Re: Ecoquest Breeze AT Air Purifier Ozone Damage and Safety Hazards
A Reader writes:
I am very concerned about long term affects of the Ecoquest Breeze AT air purifier.
I have a child and from about the time he was 3 months until 9 months I ran the Breeze in his room while he was sleeping.
I never had the ozone on but we could still smell ozone when we went in his room.
I am very worried about permanent lung damage I may have caused by having this in his room for so many hours while he was so young.
Do you know or have any research to confirm this or put my mind at ease that he will be ok.
Ozone can irritate and damage respiratory tract epithelial tissues.
Short term symptoms, such as coughing or tightness in the chest should abate within a few hours once the ozone is gone.
Asthmatics are more sensitive to ozone harm than the general population.
Babies and kids may be more susceptible to ozone damage, due to their rapid lung development.
Ozone's long-term effects are still being investigated, but these studies are based on outdoor smog levels.
Indoors, with an Ecoquest or other ozonator running, concentrations of both ozone and nitric oxides can get much higher than outdoors.
I know of no long term health study concerning the health effects of indoor air cleaner ozone on children.
Even longitudinal studies of atmospheric ozone damage (ambient outdoor air) are scarce.
Animal studies suggest that ozone exposure can induce asthma.
We have no way of knowing what the maximum concentration your child was exposed to, or the duration of exposure.
Living near high-traffic areas would also be a factor in the damage from air cleaner ozone.
If concentrations were high, he would have displayed symptoms of inflammation; cough, itchy red eyes and nasal itching/runny nose.
A baby would be pretty uncomfortable like this, crying excessively.
If your child had none of these acute ozone symptoms, and has not yet developed symptoms of asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic respiratory infections, or other inflammatory lung disease, he probably will be fine.
But little is known about developmental effects in later life.
Much ozone damage depends on other aspects of the child's health during exposure. Antioxidant (vitamin) status is a major factor in oxidant tolerance in the lung.
So if he was breastfed and given a good low sugar diet of fresh vegetable puree's and greens he will be better off than if formula-fed with lots of apple juice and sweets.
Aldehyde levels in the room would also have been a factor. Formaldehyde exposed to ozone readily oxidizes to acetaldehyde, which accumulates in human tissues.
Rather than agonize over one mistake, I hope you will take the opportunity to try to set him on a healthy path for the future.
Young people today are bombarded with toxins and junk food.
Just feeding your boy a good diet and avoiding sugar and other addictions can easily make up for any damage from the Ecoquest's ozone.
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