Tuesday, May 1, 2007


The truth about Ionic Breeze purifiers.

When you watch an infomercial on the Ionic Breeze air cleaner, listen for any statement refering to HEPA filtration efficiency. (99.97% removal or all particles 0.3 micron and larger) I don't think you will hear one. When you hear the statement "removes particles as small as 0.3 micron", that is not the same thing. I will agree that the Ionic Breeze will remove some particles from the air but what it puts back into the room may be quite disturbing as the following will explain.

Sharper Image Pays $525,000 to End Lawsuit Against Consumers Union
Sharper Image Corp. has ended a product-disparagement lawsuit that it brought against Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, paying CU court-ordered attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $525,000.
Sharper Image sued after Consumer Reports judged the company’s Ionic Breeze Quadra air cleaner “ineffective” in an October 2003 report. A U.S. District Court dismissed the suit, ruling that Sharper Image had not shown our findings to be false. Because Sharper Image’s claims affected CR’s rights of free speech and press, the court ordered the company to pay our legal expenses. Sharper Image filed an appeal but later withdrew it, ending the legal action.

Problems with Ozone Generators:Ozone is a potent lung irritant and exposure to elevated levels is a contributor to the exacerbation of lung disease; it is especially dangerous for persons with asthma and other chronic lung diseases, children, and the elderly. Residential indoor ozone is produced directly by ozone generators and indirectly by ion generators and some other electronic air cleaners. There is no difference, despite some manufacturers' claims, between outdoor ozone and ozone produced by these devices.

Consumer Reports (1992), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (Boeniger, 1995), and the U.S. EPA (1995) concluded that tabletop and room unit ozone generators are not effective in improving indoor air quality. Studies have found that while some indoor air pollutant concentrations decline in the presence of ozone, other pollutants increase. In fact, upon reaction with ozone, some previously undetected, toxic chemicals emerge in indoor air, including formaldehyde and other aldehydes (Boeniger, 1995). A recent study by the U.S. EPA demonstrates that ozone is not effective for killing airborne molds and fungi even at high concentrations (6-9 ppm) (U.S. EPA, 1995). At higher concentrations, especially above 0.08 ppm, ozone is a potent irritant that can bring about diminished lung function, cough, inflammation associated with biochemical changes, and increased responsiveness to allergens. (Horstman, et al., 1990). Current evidence of the health effects of ozone suggests that there is no "safe" threshold concentration for the onset of health responses due to exposure above background ozone concentrations (Burnett, et al., 1994; U.S. EPA CASAC letter, 1995). Also, simultaneous exposure to ozone and other compounds may produce additive or synergistic effects (Last, et al, 1984). In addition, persons with asthma have increased susceptibility to ozone and exposure to low concentrations results in increased symptoms, medications use and hospitalizations.
The FDA has set a limit of 0.05 ppm of ozone for medical devices. A small percentage of air cleaners that claim a health benefit are listed by the FDA and these devices conform to FDA regulations. However, ozone generators, negative ion generators, and certain other electronic air cleaners that are not listed by the FDA, or cannot otherwise prove that their ozone emission levels are lower than 0.05 ppm, may produce levels of ozone recognized as unsafe for humans and are not recommended for use in occupied spaces because of the risk of generation of ozone. For similar reasons, the American Lung Association does not suggest the use of these products.


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