Ozone Machines

Q: Are you aware of any regulation that would disallow the use of Ozone machines in hospitals? Are ozone machines allowed in hospitals? We had thought about using ozone machines in lieu of air fresheners due to employee complaints about the ‘odor’ of the air fresheners affecting respiratory system of asthma suffers.

A: This is not such a good idea. Ozone has its own OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL).  Ozone is a gas that can cause health problems, including respiratory tract irritation, breathing difficulty, asthma exacerbation, and chest pain. Ozone is not an effective way to clean the air and when used at the acceptable PEL, ozone does not remove dust or pollen and does not kill bacteria or mold.

Google ‘ozone’ on the internet and you will find plenty of documents supporting this information. Based on the literature, I do not see how you could complete a credible risk assessment that would allow ozone machines in hospitals.

(Thanks to Marge McFarlane from Superior Performance, LLC for contributing to this reply.)

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.