Tag - Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

Air pollution causes 467,000 premature deaths a year in Europe so you need air purifier

Air pollution is causing around 467,000 premature deaths in Europe every year, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned.

People in urban areas are especially at risk, with around 85% exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at levels deemed harmful by the World Health Organization (WHO).

These particles are too small to see or smell, but have a devastating impact.

PM2.5 can cause or aggravate heart disease, asthma and lung cancer.

How big is the problem?

It’s pretty bad. Within the European Union (EU), more than 430,000 people died prematurely due to PM2.5 in 2013, the most recent year with figures available.

According to the EEA’s Air quality in Europe – 2016 report, the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – released by vehicles and central heating boilers – has an impact equivalent to 71,000 premature deaths a year.

Ground-level ozone (O3) is also killing people – an estimated 17,000 annually in the EU.

Unlike the protective ozone layer in the stratosphere, ground-level ozone is harmful, formed when emissions like NO2 react with other pollutants and “cook” in heat or sunlight.

A seagull flies through smog above the skyline of the City of London on April 2, 2014.

A chart showing the ten European countries with the worst levels of PM2.5

The European countries with the worst levels of PM2.5 are Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Nations like Poland where coal is a major source of electricity production tend to rank at the bottom of air quality measures, according to the EEA.

 

In 2013, Bulgaria provided four of the five worst European cities for high particulate matter. Costs to ill-health from coal power plants in the country are estimated to be up to €4.6bn ($4.8bn; £3.9bn) per year.

In the UK, air pollution overall costs the economy more than £20bn per year – just under 16% of the NHS’s annual £116bn budget.

Air pollution deaths mapTechnically, European air quality actually improved between 2000 and 2014. Levels of PM10 – another tiny pollutant particle – fell in 75% of the EEA’s monitored locations.

PM2.5 concentrations also dropped on average between 2006 and 2014.

But EEA executive director Hans Bruyninckx says “unacceptable damage to human health and the environment” is still rife.

Outdoor air pollution contributes to about 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 

SO,you should buy a air purifier in your school/home/office to improve air quanlity.

AS for this situation.I’ll introduce our company Olansi air purifier products.

031This product has big CADR with 200m³/h·Low noise 18db.In addition,it has humidification function.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can air purifiers and masks protect you from the poisonous Delhi air?

With worsening smog levels turning Delhi (NCR) into a virtual gas chamber, demand for air purifiers and masks is at an all-time high. Delhi experienced the worst smog in 17 years after Diwali, with PM2.5 readings, which have a safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter, having gone up to an alarming 900 in some parts of the city last week. The situation triggered a spurt in the purchase of air purifiers and masks in the national capital.

airpollution“I bought an air purifier and masks primarily because of my children. My son and daughter were complaining about discomfort in breathing after Diwali night,” says Prasanna Singh, a resident of Alakhnanda in South Delhi. However, he’s clueless about the effectiveness of the masks and air purifier. He adds,

I don’t know whether they actually help in filtering out particulate matter and hazardous gases or not.

Prasanna isn’t the only one expressing concern over the quality of masks and purifiers; YourStory spoke to several people who purchased them – all seemingly unaware of the true effectiveness of the products.

When it comes to air purifiers, one tends to look at the lower and mid-range products in the market and get excited by the area covered and the lower prices (in the range of Rs 10,000-20,000). One must read the fine print – these devices have inferior motors and far inferior filters.

Static Electricity: A Spark of Interest

We’ve all have experienced static electricity in one way or another. Those unexpected little shocks we get when we touch a doorknob or some other metallic object, the balloons that stick to the wall after being rubbed in the head, or hair itself standing straight when it comes close, all are produced by static electricity. Most of the time it is produced when two objects come in contact or are rubbed together.

What is Static Electricity?

All materials are made up of molecules, and all molecules have tiny atoms, with positively charged protons, neutral neutrons, and negatively charged electrons. Most of the time an atom is neutral with the same number of protons and electrons. When an atom’s proton and electron numbers are uneven, the electron dance begins. If you place two different materials next to each other, electrons will start jumping from one material to the other.

Static electricity is generated when any material gains or loses electrons and becomes positively (when it loses electrons) or negatively charged (when it gains electrons). The accumulated charges are what’s called static electricity. Conductive materials like metals and carbon hold onto their electrons tightly, whereas insulating materials, such as plastic, can be charged by friction because they easily gain or lose electrons.

