The EPA states that Ozone is a molecule composed of three atoms of oxygen. Two atoms of oxygen form the basic oxygen molecule - the oxygen we breathe that is essential to life. The third oxygen atom can detach from the ozone molecule, and re-attach to molecules of other substances, thereby altering their chemical composition. According to environmental toxicologist Dr. Richard Lipsey, ozone is a highly toxic gas used as a biocide to kill all living things under certain conditions.
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Ozone Gas Exposure
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The Ozone Hazard
Ozone is hazardous because it is a powerful oxidising agent with a significant corrosive effect on many materials, including human tissue. Whilst there is much variation in the sensitivity of different people to low levels of ozone, coughing and a feeling of tightness in the chest will be the principal indicators that the exposure controls in the workplace are inadequate. At concentrations of 0.25 ppm or so, irritation and discomfort will be experienced throughout the respiratory tract (nose, throat and airways) and at higher concentrations the discomfort may extend to the eyes.
Limited & short term effects
Being highly reactive, ozone will decompose spontaneously in the presence of oxidisable airborne impurities, humidity and even solid surfaces. This means that ozone can exist only whilst it is being created and then for a strictly limited time afterwards. Unlike many other toxic gases, ozone cannot accumulate (either in the workplace or in the tissues of those who are exposed to it) nor can it persist for long periods after its source has been removed.
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