If you are concerned about your family’s overall health then you might have considered installing a Reme Halo Cell into your HVAC system. This product can assist in eliminating the pollutants, bacteria, or viruses that make a person sick.
However, some air purifiers are known to release ozone into the air while removing pollutants. Ozone, while vital further up in the atmosphere, is not something that we should be breathing in higher concentrations.
Ozone is a byproduct of Reme Halo function. Reportedly, the Reme Halo produces 0.01 ppm of ozone. This amount isn’t likely to cause negative health effects. Factors that can increase the risk are other ozone-producing appliances, poor ventilation, and pre-existing respiratory illness.
How Do Reme Halos Work?
Reme Halo is a unique product, installed into your HVAC system, that allows for the elimination of certain microscopic particles, which improves the overall air quality in your home.
A broad-spectrum UV light shines onto a metal catalyst and causes it to release electrons. These ionize (charge) the air negatively, creating what is known as plasma. The primary component of this plasma is hydrogen peroxide ions.
These ions can neutralize fungus spores, bacteria, viruses, and yeast. The plasma actively travels throughout your HVAC system and through the rooms supplied by the system. It removes germs and other pollutants in its near vicinity by binding to them.
Some pollutants are destroyed on a cellular level and particulate matter is “bulked up” so that it settles and can be cleaned away from surfaces or trapped in the HVAC air filters.
Reme Halo Produces Ozone
Unfortunately, the UV light that is so vital to the function of the Reme Halo is also involved in producing ozone. Now, this ozone is only a byproduct of the mechanism, not the aim of it, so Reme Halos are not considered to be ozone generators even though they do produce ozone.
The energy of some of the UV light waves is sufficient to break diatomic oxygen molecules apart.
Oxygen atoms naturally want to be bound to other oxygen atoms because they are not very stable on their own. This is due to the number of electrons they have in their valence shell—the outermost part of an atom and the one that is involved in determining reactivity.
When you have free oxygen atoms, they will either bind to other free oxygen atoms or to diatomic oxygen molecules. It is the latter that is of concern here because triatomic oxygen is just another name for ozone.
The “clean” smell associated with these types of air purifiers is not actually the smell of clean air. It is the smell of ozone.
Are the Ozone Levels Harmful?
Although ozone occurs naturally in the air, its levels are very low in the part of the atmosphere that we breathe in. It is only when certain products or processes cause additional ozone to be released, that its levels may rise, increasing the potential for negative health effects.
The amount of ozone produced by a Reme Halo (approximately 0.01 ppm) is highly unlikely to be significant and, therefore, is unlikely to be of cause for concern.
However, there are some factors that can increase the risk—although still not necessarily to the point of concern.
Factors That May Increase Risk
Reme Halos are not the only household appliances that produce ozone. With multiple appliances in the same house, you need to consider the cumulative effect.
A study was done recently that found that certain common household appliances actually release ozone. Certain refrigerator air purifiers are advertised as using ‘safe’ ozone to improve air quality.
Other household appliances that release ozone include a handheld fruit and vegetable washer, a laundry water detergent treatment device that releases ozone when water runs through it, drinking water diffuser products as well as shoe sanitizers.
Although these products may not produce substantial levels of ozone individually, if you have all of them in your home and in the same vicinity, you might be at risk of increasing the overall level of ozone in your home.
Ask yourself which appliances are necessary and which are not.
In poorly ventilated rooms or spaces, ozone can accumulate. This would mean that in that one room or space, the levels may reach that critical point of being harmful to you.
While possible, this scenario is not likely because the Reme Halo is designed to be used in your HVAC system and rooms or spaces that are linked to the HVAC system are seldom poorly ventilated. Even if you close off the vents to these rooms (don’t do it!), the fact that the Reme Halo is installed in the HVAC system means that ozone can only enter the room if the vents are open.
Poor Respiratory Health
Ozone causes respiratory issues. So, if someone in your home is already vulnerable to these (someone with asthma or COPD), then the negative health effects linked to ozone can take hold at lower levels.
Health Effects Linked to Ozone Overexposure
Low levels of ozone can still be harmful even when you are exposed to it over a shorter period of time. Experts advise that ozone levels of 0.05 ppm for less than 8 hours may only cause short-term effects.
Low-level, short-term exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
The common side effects of short-term exposure to higher concentrations are known to include:
- A persistent cough.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Pain experienced when breathing.
- Shortness of breath.
- It is also common for individuals with asthma to experience frequent periods of wheezing.
Other short-term effects include inflammation of the respiratory airway as well as the lungs and heart. These short-term effects should not last longer than two days after exposure.
The complete effects of long-term ozone exposure are still not entirely known to researchers today, however, they have found that toddlers or young children that grow up in areas with high ozone levels and pollutants suffer from issues that arise from the poor development of the respiratory tract.
Higher levels of ozone are also known to inflame and damage the airways of individuals, which ultimately weakens the lungs and makes them more prone to infections that are difficult to clear. There has been evidence that permanent alteration to lung and airway function can occur.
If the levels of ozone are high enough (at least 0.10 ppm) and exposure is long enough (more than a few hours), it can lead to the development of asthma in some individuals, while aggravating pre-existing asthma.
It has also been found that exposure to high levels of ozone can cause people with pre-existing heart conditions and illnesses to experience an increase in symptoms as the ozone can cause aggravation to the heart.