You've probably walked by displays in home and hardware stores of gadgets that are labeled as air purifiers. You might have even seen the machines on late-night infomercials that promise that they're a perfect way to remove indoor air pollution for families that suffer from issues like allergies and illness. What these commercials and products don't always say is that they can produce excess ozone. Unless you know that that means for you and your family, you could unwittingly purchase a product that hurts your family in the long run. Get the facts about excess ozone before you hand over your hard-earned money for a dangerous product.

Indoor pollution. One of the ways that the manufacturers of air purifiers entice consumers to buy is by focusing on the drawbacks of indoor pollution. While it's true that your home could contain dander, dust, mites and other allergens, using a purifier that creates ozone isn't always the solution. In fact, talking to your doctor about your worries can help you find other solutions, like keeping your windows closed more often, using special detergents and washing more frequently. If you choose to buy an air purifier, make sure it has been certified by the FDA and that it doesn't create ozone in your home.

What's ozone? If you've heard the word ozone without completely understanding what it means, you're not alone. Most people understand that it has t o with the environment, but not much beyond that. Ozone is a molecule made from two stable oxygen atoms and one separate atom that can attach to other molecules, making them unsafe for humans. When you use an air purifier that has not been checked and approved by the FDA, you're risking an increase of ozone in your home.

Human issues. So, what's the big deal about excess ozone? For humans, ozone can be extremely dangerous to health. Even low amounts of ozone can cause respiratory issues, like a shortness of breath or coughing. In larger doses, ozone can severely aggravate and even create asthmatic symptoms. The scary part? The longer you live with elevated ozone levels, the longer it takes to recover from any respiratory issues that you could suffer as a result of exposure. What's more, damage to your respiratory system could result in a lowered immune system and lower your body's ability to fight infection, meaning that some air purifiers could actually be making you sicker. Think twice before you use a non-approved air purifier in your home, as it could be doing the exact opposite of what the manufacturers claim.

Nature issues. Humans aren't the only ones affected by too much ozone. We know that ozone is produced in the earth's upper atmosphere naturally, and it serves a vital role in absorbing the sun's radiation there. However, when it is artificially created in the lower atmosphere, ozone appears to affect a plant's ability to perform photosynthesis and remove carbon dioxide from the air. Additionally, excess ozone in the lower atmosphere is thought to contribute to global warming Now think about it; if ozone could wither plants and heat up the earth, what could it be doing in your own home?


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