R-Zero UVC disinfection and Ozone

Debunking the myths about Ozone and UV-C

It’s natural to be concerned about the impact of ozone on human health and ask if a particular technology creates risk. But to make the right choice, it’s important to distinguish facts from fears.

Below, we explain ozone production in various products, the link between Far-UV light and ozone, and how California’s stringent standards protect anyone using a certified device.  

Ozone Production in Various Products

First, it’s important to understand that ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms, often formed as a by-product of certain electronic appliances and industrial processes. Some air purifiers, for instance, deliberately produce ozone because of its ability to oxidize and eliminate airborne contaminants. However, the amount produced varies significantly among different types of products.

  • Ionic air purifiers produce ozone as a by-product of ionizing air particles to remove pollutants. The levels can vary depending on the model and settings.
  • Ozone generators, as the name suggests, are designed to produce ozone deliberately and can create high concentrations, especially those used for industrial purposes.
  • Other electronic devices and appliances, depending on their design and function, might produce trace amounts of ozone, usually insignificant from a health perspective.

It’s worth noting that the EPA concludes that, “Available scientific evidence shows that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants.”

Ozone regulation

Various government agencies have established indoor ozone standards. As shown below, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) standard is twice as strict as Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Allowable ozone output by different regulators

ozone standards chart

UV-C Light and Ozone Production

UV-C light has been gaining attention for its potential to inactivate microbes. One concern that arises is its interaction with oxygen molecules, potentially leading to ozone formation.

The best way to alleviate that concern is to look for CARB-certified devices that, if they produce any ozone at all, do it at a minimal, safe level that’s essentially consistent with the ozone level already present in the air.

CARB Certification and Its Process

As mentioned above, CARB has set the strictest standard in the nation for indoor ozone, and it certifies electronic appliances with rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure they meet stringent air-quality standards. Here is the list of CARB-certified air cleaning devices.

R-Zero UV-C devices are all below the strictest limits for ozone production

R-Zero’s Beam, Vive, and Arc are all CARB-certified, and also tested and certified to UL ozone standards 867, the standard for electrostatic air cleaning (<50ppm).

The same UV-C light that powers R-Zero’s Eon was tested for ozone production and found to add less than 6 parts per billion to the ambient ozone level. Additionally, Eon is UL 2998 certified, which validates “zero ozone production” and requires under 50 parts per billion.

More posts you might like

  • define workplace

    Using Data and Design to Create Effective Workplaces

    R-Zero recently hosted a virtual fireside chat with One Workplace executives Dave Bryant and Chris Park to discuss the role of data and design in creating more intentional and effective spaces. Through our partnership with One Workplace, R-Zero helps organizations adopt technology solutions that improve the utilization, well-being, and sustainability of their buildings, workplaces, and […]

  • return to office

    Returning to the Office – Q1 2024 Workplace Utilization Insights

    Since 2020, the idea of the “office” or “workplace” has evolved dramatically. The rise of hybrid work has redefined where and what is required to drive employee productivity and efficiency, and as a result, challenges the organizations that own, plan, and manage office buildings, to innovate and adapt to these changing dynamics; or fall behind. […]

  • classroom indoor air quality

    Improve Indoor Air Quality in Classrooms Across America

    Apply for the DOE’s Renew America Schools grant by June 13th! Round two of the Department of Energy’s Renew America’s Schools grant program is open and applications are due June 13 – just 6 weeks away! The $500 million funding program is designed to help public school districts make energy efficiency upgrades and improve indoor […]