In 600 BC, the Greek philosopher Thales[1] observed that some combinations of materials have more potential to make sparks fly than others. Materials can be catalogued in order of their tendency to become charged, from positive to negative. The lower an item sits on the list, the more likely it will attract more electrons and become negatively charged. Rubbing objects far from each other on the list creates a bigger charge than objects closer together. For example, polishing a glass plate with a silk scarf electrifies the scarf so that it acts like a magnet.

When you stride across a wool carpet in leather shoes, your shoes pick up extra electrons from the carpet with each step. By the time you lift your foot up off the ground, the electrons will have spread around your entire body, giving you a negative charge. The next time you put your foot on the carpet, your shoe doesn’t have any extra electrons, but your head might. So more electrons make the leap to your foot.

“As you keep walking across the floor, you become full of electrons,” said Todd Hubing, from the Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory at the University of Missouri-Rolla. “Eventually more electrons don’t want to come up on you because you’re so charged up. You end up with a high voltage, about 20,000 to 25,000 volts.” That’s serious power at your fingertips, considering a normal electrical outlet on the wall is only around 100 volts[2] of electricity.

Practical Uses of Static Charges

Dust removal: There are some appliances that can eliminate dust from the air, like air purifiers. They use static electricity to alter the charges in the dust particles so that they stick to a filter of the purifier that has an opposite charge as that of the dust (opposite charges attract each other). This effect is also used in industrial smokestacks to reduce the pollution that they generate. The effect is basically the same as the home air purifier.95g58picmfk_1024.

Photocopy: Copy machines use static electricity to make ink get attracted to the areas where we need the information copied. It uses the charges to apply the ink only in the areas where the paper to be copied is darker (usually this means text or other information) and not where the paper is white, this process is called xerography.

Car painting: To make sure a car’s paint is uniform and that it will resist the high speeds and weather to protect the car’s metal interior, it is applied with a static charge. The metal body of the car is submerged in a substance that charges it positively, and the paint is charged negatively.

This process ensures a uniform layer of paint, since when there is enough negative paint in the car the extra will be repelled by the paint already in the car. It also ensures that the paint won’t fall off.

Beijing to get largest air purifier

To the bafflement of some local residents, the world’s largest outdoor air purifier arrived in Beijing to help the capital combat its persistent hazardous smog.

The brainchild of Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, the tower is  undergoing last -minute checks in Beijing’s 751 D Park art area. The public, meanwhile, are bemused by the tower’s function and have called on authorities to curb dangerous sources of polluting particles.

The Smog Free Tower will soon be opened to the public, and will be toured across the country, the Legal Daily reported, quoting China Forum of Environmental Journalists, an NGO under China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

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According to the Studio Roosegaarde website, the 7-meter-tall tower can capture about 75 percent of PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles in its vicinity and then release purified air to create a “bubble” of fresh air around it. The tower can clean 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour through its patented ozone-free ion technology.

Liu Guozheng, CFEJ secretary-general, told the newspaper that bringing the tower to Beijing is intended to warn  authorities never to forget their duty and encourage the public to pull together to combat the smog.

Beijing has been plagued with heavy smog since the beginning of October. The city’s environmental authorities issued a yellow alert for air pollution Tuesday afternoon.

Netizens expressed their frustration over the tower. “The so-called divine smog cleaner is more like a piece of performance art, which makes almost zero difference to cleaner air in the city. It devours the polluted air and exhales fresh air, but so little it won’t make any difference. The air will stay polluted,” said one Sina Weibo user.

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Air Purifier for Winter Allergies

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Allergy & asthma tips for the holidays

The holiday season holds several potential triggers for allergy and asthma sufferers. Whether it’s setting up your Christmas tree, visiting your pet-owning relatives, or feasting on holiday treats, allergy triggers may be lurking around every corner.

“With hectic schedules and constant traveling around the holidays, it’s easy to forget to take proper care when dealing with allergies and asthma,” said Wanda Phipatanakul, MD, MS, FAAAAI, vice-chair of the AAAAI’s Indoor Allergen Committee. “Remembering to take medication and avoid potential triggers is necessary to keep symptoms under control.”

Tips for an Allergy-Free Holiday Season

Before decorating a live Christmas tree, allow it to dry out on an enclosed porch or garage. You also may want to explore whether the tree retailer has a shaking machine, which will physically remove some allergens from the tree.

