home Journal club, Scholarly Communication and Openness Warning: Dangerous microbe control by ozone on filters now on our Mendeley group site

Warning: Dangerous microbe control by ozone on filters now on our Mendeley group site

A paper has been uploaded to the Mendeley group associated with microbe.net, Microbiology of the Built Environment (http://www.mendeley.com/groups/844031/microbiology-of-the-built-environment/). Appropriately, the title of the paper is as accurate as it is concise: “Indoor air purification and decontamination by a new highly-efficient air purification technology with filter sterilization and impact of air exchange rate on bacteria and fungi count.”

The lengthy list of co-authors included individuals from 3 different private companies in Russia. Apparently, the authors are unaware of the hazards of ozone or its reaction products.

It is not clear who uploaded the article to the Mendeley group.

It is well known in the indoor air community that indoor ozone generation is not desirable due to the well-documented health effects of ozone exposure. Very low concentrations of ozone — far lower than the criterion in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) – has been associated with increases in mortality and morbidity.

Nor, does it appear to be wise to continuously dose air filters with ozone due to the likely formation of hazardous by-products of the reactions between ozone and many commonly occurring indoor chemicals. Indoor ozone generation can lead to the formation of harmful reaction products and the degradation of many indoor materials. These impacts have been documented extensively in the peer-reviewed literature.

For example, see many articles by Charles J. Weschler, Richard Corsi, William W Nazaroff, Glenn Morrison, and several others in the journals Indoor Air (DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0668.2000.010004269.x; DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2005.00413.x; , Atmospheric Environment (Volume 42, Issue 33, October 2008, Pages 7632-7640; Volume 40, Issue 32, October 2006, Pages 6122-6133; Volume 41, Issue 15, May 2007, Pages 3166-3176; Volume 39, Issue 28, September 2005, Pages 5171-5182; Volume 38, Issue 33, October 2004, Pages 5715-5716; Volume 41, Issue 35, November 2007, Pages 7614-7626; Volume 41, Issue 25, August 2007, Pages 5202-5212; Volume 43, Issues 22—23, July 2009, Pages 3538-3547; Volume 41, Issue 25, August 2007, Pages 5213-5223; Volume 37, Issues 9—10, March 2003, Pages 1365-1381; Volume 38, Issue 18, June 2004, Pages 2841-2865; Volume 36, Issue 24, August 2002, Pages 3973-3988; Volume 31, Issue 21, November 1997, Pages 3487-3495; Volume 33, Issue 15, 1 July 1999, Pages 2301-2312; Volume 37, Issues 39—40, December 2003, Pages 5621-5631; Volume 37, Issues 39—40, December 2003, Pages 5451-5453), and Environmental Science & Technology (2007, 41 (17), pp 6177—6184; 2002, 36 (10), pp 2185—2192; 2000, 34 (23), pp 4963—4968; 2005, 39 (13), pp 4823—4832; 2002, 36 (15), pp 3295—3302; 2001, 35 (12), pp 2548—2553; 2001, 35 (13), pp 2758—2764; 2008, 42 (11), pp 3938—3943; 2006, 40 (14), pp 4421—4428) during the past 15 years or more.

For a handier and freely downloadable article, see “Ozone, Filters, and SBS symptoms” at http://www.buildingecology.com/articles/ozone-filters-and-sbs-symptoms/ or “The Big Indoor Air Emissions threat – Secondary Emissions” (freely downloadable from http://www.buildingecology.com/articles/the-big-indoor-air-emissions-threat-2013-secondary-emissions/).

The products of ozone chemical reactions with compounds commonly found in indoor air and surfaces and on surfaces of used air filters include formaldehdyde, higher molecular weight aldehydes, acidic aerosols, and ultrafine particles. Many of these products of ozone chemistry are very odorous, irritating, and even toxic. Reactions occur with unsaturated double carbon bonds in chemicals such as some terpenes and citrus-based solvents (so-called “green” chemicals).

Membership in the Mendeley group and Posting papers on the “Microbiology of the Built Environment” Mendeley group are open and un-moderated. Obviously such openness lends itself to promulgation of erroneous information.

If you see papers in our Mendeley collection that you view as flawed, please do send us a comment that we can share with the microbe.net community. We will all be grateful.

2 thoughts on “Warning: Dangerous microbe control by ozone on filters now on our Mendeley group site

  1. Hal

    1. I believe the article was uploaded to Mendeley by our group not by some nefarious outsider. We have been trying to collect all publications of relevance to microbiology of the built environment and not specifically to weed out ones you or others believe to have problems. I believe you were aware of this.

    2. I see no evidence that the openness policy of the Mendeley group is a problem or has been a problem or will be a problem.

    3. From your post you provide no information as to what is wrong with the article. As it reads now you imply that either being Russian or being at a company is a problem. I do not support such an implication nor does the microBEnet project as a whole.

    4. I understand from conversations we have had behind the scenes that this “article” has many claims in it that you find to be inaccurate and that it appears to be a kind of promotion for materials from companies. Please provide more detail on this here.

    Jonathan Eisen
    head of microBEnet

    1. Jonathan,

      I was told by a reliable source that it was posted by Putin. Maybe he was just trying to be funny. He does that a lot.

      I have revised the post in an attempt to address your concerns. I hope I have succeeded including a listing of numerous publications on ozone chemistry and the hazards associated with common by-products.

      Hal Levin
      Building Ecologist and Research Architect

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: