Ozone Formation in Air Exposed to Cobalt-60 Gamma Radiation

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Science  06 Dec 1963:
Vol. 142, Issue 3597, pp. 1289-1290
DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3597.1289


The amount of ozone formed in air exposed to a 4000-curie cobalt-60 radiation source was determined. In closed glass containers exposed to about I Mrad of gamma radiation, ozone concentrations up to 18 parts per million (by volume) were recorded. In air flowing through a glass structure placed near the source, ozone contents up to 0.1 parts per million were observed. It is suggested that ozone formation might be a factor in the reported germicidal effects of ionizing radiations and that damage to plant tissues, ascribed to radiation, might have resulted from exposure to ozone. The possible health hazards from the ozone produced during irradiation should not be overlooked.