Ozone therapy is therapy with or through a device that generates ozone gas (O3).
Some medical professionals use ozone for a variety of conditions including dental conditions, cancer treatments, and AIDS. Its use is controversial in the United States but more accepted in Germany, Cuba, and Russia.
Ozone can disinfect surfaces and water if it is administered for at least two hours at a concentration of 1200 parts per million. It is used as an aerosol disinfectant commercially and to remove odours. Commercial ozone generators are readily available. It has been proposed as a treatment for AIDS and though it does deactivate the viral particles outside the body, there is no evidence of benefits to living patients.
Summarizing the substantial and growing body of study results showing deleterious health effects of breathing ozone, in 1976, and reiterated in 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration reflects the scientific consensus that ozone is a toxic gas which has, as yet, no demonstrated safe medical application in specific, adjunctive, or preventive therapy. One possible reason, noted by the FDA, is that in order for ozone to be effective as a germicide, it must be present in a concentration far greater than can be safely tolerated by human or other animals.
Though it is used as a treatment for cancer by some physicians, the American Cancer Society has advised cancer patients against using ozone therapy. Other industry opinion leaders in the UK and Australia as recently as 2001 also suggest that knowledge regarding the potential benefit and harm of ozone in cancer patients is insufficient. Therefore they do not recommend it as an alternative form of treatment for cancer patients.
When used by naturopaths, ozone therapy is frequently called autohemotherapy. Autohemotherapy involves extracting blood from the
victim patient, infusing the blood with ozone and optionally exposure to high-dose ultraviolet (UV) radiation, then injecting the blood back into the patient. It should be noted that UV radiation is a known human carcinogen based on dermal exposure from the Sun as well as from artificial tanning lights. It would be reasonable to presume that UV treatment of blood would also bear a risk of inducing cancer. It is illegal to sell ozone generators in the US or Canada that are advertised for medical usage, and the US FDA has seized such devices and has prosecuted those using the generators medically. Ozone therapy has been touted for treatment of a wide range of diseases, but the FDA determined that "ozone is a toxic gas with no known useful medical application in specific, adjunctive, or preventive therapy." Several deaths have occurred in association with naturopathic use of ozone therapy.
Ozone treatment has been suggested for use in dentistry, and the German-based company KaVo GmbH has brought a device on the market for ozone application. This is the HealOzone device. KaVo itself is very careful with the indications of this HealOzone device, advising it only as prophylactic.
The existing scientific evidence does not support the use of ozone in dentistry. Unfortunately this hasn't stopped certain alternative medicine therapists like the Netherlands-based dentist Jacob Brandsma of actively promoting ozone treatment and the HealOzone device as a therapy (this against current scientific insights and the indication of the manufacturer).
- Quackwatch:Oxygenation Therapy: Unproven Treatments for Cancer and AIDS
- Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21 Vol 8 section 801.415
- Medical Journal of Australia:A primer of complementary and alternative medicine commonly used by cancer patients
- Ozone therapy in naturopathic medicine by Britt Hermes (22 May 2016) Naturapathic diaries.
- Solar and Ultraviolet Radiation (1992) IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 55
- Civil Complaint Filed Against University of Pennsylvania (2005) US FDA Office of Criminal Investigations
- Medical Ozone Therapy by Stanley Beyrle. Consumer Health Organization of Canada
- CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 (Revised as of April 1, 2017)
- What's the harm in ozone therapy? What's the Harm?
- HealOzone product description on KaVo site
- Ozonlaag in de mond, 5-April-2007
- Inconclusive evidence of ozone's antimicrobial or disinfectant effects on teeth, American Dental Association, 20-Jan-2010