  • Clean artificial Christmas trees outside before decorating. They can gather mold and dust in storage.
  • Change the filter in your air purifier.
  • Wash fabric decorations in hot, soapy water before displaying.
  • Use plastic, metal or glass decorations that cannot trap dust mites.
  • When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions. These sprays can irritate your lungs if you inhale them.
  • If visiting relatives’ homes who have pets, take medication before arriving to minimize a possible reaction.
  • The holidays can be a very stressful time of year. Pay attention to your stress level, which can sometimes lead to an asthma attack.
  • Ask your relatives and friends to avoid burning wood in the fireplace. The smoke can trigger an asthma attack.
  • Dust mites can be especially troubling when traveling away from home, take a desktop air purifier and your own pillow with an allergen-proof cover and request down-free pillows if staying in a hotel.

The Science of Air Purifiers and Health: Is There Data?

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What is one of the hottest gifts in China? Perhaps you could give “the gift that keeps on giving”: an indoor air purifier. They certainly are all the rage in China since last year, with skyrocketing sales and sold-out inventories after the trio of highly publicized airpocalyptic crises. I think this is a good turn of events: plenty of independent testing,including mine, has documented that a good air purifier can dramatically improve your indoor PM2.5 by 80% or more. But is there any good data that proves that this actually makes you healthier? It seems logical, of course, that decreasing exposure to pollution would decrease harmful health effects. But medical history is filled with tales of common sense and tradition that later turn out to be worthless or harmful — like bloodletting, or the more modern tradition of multivitamins. A big percentage of people reading this article take a daily multivitamin, assuming it’s “healthier” to do so, but the best evidence shows they are worthless, and possibly harmful. Could air purifiers be the same?

In theory and in testing, a good purifier should improve a room’s pollution levels more than 80%; this80% reduction is also what the private Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) uses in their clean air delivery rate (CADR) tests, which are widely cited in comparison charts of air purifiers. So let’s say you’ve installed a top-of-the-line purifier in your living room, feeling quite safe and cozy. But how much of your time is actually in that filtered room? Or maybe the purifier is too small for that room size, or the filters are old, or the fan speed is too low, or the windows are open? Even this commonly cited CADR test is just a lab test for only 20 minutes — what about in the real world? I want to take this conversation to the next level, seeking out proof that your health will improve when using these machines. I want to be able to tell my patients and readers that there are published research studies which followed people over many months or even years, compared them to a control group not using air purifiers, and measured their health to see if there was any improvement in heart and lung disease, cancers and death rates. Are there any such studies?258035c025c59745eaab068434d9d6c6

searched the Pubmed scientific database to find the best studies, and I was disappointed but not surprised to find very little strong data. A properly designed research project like this would be very difficult and expensive. But there are a few attempts, especially studies looking at using HEPA filters to help children with asthma. One was a systematic review published in 2002, which found that air filters helped to improve asthma symptoms — but the effect was small, and there was wide variation between studies which made conclusive assessments difficult. A more recent, very well designed study published in Pediatrics in 2011 followed two hundred children with asthma who also were exposed to secondhand smoke at home, and gave half of the kids a true HEPA purifier and the other half a fake purifier for their bedrooms. After a year, the HEPA group of children had less doctor visits for asthma flares, which possibly — but not conclusively — could be due to the 25% decrease in PM2.5 in their homes.

Other studies have focused on allergies, including an interesting study from 2008 which assessed children with documented pet allergies, following them over a year and recording lung function and blood markers. After a year, those who used HEPA air purifiers showed no clear difference in lung function, use of allergy medicines, or blood markers of allergies. Another study back in 1990 was a bit more impressive, showing not only a 70% reduction in indoor PM0.3 but also improved patient symptoms of allergies.

All of these hint at health benefits, but they still dance around the edges of what I want to know for us in China and the developing world. In the USA, most of the air purifier marketing and testing focuses on allergies and asthma. But here in the developing countries, the air pollution is much more severe and thus the health risks are far more serious. We are worried about pollution’s long-term risks of death, heart and lung disease and cancer. These studies I just mentioned still aren’t answering that deeper question: can long-term use of indoor air purifiers prevent death, heart and lung disease, and cancer?

The best study I found was published in January 2013 in Indoor Air. It was very well designed for this complicated type of study, being a randomized double-blind crossover study of 20 homes over three weeks, using an air purifier or a placebo purifier. Their main goal in this remote First Nations community in Canada was to assess whether air purifiers could improve cardiorespiratory health. As their abstract says,

“…each home received an electrostatic air filter and a placebo filter for 1 week in random order, and lung function, blood pressure, and endothelial function measures were collected at the beginning and end of each week… On average, air filter use was associated with a 217-ml increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 second, a 7.9-mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a 4.5-mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure. Consistent inverse associations were also observed between indoor PM2.5 and lung function. In general, our findings suggest that reducing indoor PM2.5 may contribute to improved lung function in First Nations communities.”

