ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Ozone is produced in the laboratory by passing dry air between two high voltage A.C. electrodes. The gas of ozone is bluish and explosive. It is a powerful oxidising agent used as a disinfectant for air and water.

Laboratory ultraviolet sterilising lamps operate on the principle of UV radiation acting on the oxygen present in the air to produce ozone. High concentrations cause severe irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes.

Solid and liquid ozones are highly explosive and reactive with alkalines, benzene, aniline and many other compounds, but these are not usually used in the biological sciences laboratory. Any person suffering from exposure to ozone should be removed to the fresh air until recovered and the room has been adequately ventilated before using again.

Bretherick, L. (1986)
Hazards in the Chemical Laboratory, 4th Edition.
Royal Chemical Society, London.

Merck, E. (1976)
The Merck Index, 9th Edition.
Merck, Darmstadt.


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