Ozone has a short half-life (seconds to minutes depending on temperature and pH if aqueous; minutes to hours in air), and reverts to oxygen. Ozone can be utilized as a gas (in a confined and controlled-access space) or it can be dissolved in water for targeted application. When ozone comes into contact with a bacterium, the most active but most weakly bonded oxygen atom separates and oxidizes the cell membrane, ultimately causing cell bursting and destruction; the weak bond splits, leaving oxygen as a by-product.
Ozone is an efficacious antimicrobial oxidizing agent, disinfectant, and sanitizer
The disinfecting capability of 1 PPM Aqueous Ozone is equivalent to many times (10 to 4,000 times) the concentration of free available chlorine (Morris, 1975 –Disinfection: Water & Wastewater), depending on pH, temperature, and on the specific microorganism(s) to be destroyed
Some microorganisms (oocysts such as Cryptosporidium parvum) are tolerant to chlorine but are destroyed by ozone
Bacteria (and viruses) cannot develop a tolerance to ozone because disinfection occurs by the high oxidation power of ozone attacking cell walls/membranes (bacteria) or the DNA chains (viruses)
Aqueous ozone is documented to effectively break down and remove biofilms of varying types
Ozone (sometimes alone, sometimes combined with UV radiation or hydrogen peroxide) is documented to destroy pharmaceutical pollutants such as endocrine disruptors
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