(Investigator 183, 2018 September)


The use of ozone gas for therapeutic purposes dates back to the early part of this century. In their book, The Use of Ozone in Medicine, German doctors R. Rilling and R. Viebahn cite numerous scientific papers that show the effects of ozone treatment. Joachim Varo, MD, another German physician, reported in 1983, that (using ozone as an adjunct to conventional treatment of cancer) "the most noticeable result was significantly improved well-being of the patient". Companies promoting Ozone Therapy include Medizone International in New York City, the International Ozone Association and the Medical Society for Ozone Therapy.


Bluish in colour with a pungent odour, ozone consists of three atoms of oxygen, or triatomic oxygen (O3).

In nature, ozone is produced when oxygen is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays or lightning. When ozone breaks down, O1 is released and it is this molecule which will attack a wide variety of organic molecules. This ability to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi has found many commercial applications such as the sterilisation of medical equipment and the purification of drinking water.

Ozone generators are used to produce medically pure ozone for use in killing bacteria, viruses and parasites in the human body.


Ozone is administered by injection under the skin, into the muscle by intravenous infusion, or by enema.


The beneficial claims made on behalf of Ozone Therapy include those for the treatment of AIDS and cancer. However, there is little or no evidence to demonstrate that ozone therapy is effective for the treatment of any serious disease. To the contrary, it has demonstrated potential for harm. Joachim Varro's evidence was based on anecdotal evidence and he admitted that no controlled study had been carried out. The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer sufferers do not seek this "alternative" method in preference to proven medical modalities.

The following article appeared in the December 26, 1997 edition of the American Sun-Sentinel:

Sellers of "miracle" machines indicted

By Larry Lebowitz Staff Writer

A couple who sold more than $1 million in "miracle" machines purporting to cure AIDS and cancer patients by blowing ozone into their bodies were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury in West Palm Beach. Grand jurors charged husband and wife Kenneth Thiefault, 57, and Mardel Barber, 50, formerIy of Jupiter, with failing to pay taxes in connection with the sale of "ozone generators" nationwide.

The couple grossed more than $1 million in sales of the $4,800 devices between January 1991 and December 1993, according to the indictment.

Consumers were fraudulently induced to buy the generators by false and misleading information in the company's promotional advertisements, including a videotape featuring Thiefault titled "The Miracle of Ozone," according to the indictment.

Depending on the disease, Thiefault and Barber recommended that the ozone be administered rectally via a catheter inserted in the anus; vaginally, also with the aid of a catheter; by placing the tube directly into the ear; or inhaling through the nose or mouth.

Some victims, according to the indictment, were encouraged to take a hot shower, dry off and then stand naked inside a body bag attached to a tube through which ozone flowed from the generator.

The couple also sold two drugs known as "Kanzyme" and "Kanzyme II" that were supposed to supplement the ozone therapy.

"Kanzyme II" which was administered by injection, orally or intravenous drip, was a liquid substance containing silver.

Authorities are unsure of the contents of "Kanzyme," which the couple claimed cured cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

Investigators from the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration said Thiefault failed to maintain books and records of the sales of generators and two liquid drugs that were supposed to supplement the ozone therapy. He also failed to file income tax returns and told Florida tax authorities that one of his companies did not have any gross sales.

In 1993, Thiefault filed records with the clerk of court in Palm Beach County declaring himself a free man not subject to any governmental authority. This declaration, often made by so called tax patriots, does not recognise the IRS as a legitimate government agency.

Barber, reached at her home in Kooksia, Idaho, was unaware of the indictment on Tuesday, but she proclaimed the couple's innocence.

"(Federal investigators) have made us out to be bad persons," Barber said. "They've made some ridiculous accusations about us, especially about him. They've alluded to all kinds of things that he isn't. I can't even begin to describe some of the things they've been asking about him." Assistant U.S. Attorney Rolando Garcia said arrest warrants will be issued to bring the couple back from their hometown, 160 miles north of Boise.

Thiefault is charged with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, wire fraud, mail fraud, distribution of ozone generators, distribution of ozone and misbranding an ozone generator. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 41 years in prison and $1.75 million in fines. Barber is charged with the tax fraud conspiracy. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Thiefault, according to state records, was convicted in 1996 for his role in a telemarketing scheme that defrauded consumers who thought they were investing in public pay telephones.

He was sentenced to probation. "That conviction is under appeal", Barber said.

Thiefault once worked for Broward County ozone generator salesman Basil Wainwright, who was sentenced to three years in prison in 1990 after pleading guilty to practicing medicine without a license.

Wainwright, who sold AIDS patients $7,800 kits that claimed to produce immune-enhancement treatments by blowing ozone into the rectum, was considered the guru of ozone therapy in South Florida, with his charismatic style, extravagant public claims and aggressive marketing of his unapproved ozone machine.

In a November 19, 1990, Sun-Sentinel story, Thiefault acknowledged selling Wainwright's ozone devices, but said he had left "the medical side of the business".

Thiefault, in the article, said he had sold only three machines, all for purifying swimming pool water, after a falling-out with Wainwright.

Instead, the indictment alleges, he went into business for himself, making many of the same claims as his flamboyant mentor.


Barrett, S. 1988. Bogus Claims for H2O2 stopped. Nutritional Forum 1988:5:50.

Lebowitz, Larry. Sellers of 'Miracle' machines indicted, American Sun-Sentinel. December 26, 1997.

McCabe, Ed. 1988. Oxygen Therapies, Energy Publications, Morrisville, New York.

Rillings, S. Viebahn, R. 1987. The Use of Ozone in Medicine. Karl F. Haug Publishers, Heidelberg, West Germany.

Sweet, F., Kao, M.S., Lee S.C. et al: 1980. Ozone selectively inhibits growth of human cancer cells. Science, 1980:209:931-932.

Thompson, B. 1990. Do Oxygen Therapies Work? East West, September 1990. p. 70-75, 110-111.

Varro, J. 1985. "Ozone Application in Cancer Cases" La Raus J: Medical Applications of Ozone, International Ozone Association, Norwalk, Connecticut.

Wilson, B. 1990. Dubious Degrees and Spurious Science, in Barrett, S and Cassileth, B.R. (eds): Dubious Cancer Treatment, American Cancer Society, Tampa, Florida. p46.

From:  Edwards, H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary, Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc