The International Ozone Association recently released this video on the use of ozone and safety. Specifically oxygen and ozone safety is discussed in this video.
The EcoSensors OS-6 Ozone Monitor has a safety control relay built in that is set to activate above the ozone human safety limit of 0.1 ppm. When this relay is wired to the Remote Alarm Panel (RAP-1), a loud audible alarm and flashing light will activate when ozone levels go above 0.1 ppm. This blog explains how to wire the RAP-1 to the safety control relay on the OS-6 Ozone Monitor.
Step 1: Remove the front panel on the OS-6.
Step 2: Insert tip of RAP-1 free cable through one of the nipples on the bottom of the OS-6 monitor.
Step 3: Locate the control relay labeled “ABOVE 0.1 PPM.” Connect the red wire to the Normally Open (N/O) terminal and the black wire to the Common (COM) terminal.
Step 4: Replace the OS-6 front panel.
The OS-6 is now wired to the RAP-1. When mounted on a wall and powered on, an audible and visual alarm will now activate when the ozone levels are above the human safety limit of 0.1 ppm.
Purchase OS-6 Ozone Safety Monitor Here: https://www.oxidationtech.com/os6-ozone-monitor.html
Purchase RAP-1 Remote Alarm Panel Here: https://www.oxidationtech.com/rap-1.html
Watch video showing how to wire OS-6 Ozone Detector to RAP-1:
On Monday, August 20 the International Ozone Association (IOA) hosted an ozone process workshop giving an overview of ozone and Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs). Seven presenters representing various research organizations and water treatment operations around the country reviewed the basics of AOP fundamentals and considerations for safe and successful process operation and maintenance. Four companies set up materials for practical, hands-on instruction in feed gas, ozone generator and destruct repair and maintenance, ozone mass transfer, and ozone safety and monitoring. The discussion and problem solving generated by these presentations served everyone from the large treatment facility to specialized applications such as medicine, food production, or ground water remediation. I am very excited about this growing industry and will share some of the ideas and information that I am learning as someone new to the industry.
An Arizona water treatment plant that uses ozone for water treatment had a minor equipment failure that sent three people to the hospital. The plant was evacuated and the fire department Haz-Mat team was called to the scene. Read full story below:
GILBERT, AZ – A water treatment plant in Gilbert was evacuated Friday because of a hazardous materials situation on Friday.
Jennifer Alvarez, digital media and marketing officer for Gilbert, said in am email to ABC15 that a “minor equipment failure” resulted in “a small release of ozone” at the plant.
Up to thirty people were in the area at the time, a spokesman for Gilbert Fire Department said.
Three people were transported to the hospital, said Alvarez. The other people were treated on-site.
The plant has since been given the all-clear, she said, and emplyees have returned to work.
The SanTan Vista Drinking Water Treatment Plant is located near Ocotillo and Recker roads. According to the Town of Gilbert, the treatment plant receives water from Central Arizona Project’s Colorado River watershed through a 14-mile ductile iron pipeline.
The plant treats 24 million gallons of water a day, which is split evenly between Gilbert and Chandler, the website said.
The plant is undergoing an expansion project that began in 2016 and is slated to be completed in 2018.
Ozone is commonly used for water treatment. The use of ozone in water treatment and many applications is perfectly safe, and in fact safer than alternative chemicals like Chlorine. It should be simple to maintain a safe environment around your ozone equipment.
Ozone Leaks and ambient ozone levels are not issues to be taken lightly by your safety team. Ensure you have ozone monitors on-site, ensure they are working, and ensure your staff knows how to keep themselves safe in your facility. Need help with ozone equipment maintenance, ozone sensors, and ozone safety? Contact our office, we would be glad to help.
Need an ozone monitor? Click HERE to view our complete line of ozone safety monitors.
Is ozone good or bad?
Often it’s a surprise to people to discover that ozone gas can be good and bad. Ozone is an important gas in urban pollution monitoring, as well as a gas used in industrial processes. Learn more.
