Ozone gas ‘may combat MERS’
Ozone gas might kill the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) because experimental data shows it is effective in reducing 90 percent of airborne bacteria and viruses, according to a leading expert.
Saad Jasim, a member of the International Ozone Association and world expert in the application of the gas in various industries, said that ozone is effective in killing pathogens in water, food and air.
He said ozone acts as a powerful disinfectant, removes pharmaceutical waste and improves treatment processes. It also helps to create more oxygen.
He said the outbreak of SARS worldwide in March 2003 had increased the awareness of the transmission of respiratory diseases in indoor environments.
He was speaking at a conference organized by the Saudi Ozone Company on Thursday at the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) offices at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah. Several international and local experts attended the event.
The Saudi Ozone Company, which organized the event, has proposed that GACA uses ozone in its filtration systems at the country’s airports because it is better than the normal carbon filters.
Abdulhamid bin Hammad Aba Al-Arri, director general of the KAIA, said that the airport wants to ensure that it has the best technology to protect passengers from all diseases including MERS.
“The technology is evolving but GACA will not proceed any further until it is assured this is really safe technology and also accepted by the Ministry of Health,” he said.
He said the environment at the airport was important now because of the coming summer holidays and Ramadan, with more than 6 million Umrah visitors expected.
Jan Arlemark, an expert in ozone technology, said the gas is used in different environments including the food industry, cold storage rooms, restaurant kitchens and airports.
However, it is poisonous in large quantities, which made it necessary for experts and specialists to oversee its use.
Sami Suleiman Al-Akouz, chief executive of the Saudi Ozone company, said that the aim of this event is to explore applications to provide a better quality of life.