Sterile Bright™ units generate ozone as a consequence of ionizing vacuum UV. Unlike “ozonators” that make ozone using an electrostatic charge, Sterile Bright™ tubes create ozone from ionizing UV energy that radiates several feet away from the unit. Since Sterile-Bright™ fixtures are designed to provide radial 360-degree omnidirectional UV dispersion, ozone distribution does not require a fan. Still, fans or ventilation systems can be used to spread this germicidal gas.
Ozone has been used for sterilization for many decades because it is extremely effective at small concentrations. As little as 0.5 parts per million (ppm) of ozone can deactivate bacteria and viruses. Like most chemical treatments, the higher the concentration, the faster the process. Academic and technical papers suggest germicidal effects can require up to 25ppm for longer periods, however, ozone has the advantage of being an absolute gas, meaning it does not exist as a solid or liquid at room temperature. Thus, when ozone dissipates, its effect is completely gone. This is why ozone has been used instead of liquid and evaporative chemical treatments for sanitizing, deodorizing, and exterminating. For example, many hospitals and medical facilities have used, and continue using formaldehyde vaporization, peracetic acid, and/or chlorhexidine for sanitizing. These chemicals are caustic and toxic; they can cause many adverse reactions in humans and animals as well as damage surfaces and materials.
Ozone has the added advantage of being an irritant to insects and even deadly to bed bugs, dust mites, fleas, and lice. Insects and rodents instinctively flee from small ozone concentrations as little as 1ppm to 3ppm. This means that regular low-level ozone treatments can control pests which, themselves, can be disease carriers. In outdoor applications, ozone bonds to human odor molecules that would attract gnats and mosquitos.
Ozone air purification is debatable science. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled outdoor ozone as a pollutant, while acknowledging that “ozone high” is environmentally necessary, meaning our ozone layer protects us from harmful UV radiation. Ozone is routinely used to sanitize medical devices like ventilators, C-Pap and Bi-Pap sleep devices, and hospital ventilation systems. Ozone is also used to clear ductwork of mold and mildew as well as bacteria. A hot summer day can generate outdoor ozone levels that exceed EPA standards, making the entire effort to regulate ozone questionable. Although the EPA associates ground-level ozone with man-made pollution, natural events like sunlight and lightening create this gas which has been linked to general outdoor microbial reduction.