds will then encapsulate the soils pulling them away from the linen, rinsing down the drain with the water.
- Atmospheric Ozone....... Ozone is created in the upper atmosphere (the ozone layer) to protect the earth. Similarly, lower ground level ozone is also produced to protect us from more harmful by-products produced from our everyday lives, such as air pollution from cars and factories. Smog is unfortunately rated as "Today's Ozone Level - is hi, med, or low." This is because ozone is the easiest way to measure smog, as smog goes up, so do ozone levels, as the ozone is reacting with the actual contaminants, to CLEAN the air we polluted.
If a threat of an over abundance of ozone is present, whether an ozone system is employed or not a simple carbon filter air scrubbers or cleaners can be used to break down ozone to its elemental state of oxygen (O2), which is the only by-product of ozone.
- Air blower....using a blower as described by the previous post is an interesting thought and in theory to some extent could work. However, my assumption is that it would not be enough ozone concentration to have the same effect, as the level supplied to the washer by an ozone generator, which are consumed by the soils in the washer and are greater than typically atmospheric levels.
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