This same Canadian research team had earlierpublished a similar study, testing 45 non-smokers for 7 days in 20 homes that used wood stoves, comparing health effects with or without HEPA purifiers. The people using the filters showed improved endothelial function and biomarkers of inflammation such as CRP. As most pollution researchers now see pollution as a pro-inflammatory disease, testing for such biomarkers could indeed be an accurate surrogate for later health problems. This approach is also being used in studies of air pollution masks, which I recently reviewed.

My take from these studies? Firstly, they all confirm what we already know: air purifiers can reduce the levels of indoor PM2.5, but with a wide range of effectiveness. Secondly are the more important results looking at health markers. I think the most encouraging finding was the First Nation study showing improvement in lung function, even in such a short amount of time (less than a month). Their data was a bit less convincing on blood pressure improvements, but perhaps a larger study would help confirm their initial findings of a slight improvement.

None of these studies are slam-dunk proof for me, but I honestly don’t know whether we ever will get many more well designed studies like these, unless governmental researchers or Gates-type philanthropists fund them. But until better studies come along, we must rely on what we do know:

  • Air pollution contains many chemicals, but PM2.5 is considered to be the most harmful to health.
  • There is no such thing as a “safe” level of PM2.5. Lower is always better.
  • Worsening PM2.5 causes deaths from all causes, especially heart and lung diseases and cancers. Many studies have shown this, including this 2013 meta-analysis of the population in China.
  • On the brighter side, long-term improvements in PM2.5 do help to decrease mortality. The best study was a huge epidemiological analysis of entire populations in American cities as the air improved from the 1970’s to 1990’s. Lifespans improved for everyone, for a multitude of reasons, and they estimate that 15% of the improved life expectancy was due to cleaner air.
  • Shorter studies have also shown improvements in health from better outdoor air pollution. The best designed study I’ve seen on this happened right here in Beijing, during the 2008 Olympics. A team of researchers followed 125 healthy young doctors before, during and after the Olympics, and found improved blood pressure, heart rate and other biomarkers of inflammation during those lovely days of improved air pollution. Another encouraging studyfollowed pregnant women and their babies in Tongliang, China both before and after a heavily polluting coal-fired power plant was forced to shut down in 2004, and found improved neurodevelopmental scores in newborns at age 2 years.

Is all of this enough to convince you to use an indoor purifier? For me, I was already convinced years ago — it’s not just common sense, it actually makes biochemical sense and also perfectly fits withthe precautionary principle: “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

Fighting Childhood Asthma with an Air Purifier

 

 

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Fighting Childhood Asthma with an Air Purifier

Early detection is the first step in fighting childhood asthma

Does your child experience shortness of breath or irregular breathing? Do you notice a whistling sound when he or she exhales? Does your child have a persistent cough? If so, there is a good chance he or she may be developing asthma, one of the most serious chronic diseases in children and adolescents, affecting nearly nine million children under the age of 18.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), 50-80% of asthmatics develop symptoms before the age of five. This is why early detection and working with your child’s asthma specialist is important. Untreated asthma can lead to permanent damage to the airways making it difficult to bring the condition under control.

“Children whose immune systems are not fully developed are most at risk for developing asthma,” said Christopher C. Randolph, MD, FAAAI, and Vice-Chair of the AAAAI’s Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment Interest Section. “However, with early detection, the disease is easier to bring under control, improving the quality of life for your child.”

Look, Listen & Learn

There are no clear markers to predict who will develop asthma and who won’t. However, there are clues and symptoms you can look and listen for in your child that may indicate asthma. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your child have allergies? The relationship between asthma and allergies is very strong. If your child has allergies, be on the look out for potential signs of childhood asthma.
  • Does your child cough or clear his/her throat often, even when they aren’t sick? This could be constant or just intermittent. Not all children who have the disease exhibit symptoms each and every day.
  • Does he/she wheeze or is there a whistling sound when your child exhales or with upper respiratory infections?
  • Do you notice shortness of breath, rapid or irregular breathing in your child?
  • Does your child complain of chest tightness? A young child may say his/her chest “hurts” or “feels funny.”
  • Does your child seem fatigued? A child might slow down, stop playing or become easily irritated.
  • Does your child have problems sleeping because of nighttime coughing or difficulty breathing?
  • Is there a family history of asthma and/or allergies?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions and you suspect that your child has asthma, schedule an appointment with an asthma specialist, such as an allergist/immunologist, a physician specially trained to manage and treat asthma and allergies. An allergist/immunologist will work closely with you to create a daily management plan for your child, demonstrate proper medication use, and develop an asthma action plan, which outlines the actions to take if your child’s condition worsens.

