By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Finally, someone has come out with an emphatic and holistic warning about air purifiers, many of which are anything but.
Many of these home devices generate ozone, which can kill bacteria in a room, but yes, that’s the same ozone that’s in pollution. The same ozone that those of us in the Sunbelt states especially have come to know and loathe as a component of smog, fueled mainly by car emissions on hot days.
If you are considering getting an air purifier as a Christmas gift, please consult this warning by the California Air Resources Board. The board is adamant that people should not buy the type of purifiers that use ozone to purportedly “cleanse” the indoor air, saying in a statement:
“Ozone generators are capable of emitting enough ozone indoors to far exceed outdoor health standards and can intentionally create the equivalent of a Stage 1 smog alert inside your home.”
In other words, this type of air purifier can make your asthma or pulmonary condition — the thing you’re trying to treat with cleaner air — much worse. Ironic, yes. Serious stuff, yes.
What should you look for? Air purifiers that use high-efficiency pleated filters, known as HEPA filters, or electrostatic precipitators that do not emit high amounts of ozone, according to the Environmental News Service.
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