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Ozone: what it is, what properties it has and what it cures

October 21, 2019
Category: Ozone

"Ozone, this stranger!". In fact, this gas is commonly associated with pollution and the famous "hole" and when we hear about it, it occurs only in a negative way. However, not everyone knows that it also has a good side, indeed more than one. In this article, we will discover together the beneficial properties of ozone for humans and its countless applications, from the food industry to medicine, from well-being to home care.


What is ozone

Ozone is a gas that is created naturally in the atmosphere when natural factors such as the sun's rays or lightning strikes divide oxygen molecules into individual atoms. These atoms then combine with other nearby oxygen (O2) molecules and form a new molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms (O3), called ozone. Much of the earth's ozone is contained in the stratosphere, the atmosphere layer that is 10–40 kilometers above the earth's surface. The amount of ozone present in the stratosphere changes over the year and moves from one location to another.

The properties of ozone

The ozone layer formed in the atmosphere absorbs and blocks part of the UV spectrum, protecting the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Being heavier than air, it tends to descend towards the earth's surface and during its descent, it combines with the pollutants it encounters in the air, eliminating them. The result is an effective air cleaning. It can therefore be said that, thanks to the action of ozone, nature has devised an effective self-cleaning system. Ozone also has other useful scientifically proven properties:

  • deodorant properties: the action of this molecule eliminates odors of any nature
  • antibacterial and antifungal properties: ozone destroys the cell wall of bacteria, molds, fungi and in general all living microorganisms. When this molecule comes into contact with these particles, it eliminates them by oxidation.
  • antiviral properties: ozone acts on some viral receptors, preventing viruses from entering the target cells. In this way, viruses are unable to perform their functions and ozone, inactivating it, will have contributed to the blockage of the viral agent.
  • anti-inflammatory properties: the action of ozone decreases the synthesis of acids that promote inflammation, thus decreasing the release of components capable of spreading inflammation. analgesic properties: thanks to ozone, the inflammation sites receive less oxygen and the chemical mediators that generate the consequent painful stimulus undergo oxidation.
  • immunomodulating properties: the action of ozone contributes to promoting the development of the immune system.
  • healing properties: ozone speeds up the healing and regeneration process of the skin, stimulating the formation of new tissue

Use of ozone in the industrial sector

The use of ozone in the industrial sector is not a new fact. In the past, in fact, it has been used to treat public water and water sold in bottles and as early as 1893 the first uses of ozone to sanitize drinking water have been confirmed, thanks to the sanitizing properties of the molecule. In addition, in 1909 ozone began to be used as a food preservative for the cold storage of meats and, subsequently, starting from 1939, to prevent the growth of molds in the preservation of fruit. Thanks to the oxidizing processes of ozone, this molecule was then used in various areas, all related to food preservation.

Ozone has also found numerous uses in the fight against viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. These microorganisms, in fact, are unable to develop any type of resistance against ozone, which acts as a powerful sanitizer and disinfectant for both air and water. Today, ozone is also beginning to be used effectively in the beverage sector. Therefore, some of the benefits of ozone applied to the food industry clearly emerge. Not for nothing, in January 2001 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally recognized ozone as an "antimicrobial agent for the treatment, storage and processing of food". In addition, in December 2001, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA / FSIS) approved the use of ozone in the treatment of meat and poultry, from the raw product to ready-to-pack. . The official approval by the FDA is to be considered a reliable source that certifies the importance, effectiveness and safety of ozone as an antimicrobial agent. It is therefore expected that an increasing number of companies will decide to improve the quality of their products by introducing ozone in the conservation or treatment of the food or equipment that they come into contact with. Ozone, in fact, can be considered even better than other chemical disinfectants that are usually used in the food industry. This is because in addition to ensuring high levels of hygiene, it leaves no residue
Since it is an efficient ecological disinfectant, ozone is increasingly being studied, tested and used as an alternative to traditional chlorine disinfectants which are used not only in the food industry, but also in the water purification process. Ozone manages to eliminate microbes with greater efficacy than chlorine, given that unlike the latter it also acts on the inactivation of bacterial spores and protozoa. Its use is also beneficial for the operator, who no longer has to work with potentially dangerous chemicals. It must also be said that, while chemicals such as chlorine and its derivatives leave residues, which are also toxic, ozone, on the contrary, being an unstable gas it decays and returns to being only oxygen in just forty minutes. Sanitized water with ozone can also be used as a sanitizer for floors, surfaces, drains and various types of equipment, improving the general hygiene of the rooms or systems and reducing, over time, the overall microbial load. If used constantly, ozone represents an effective solution to prevent the proliferation of microbes on the materials with which it comes into contact.

Ozone and health benefits

Over the past few years, ozone has also been introduced in the medical field for the treatment of some more or less serious physical ailments. Ozone therapy can be used alone or in combination with other conventional medicines, as an adjuvant in both topical, therefore external, and internal treatments. The benefits of ozone on our body include:

  • strengthening the immune system reducing infections through the destruction of fungi, bacteria and viruses
  • the increase in the transport of oxygen by red blood cells which improves tissue oxygenation
  • stimulation of venous and lymphatic circulation
  • the improvement of the main cellular functions.
  • the elimination of toxins

Therefore, thanks to its multiple health benefits, ozone is successfully applied in various and different therapies.

There are many ways in which ozone therapy can be administered. Some of the most common applications include subcutaneous injections to treat pain perception and reduce inflammation in areas such as joints and muscles, or intravenous administration to treat varicose veins and other circulation problems, or even orally drinking hyper-zoned water for the treatment of gastro-intestinal tract problems. The action of ozone is also particularly effective in combating skin problems such as herpes, dermatitis, acne and pimples. Ozone skin treatment is generally administered through washes and ozonated water packsor through ozone baths.

Drinking or regularly rinsing with hyper-zoned water, i.e. enriched with ozone, allows to bleed bleeding gums, reduce the microbial load present in the mouth and maintain correct oral hygiene and will be a simple and safe solution to the problems listed above. In addition, ozone will be a valuable ally in the treatment of surgical wounds, since it will speed up healing. Thanks to its disinfectant and antibacterial properties, ozone therapy proves to be a valid ally also in the dental-dental field, mainly in the post-operative period for the healing of surgical wounds when the usual antibiotic therapy is not enough.

Ozone and other chemical disinfectants: what is the best solution?

Despite the proven useful and positive aspects of ozone, there is still a certain diffidence towards this molecule, which is often attributed a negative value and that it is a potentially toxic factor for humans. If this is true - even if only in the presence of very high concentrations - it is equally true for all other chemical and natural disinfectants. Just think, for example, of chlorine, commonly used in the disinfection of swimming pools or in the purification of water: when chlorine is present in an excessive way, in fact, the skin and eyes of those who are swimming begin to itch, and, at the same so, it is unpleasant to drink tap water that contains a high percentage of chlorine. Obviously, the rule according to which "tot ozone produces tot benefits" and therefore a greater quantity of ozone will produce even more benefits: it is always necessary to know how to dose the right quantities of molecule and the right exposure time to ozone to obtain effective results. and in total safety. This is why, for example, every good ozonator must have installed a perfectly studied and calibrated automatic ozone generation system.

Conclusion

As we have seen, ozone and its application in various sectors, from the food industry to medicine, continues to have increasing success. Despite a widespread diffidence in its use, ozone manages to treat a large number of problems in the best way, with the advantages we have seen, guaranteeing proven results, especially where they are usedozonators, rules and protocols specifically designed to seriously and responsibly guarantee the effectiveness of treatments and safety for people. Want to learn more about the benefits that ozone can bring to your everyday life? Take a look here