Natural Zeolite’s Role in Safe and Hygienic Living & Working Environments
Unlike air fresheners or perfumes that mask odors, natural zeolite acts as a molecular sieve that traps and removes odors. Because of its porosity and cation exchange capacity, noxious odors are trapped inside its crystalline structure and removed from the surrounding environment.
Zeolite is a successful odor control agent because of its ability to absorb and adsorb liquids, gases, and suspended matter. Essentially, it serves as a sponge that drinks in liquids (absorption) and in the process, matter and gases adhere to the surfaces of internal pores (adsorption) (Hogg, 2003). For example, both properties work together to combat odors in animal litter areas. Ammonium (NH4+) in liquid and solid wastes is constantly undergoing conversion to ammonia gas (NH3). Zeolite controls odors by absorbing moisture from waste and adsorbing the ammonia produced by microbial activity on the liquids (Hogg, 2003).
Because zeolite absorbs liquids, the minerals do not become slippery when wet. As a result, zeolite can be applied on wood, concrete, or rubber floors without the concern of creating slick surfaces (Hill, 2012).
Zeolite’s absorption capabilities also create efficiencies when cleaning damp areas such as basements, barns, or stalls; it is not necessary to completely dry floors or walls prior to prior zeolite application because the mineral naturally absorbs moisture and odors upon contact.
Zeolite is nontoxic to people and animals; it does not cause harm if it is ingested, touches the skin, or comes into contact with the eyes (Hill 2012). The mineral is “nonflammable, environmentally friendly, and can be safely handled around water and feed with bare hands, which is especially nice for those who suffer from chemical sensitivity” (Hill, 2012, p. 46).