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A, pungent, reactive gas that exists as an allotropic form of Oxygen containing three atoms. Ozone is produced when an electric spark, lightening, or ultraviolet light is passed through air or oxygen. It is found in the lower atmosphere in minute quantities especially after a thunderstorm. In the upper atmosphere, it absorbs ultraviolet rays, preventing them from reaching the surface of the earth. Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent. It is used for bleaching waxes, textiles, oils as well as for sterilization and disinfection. Ozone readily oxidizes organic materials such as Rubber, cellulosics, and proteins along with some inorganic materials such as Marble, Limestone, and frescos. Potential sources of ozone in indoor environments are old style electrostatic copy machines, electrostatic precipitator type air filtration units, and arc welders.

  • See Pollutant record for a comparison table of aerosols and collection risks.

Synonyms and Related Terms

triatomic oxygen

Personal Risks

  • Pure ozone is very toxic and corrosive.
  • Ozone Solutions: SDS

Collection Risks

  • Rubber, cellulose and protein embrittlement
  • Dye, ink and pigment discoloration
  • Photograph and book deterioration
  • Readily converts acetaldehyde and formaldehyde to acetic acid and formic acid, respectively

Physical and Chemical Properties

Composition O3
CAS 10028-15-6
Melting Point -193 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 48.0
Boiling Point -112 C

Resources and Citations

  • Wikipedia: Ozone Accessed July 2023
  • P.Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype, London, 2002.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 566
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 7116
  • Marjorie Shelley, The Care and Handling of Art Objects, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1987
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979

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