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Air Purifiers — Infomercial Reviews…
How to Evaluate Air Purifier Claims
First, the EPA has said there is value to air filters. However, it should not be the first solution. Specifically, the most significant way to increase air quality is to cut the cause of population. For example, if you have mold spores, cut the mold in your walls or carpet. Before you buy from any air purifying infomercial, you should first remove any pollutants.
From the EPA: “If the usual methods of addressing indoor air pollution are insufficient, air-cleaning devices may be useful. Air filters and other air-cleaning devices are designed to remove pollutants from indoor air… Portable room air cleaners can be used to clean the air in a single room or in specific areas, but they are not intended to filter the air in the whole house.”¹
You should select one that is powerful enough to work with the size of the area you want to filter.
Beware of the ‘Ionic,’ ‘Electrostatic’ or ‘Ozone’ if You Have Asthma
One of the biggest complaints about portable air filters is that some emit a mild irritant, ozone. “Ozone generators use UV lamps or electrical discharges to produce ozone that reacts with chemical and biological pollutants and transforms them into harmless substances. Ozone is a potent lung irritant, which in concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants. Thus ozone generators are not always safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollutants.”²
Do They Really Work?
Portable air purifiers are most likely to help with allergies associated with cat or dust mite. This is because most air filters can adequately filter these particles. However, they are not always as successful in reducing strong respiratory symptoms. This is because most filters remove particles from the air. There are many particles that attach to larger objects or particles in a room (such as dirt). When this happens, they do not find their way through the filters because dirt stays on the ground and does not move through filters.
In other words, an air filter alone may not work for your situation. You will still have to vacuüm and dust regularly to remove all particles in the room that will never make it to the portable air filter.
Bottom line: Don’t expect air filters to be the magic bullet to any respiratory problems, although they may aid in keeping your air and environment clean and pure.