We have created a short video that explains the two faces of ozone in a way that is quick and easy to understand.
In the atmosphere good ozone protects us from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Many people know about the hole in the ozone layer that was created by humankind’s use of CFCs. Thankfully CFCs are now banned and the ozone layer hole is shrinking.
At ground level in urban environments bad ozone is created by the reaction of urban pollution and sunlight. Photochemical smog is the technical term for this conversion process. In this way ozone becomes a powerful urban pollutant with negative health effects.
Uses of Ozone
Lesser known is that ozone is very useful gas for cleaning and sterilizing. Bacteria and odor can be broken down by ozone gas. It is often used in the food industry. For example, for sterilizing fruit and vegetables. It has been used in water treatment plants for many years. Generating ozone in enclosed spaces can expose people to ozone gas. For example, when machinery leaks. So although ozone is useful it is also important that its use is controlled especially when there are people around.
Breathing even small amounts of ozone can be harmful. Symptoms include: coughing, shortness of breath, and aggravation of lung diseases like asthma. At higher concentrations you can smell ozone, but it becomes harmful even at lower doses. For that reason many countries have set an exposure limit of 100 ppb (parts per billion) ozone. In some countries, like Sweden, the limit is set even lower. Ozone is one of six common pollutants limited by the United States Environmental Protection Agencies and other environmental regulators. Exposure to ozone in the workplace is controlled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and their counterparts around the world.
How to Measure Ozone Levels
So measuring and monitoring ozone is important for human health – outdoors and indoors. The problem is that the equipment for measuring ozone is either a) accurate but too expensive, or b) affordable but not accurate. Which is why Aeroqual came up with option C: monitors that are both accurate and affordable.
Enjoy the video, we hope it’s answered the question – is ozone good or bad?. Be sure to contact us to talk to us about your application.
Ozone in air is regulated by OSHA and the EPA. NIOSH also offers recommendations, however they do not regulate ozone in any way. It is good to be aware of the basics from each.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
OSHA guidelines for O3 in the workplace are based on time-weighted averages. 0.1 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure.
OSHA requires that if you are generating ozone that you measure this ozone level for safety purposes
The OSHA website cites several guidelines for ozone in the workplace
0.3 ppm for no more than 15 minute exposure
0.2 ppm for no more than 2 hours exposure
0.1 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure doing light work
0.08 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure doing moderate work
0.05 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure doing heavy work
For more information see the OSHA web page regarding ozone
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
NIOSH safety and health standards are not enforceable under US law. NIOSH does “develop recommendations for health and safety standards” that may influence future law and OSHA regulations.
Max recommended exposure limit is 0.1 PPM
Ozone levels of 5 PPM or higher are considered immediately dangerous to life or health
Up to 1 ppm
Any ozone rated cartridge respirator
Any supplied air respirator
Up to 2.5 ppm
Any supplied air respirator operated in a continuous flow mode
Any powered air purifying respirator
Up to 5 ppm
Add face mask to respirator
Entrance into unknown concentrations
Self contained breathing apparatus with full face mask
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
The EPA measures, tracks, reports, and regulates ground level ambient ozone levels in large cities throughout the United States.
Good Up High, Bad Nearby
Ground level ozone
Ozone near the ground is considered pollution by the EPA and is regulated
Ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners
EPA does not recommend, or regulate ozone generators, it does offer safety information
Ozone Air Quality Standards
Primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of “sensitive” populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly.
Secondary Standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against visibility impairment, damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings.
- EPA Standards
- 8-hour limit = 0.08 ppm
- 1-hour limit = 0.12 ppm
Oxidation Tech offers a full range of ozone monitors.
Recently a water utility in New Mexico was levied with a fine of $144,000 from OSHA for worker safety issues. The primary worker safety issue was “unsafe ozone levels”.
This is the first fine of this magnitude this author is aware of. It is imperative that if you are using ozone in an industrial process you have quality ozone detection devices, and that your employees are aware of the use of these devices and what the levels mean.
