Ozone – Breathing.com

Ozone

Hello Mike,  I've been getting your regular emails for a couple of years now and have enjoyed them greatly.

I have a question that I wonder if you could address concerning ground level ozone.
I'm not sure where I heard it but several years ago I heard a physician talk about the fact that ozone is actually an oxidizer.  That is to say that it bleaches (in a sense) in the same manner as does peroxide or chlorine bleach (chemically, more akin to peroxide, of course).  Probably so.  Under certain conditions.

Specifically, what it oxidizes are the sensitive areas of our lungs (the name?).  I am aware that ground level ozone is officially classified as an "Irritant," (I have met people that are "irritants as well but in many ways they are wonderful human beings) :-) "which I'm sure it is, In  great enough quantities by ratio  to the fresh air available, yes. But it can also be used as a disinfectant. but the big, and little publicized, news is that ozone can do significant damage to our lungs if one is exposed to significant amounts of it through exposure to air containing high concentrations of ground level ozone and/or the inhalation of large amounts of air containing more moderate amounts of air as a result of strenuous physical activity. Anything to excess is negative.  Ozone is easily gotten to excess but not always.  It depends what it is in relation to.Ozone is thought of as entirely negative due to its ability to grab and combine with an extra molecule such as particulate matter in exhaust emissions. But it is also used in pool filters instead of chlorine and to kill mold  and air-born germs in a breathing atmosphere. But I would not want to breathe it without a constant exchange of fresh air as the ozone can get toxic pretty quickly. The application of ozone is the critical part, not that it is bad for us ALL the time, because it is not.  Walk out of doors after a strong electrical storm and smell the ozone fresh air.  I wish it was like that ALL the time.  Sit in the warm pool at Harbin Hot Springs in California (they ozone the water to clean it) and watch oxygen bubbles cling to your skin and feel your energy increase as the oxygen (O2) is absorbed into your body through your skin.  I believe the oxygen bubbles come from the O3 that has lost a single molecule to have it release the extra O2 into the water. 

Could you comment, confirm, publicize this topic?  Thanks!  Incidentally, the television news reported that the monitoring station in Acadia National Park here on the coast of Maine (traditionally a problematic ozone region due to its down wind, "down east," geographic location) recorded its highest ozone levels ever, yesterday 7/2.  Thanks for helping me learn more.  Again, ozone is being attracted to particulate matter and so it shows up like Mighty Mouse to "save the day". But it brings with it its own natural "magnetic" attraction to debris and therefore gets made guilty by association. See http://www.breathing.com/articles/ozone-therapy.htm 

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