Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Ozone Surprise

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Ozone Surprise

Article excerpt

Once again, an accidental discovery may have aided science. Following up on a puzzling observation made years ago, analytical chemist Steven Goheen and his team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory write in the February 2004 issue of Bioelectromagnetics that high-voltage electrical devices can, under certain conditions, indirectly generate high ozone levels in the presence of an animal or water. Ozone is a respiratory irritant that can reduce lung function, aggravate asthma, and trigger asthma attacks.

In an earlier study linked to an investigation of why negatively charged ions kill bacteria, Goheen found that discharging a negative ion source into a flask containing a little water created ozone in the neighborhood of 1,500 parts per billion (ppb)--vastly higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 8-hour standard of 80 ppb. To find out more about this quirk, Goheen and colleagues equipped an enclosed polycarbonate box with a stainless steel negative ion source--or corona discharge--in the roof, an exhaust tube in one side to monitor ozone, and a grounded wire mesh just above the floor. The corona discharge operated at a range of 5-10 kilovolts (kV), similar to that of certain high-voltage appliances such as negative ion generators. They either filled the bottom of the box with water or placed three rats in the dry box, then generated a corona discharge at 5, 7.5, or 10 kV, with the tip of the steel discharge rod kept at 1 or 8 centimeters (cm) from the rats' heads or the water. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.