Scientists from Fujita Health University in Japan told a news conference recently that they have proven that low-level ozone gas in concentrations of 0.05 to 1.0 parts per million (ppm) is effective in neutralising coronavirus particles without causing harm to humans.
Low concentrations of ozone could be key to neutralising the spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings such as examination rooms and waiting areas, according to the Japanese researchers. This new development provides healthcare providers, households and businesses an alternative method to disinfect and keep their premises safe from the virus without the use of chemicals. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted a sharp rise in accidental poisonings relating to disinfectants and cleaning products, among young children. The increased use of chemicals for disinfection and the effects it will have on our health is becoming a concern.
Medklinn International, a health technology company, pioneered research and development on ozone (O3) and negative ions (O-) in the sterilisation process. The three levels of hygiene are cleaning, sanitising and sterilising. Sterilising offers the highest level of hygiene, and is able to kill viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi. The company provides air and surface sterilisation solutions, and is an advocate of sustainable sterilisation technologies, which are safer and more effective than chemical-based disinfectants.
Apart from air and surfaces, the company’s expertise includes ozone water systems for sterilisation in food processing, manufacturing and cleaning, where high standards of hygiene are required. Its patented Cerafusion™ technology, the first of its kind in the world, creates active oxygen, of which ozone is a component. It eliminates 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, allergens, mould, bad odour and other toxic substances while maintaining the ozone component at a safe level.
Daniel Lu, chief technology and innovation officer of Medklinn International, has been instrumental in the development of the Cerafusion™ technology. He has developed a few global patents and over the last 12 years, Medklinn has expanded its footprint to most Asean countries — Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand — as well as Hong Kong and Macau, and recently India and Canada.
On the Covid-19 pandemic and findings of the Japanese researchers, Lu says: “This is indeed a milestone for ozone sterilisation technology, making it a viable alternative to the use of chemicals for disinfection. This finding is a third-party endorsement of what Medklinn has been doing since the creation of Cerafusion™ technology in 2008.
“It is encouraging that a low concentration of ozone is effective in neutralising coronavirus and is able to provide added safety for human beings on a continuous basis. Since the SARS outbreak in 2003, it has been reported that there have been more than 17 studies that show ozone being effective in destroying the SARS coronavirus.”
Ozone, nature’s disinfection mechanism
Ozone is a gas made up of three oxygen atoms. It is created when the sun’s rays break up an oxygen molecule (O2) into single independent atoms and then they, in turn, reattach to another oxygen molecule to form ozone (O3).
Created by thunderstorms and ultraviolet rays from the sun, ozone occurs naturally and is present in the environment. It is highly reactive and unstable relative to oxygen (O2), having a half-life of 20 minutes. Ozone that is not used to oxidise pollutants will revert to oxygen in about 20 minutes.
“Ozone is proven to be effective in killing 99.9% of harmful microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria, mould and fungi by destroying them at their RNA and DNA structure level. It is also proven to eliminate selective volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air we breathe and the surfaces we touch. Furthermore, it is nature’s most powerful weapon to oxidise and neutralise allergenic organic compounds such as pet dander and the protein in the faeces of dust mites.
“When infused into water, it is 50 times more powerful and over 3000 times faster acting in killing microorganisms than chlorine bleach. Ozone is being used for sterilising the water supply in most developed countries and for microbial eradication in the food supply chain. It is considered the most effective disinfectant currently known to mankind,” Lu says.
Misconceptions that ozone is bad
“Ozone is ever-present in the air, albeit at various concentration levels. When there are higher levels of pollution in the environment, more ozone is produced by nature in its attempt to eliminate the pollution. It is essential to sustaining life on earth,” Lu explains.
Misconceptions that ozone is bad is mainly rooted in a study that was conducted by the National Research Council and used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the US in its recommendations.
“The study conducted was on the impact of hydrocarbon emissions on human mortality rates, where the EPA clustered ozone together with the group of pollutants that made up smog. Smog consists of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and other hydrocarbons produced by motor vehicles and industries. When smog occurs, nature will produce ozone to neutralise the pollutants. The higher the level of smog, the higher the level of ozone nature creates to eliminate it. The study used the words ‘ground level ozone’ or ‘ozone pollution’ to describe smog and pollution, portraying ozone as something entirely negative and detrimental to health when its existence is to help nature eliminate pollution in the environment. The word ozone is frequently used by many to describe smog,” he says.
Replicating nature to generate ozone
Ozone was first generated in 1840 by Shonbein, a German scientist, and the effectiveness of ozone in destroying microorganisms in water was discovered in the late 1800s. Its use in water treatment plants began in 1940 and today, more than 1,000 plants worldwide use ozone. As for the food manufacturing industry, ozone is an emerging technology. The US Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture approved ozone (O3) in 2001 for the treatment, storage and processing of food.
“Our Cerafusion™ technology has given us the ability to control the level of ozone produced and keep to international safety guidelines. It is a technological platform that enables Medklinn to scale up the solutions depending on the specific application, and maintain the ozone level of 0.05ppm concentration at ambient level. It is at the lower level of the range that the Japanese researchers from Fujita Health University considered to be safe and effective. All our air and surface sterilisers comply with this,” says Lu.
Growing interest in ozone as an effective, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly disinfectant
Over the last 12 years, Medklinn has been active in building awareness of ozone and its Cerafusion™ technology as an effective and environmentally friendly disinfectant. This effort is also a reflection of the company’s firm belief that there should be a reduction in the use of harmful chemicals and a greater reliance on technological advances in the field of sterilisation.
Lu is optimistic with the growing understanding and acceptance of ozone as a viable disinfectant solution. “With the Covid-19 pandemic, staying safe and protected from the virus is of utmost importance. More companies are coming to realise the importance of maintaining a high level of hygiene and to use sterilisation that is reliable and cost effective.”
He added that over the years, there have been several collaborations between Medklinn and internationally recognised universities such as University of Nottingham Malaysia campus on ozone applications utilising Cerafusion™ technology. The latest collaboration is on food safety with Taylor’s University’s culinology programme to facilitate research, and promote and increase awareness on the application of ozone technology in food safety measures. Medklinn is looking to more collaboration efforts with universities and scientific research institutions to increase the use and applications of ozone as an alternative sterilising solution that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The Medklinn Group of Companies is a health technology organisation dedicated to creating safer and healthier living spaces by sterilising air and surfaces using active oxygen safely and effectively, without chemicals. Medklinn’s patented Cerafusion™ Technology emulates Mother Nature.
By harnessing one of nature’s most powerful, efficient and safe disinfectants, Medklinn’s range of consumer and commercial products offer a unique and cost-effective solution to disinfect and eliminate bad odour on contact.
The company, which was founded in 2005, started with a single consumer product, providing relief for many sinus sufferers. Over the last 15 years, it has continued to invest in research and development while developing innovative solutions for the home, car and industry.
Medklinn now has solutions for vehicles, hotels, F&B outlets, corporations, educational institutions, cold-chain supply, food production and large public spaces. Being technology focused, Medklinn’s solutions, which are outcome driven and environmentally friendly, improve safety, hygiene and productivity.
At the same time, Medklinn has expanded its geographical footprint to most Asean countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar. It also has a presence in Hong Kong and Macau. With growing acceptance of Medklinn’s Cerafusion™ technology as a sustainable alternative to the use of chemicals, its regional and global customer base continue to grow.
To know more about Medklinn’s Cerafusion™ sterilisation technology, products and solutions, visit www.medklinn.com or call Customer Service at +603-5567 0788 or WhatsApp +6014-337 7286.