The truth about Air Cleaners
Recently the Indoor Environment Connections magazine posted an article warning about the potential hazards of air cleaners:
California Warns Consumers About Ozone-Generating Air Cleaners.
I have been around the environmental field for 18 years and I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me whether they should purchase an air cleaner for their home or office. Recently the California Air Resource Board (ARB) warned consumers not to purchase air cleaning devices that intentionally generate ozone. At ground-level ozone is an air pollutant with harmful effects on the respiratory systems of animals. In the upper atmosphere it filters potentially damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth’s surface. According to the article “these devices can produce potentially harmful levels of ozone that can worsen asthma, cause serious lung inflammation, decrease lung function, and lead to hospitalization for respiratory conditions, emergency room visits for asthma and increased school absences.”
It’s not all doom and gloom though. If you are still interested in using air cleaners, look for cleaners with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters or Electrostatic filters. For guidance in selecting an air cleaner check:
For products to avoid check:
Indoor Environment Connection – Jan. 09 – Tom Scarlett
Bill Wood – Alliance Environmental Group