For more info see article below:
$144,000 Fine For Water Authority Allegedly Exposing Workers To Ozone
State regulators are hitting New Mexico’s largest water provider with $144,000 in fines, alleging that the utility put employees in harm’s way, according to NM Political Report.
After a six-month probe, the New Mexico Occupational Health & Safety Bureau wrote up the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility for 44 violations, including worker safety problems.
“More than a third of the dollar figure for the fines comes from exposing employees to hazardous levels of ozone, a toxic gas that at high levels can cause serious respiratory problems and trigger asthma attacks,” according to NM Political Report.
“The dispute stems from an incident where an employee discovered a ‘minor leak’ in a pipe in the area of the plant that works with ozone. Water Authority employees appealed to OSHA after being ignored through the internal grievance process, according to an employee with knowledge of the situation who didn’t want to be named in fear of retaliation,” the report said.
The bureau classified the violation as “willful” and “serious,” which means the following, according to the Political Report:
By federal definition, the willful part of the violation means the Water Authority “knowingly failed to comply” with the law or “acted in plain indifference to employee safety.” The serious part of the violation means management put the workplace in a situation that “could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm.”
The bureau argued that the water authority “was aware that there were no [National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified] respirators for ozone [and instead allowed its employees to use air-purifying respirators],” according to the Political Report.
The water authority is contesting the charge, per the story:
Water Authority spokesman Davis Morris contended that the ozone exposure levels were actually too low to do any harm. “OSHA said, ‘No, this respirator isn’t rated for working with ozone,’” Morris told New Mexico Political Report. “What we’re saying is you don’t need a respirator at all.”
He later added, “If in the judgement of the [regulators it’s determined that] the use of a cartridge respirator was a mistake in this particular circumstance, it is still not a willful violation as inadvertent, accidental or ordinarily negligent violations are distinguishable from willful [ones].”
While the main point of the fine and contention from management appears to revolve around a respirator, this should never become an issue. OSHA provides safety limits for ozone use of 0.08. 0.1, and 0.3 ppm depending upon worker environment.
OSHA also requires that ozone detection devices are in place, and workers are trained in the operation. In the event the workplace ozone levels are never allowed to rise above these levels, and workers are aware of this, there is no need for a respirator.
The respirators that OSHA recommends for use near ozone are basic carbon filters. As ozone reacts with this carbon filter CO and CO2 are created. These are also toxic gasses at high levels. Also, as the carbon breaks down into CO and CO2 as it should, the filter becomes less effective at removing ozone safely. At what point does the filter stop working? And does the worker know this? For these reasons, we do not suggest the use of respirators, unless absolutely necessary. We suggest the use of quality ozone detectors, and for proper ozone shut-down controls.
For help choosing the right ozone monitor, or for ozone safety training, call our office. We would be glad to help keep your workplace safe.
Ozone protects us … but it’s deadly, nonetheless.
Ozone is crucial to life on Earth. At concentrations as modest as only eight parts per million, the ozone in the stratosphere blocks much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Closer to the ground, however, it can be detected by some people in concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion – and it can be a serious problem, especially for the elderly, small children, and anyone with breathing difficulties caused by lung or heart problems or asthma.
All of that would only be an interesting bit of trivia, if it weren’t for the fact that hot weather – such as we are currently experiencing – coupled with normal to high levels of air pollution can cause a build-up of ground-level ozone.
And that, according to Metro Vancouver air quality monitors, is what has been happening, particularly in the eastern parts of the region, during the current hot spell.
The high concentrations of ground-level ozone are expected to persist for several days, probably until the current weather system moves along.
The Air Quality Advisory suggests avoiding strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon, when ozone levels are highest. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly, and those who have underlying medical conditions, as noted.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing, follow the advice of your health care provider, and stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces.
While you’re at it, pay attention to the other dangers of unusually hot weather, like dehydration and the heat itself.
Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Try to keep cool. If you don’t have an air conditioner at home, find a mall or public building to get away from the heat.
And be mindful of the dangers of kids and pets left in hot cars.