With the world being on high alert when it comes to germs, disinfecting solutions are showing up everywhere. One of the most common is ozone, a compound that’s used by our very own Sleep8 system. While ozone has been used as a disinfectant for years in the water treatment industry and in hospitals, it’s still relatively new to most people. And, like most cleaning agents, it needs to be handled properly.
Ozone is extremely useful but does come with a few drawbacks, depending on how it is being used.
Pro: There are lots of uses for ozone
Ozone, a naturally occuring oxidant, is an extremely versatile tool — in fact, we wrote an entire article about it. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, we can give you the short version here:
- The naturally occurring Ozone Layer protects us from dangerous UV light from the sun.
- Ozone is used to clean reusable medical equipment in hospitals and dentist offices
- Ozone is used in water treatment, as it kills bacteria faster than any other disinfecting chemical
- Ozone therapy has been shown to treat oral infections, with a 99.9% efficiency.
- Industrial ozone generators are used to quickly sterilize and deodorize large spaces
Lots of different industries have harnessed the power of ozone to protect people from dangerous bacteria, and have used everything from small precision tools to giant generators to do it.
Con: Ozone can be dangerous if not used properly
Like bleach, ozone is a powerful germ-killing agent that needs to be handled responsibly. Humans can’t inhale too much ozone at once or they could get sick. However, there is one very important aspect of ozone that still makes it a great choice for killing bacteria: it doesn’t last very long.
Ozone is made up of three oxygen molecules bound together. And this bond is very unstable. Ozone molecules don’t stick around — they break down in a matter of minutes. And when an ozone molecule breaks down, it turns back into safe, breathable oxygen. No different than what you are breathing in now.
As a powerful natural oxidant, ozone kills germs very quickly, so it doesn’t take long to be effective. When you use Sleep8, all the work gets done within the first hour. After that, it enters a rest and blowout phase to allow ozone to break down and fresh air to be pulled into the bag — pushing the remaining bag air through our charcoal filter, converting ozone back to normal oxygen.
Pro: Ozone goes where UV light can’t
When it comes to innovative disinfectants, devices most commonly use either ozone or UV light to kill germs. UV light also works great for killing germs, destroying them on contact. This makes it very effective on smooth, flat surfaces like phones, keys, or wallets. However, UV light has a major drawback: shadows.
UV light is only effective where the light touches the surface. Items with lots of creases, nooks, and crannies (like CPAP tubing) cast a lot of shadows and seriously undermine the effectiveness of UV light. Ozone, on the other hand, is a gas that can treat every square inch of an item, no matter what shape it is. For cleaning CPAP accessories, it’s simply a better choice.
Con: Ozone can damage CPAP machines
CPAP machines are sensitive pieces of equipment. The circuit board, sound dampening foam and wiring inside do not handle long-term ozone exposure very well. In fact, that is why many CPAP manufacturers have stated that any damage caused by ozone will not be covered on the product’s warranty. It’s possible the ozone can oxidize the metal, corroding it and ultimately rendering the machine completely useless.
At Sleep8, we completely understand this seems like a cause for concern when using our product but….
Pro: Sleep8 doesn’t interact directly with CPAPs
We designed the Sleep8 to support the pieces of equipment most likely to harbor dangerous bacteria: the mask and the hose. As they sit stored between uses, the mask and hose offer bacteria a damp, dark environment in which to thrive. When you go to use your CPAP, you are then placing the mask on your face and breathing in that air the entire time you’re asleep.
The Sleep8 device is designed to treat the mask and hose and doesn’t interface directly with the CPAP machine itself — unlike some other ozone companions out there. Therefore, you can rest assured that the Sleep8 is perfectly safe to use with your CPAP accessories and will in no way void the warranty. Because it does not hook up to the CPAP itself, there is no ozone passed over your CPAP machine.
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