Learn

While there is no cure for asthma, complete control of the disease can be obtained with appropriate management and treatment. Learning your child’s asthma triggers and what steps to take to decrease symptoms is an important step to keep your child’s asthma under control. Children whose asthma is properly controlled should be able to participate in regular activities such as attending school every day and playing sports.

 

The classroom should be installed air purifier cited hot.

As schools in Beijing and other parts of northeastern China suspend classes because of the red alert over air pollution, many parents are demanding that air purifiers should be installed for the students.

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With major pollution days becoming more frequent, students are staying home, often without supervision. Their parents say it would be better if their children were in the classroom, and that’s why schools need to install air purifiers.

“Our school bought air filters last year. We did a little fund raising, with each parent throwing in several hundred for that. We’ve already bought two air cleaners for the class, both of which are installed.”

Debate over whether should schools use air purifiers

With the repeat occurrence of smog in China, many parents call for installation of air purifiers in classrooms. Some parents even offered to pay for the purifiers. However it is refused by school authorities. It has caused hot debate over whether air purifiers should enter schools.

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Experts say air purifiers on the market are mostly designed for homes or offices. It still needs evaluation to know if it is useful in classrooms. Education authorities in Shanghai said they will coordinate with relating departments and work for a feasible plan.

Meanwhile, reports said a test has been held in a school in Beijing. After using the air purifier, the level of PM 2.5 in the classroom decreased, but with dozens of students in the enclosed room, the dense of CO2 has passed the healthy standards.

Does Home Air Purifiers Really Work?

Does the EPA Advocate the Use of  Home Air Purifiers?

To reduce the contaminants that lower air quality in the home, the Environmental Protection Agency first and foremost recommends minimizing or eliminating the sources of the pollution and increasing ventilation in order to replace bad air with good.

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“[Air purifiers] may help control the levels of airborne particles including those associated with allergens.” – United States Environment Protection Agency (August 2009)

However, there are limitations to how much of each of these you can effectively do. Some pollution sources can be easily dealt with, but others cannot. Opening windows to increase air circulation is not always a convenient option, and as the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers points out, ventilation is relatively poor in many modern homes, as they were designed to be “energy efficient” by reducing airflow to and from the outdoors as much as possible. The EPA therefore also recommends the use of air purifiers to supplement these other avenues of cleaning indoor air.

Understanding the Limitations of Air Purifiers

It is important to understand and accept the limitations of air purifiers in order to comprehend their usefulness. The EPA emphasizes that air cleaners are not meant to be a substitute for the other two methods of cleaning your home’s air described above. However, in conjunction with them, the EPA says that air purifiers “may help control the levels of airborne particles including those associated with allergens.”

Most air cleaners are not effective at removing unwanted gases, being designed instead to target unhealthy particles floating in the air. Among these particles, the relatively larger ones are often missed by the air cleaner because gravity pulls them to the ground more quickly than smaller particles, keeping them out of the purifier’s reach.

Therefore, no one should ever expect air cleaners alone to have a significant impact onindoor air quality. Nevertheless, a high-quality air cleaner can be used to improve certain aspects the air you breathe in your home, and can be an important part of your overall air-purifying strategy.

The Effectiveness of Air Cleaners

The main function of most air cleaners, therefore, is combating smaller contaminating particles. Research has shown that good air purifiers, even those of the smaller, portable variety, are up to 90% effective in reducing these smaller particles, such as those caused by cat dander and dust mites.

The EPA has certain recommendations regarding the use of portable air purifiers. In order to achieve maximum effectiveness, the portable air cleaner should be placed somewhere away from walls or other obstructions and positioned in such a way that the clean air is blown into open, occupied areas. If there is some specific source of pollution, the purifier should be placed nearby. Such purifiers work far better when all doors and windows of the room in which they are located are closed.

  • Do Air Purifiers Work For Mold Removal? – Partially.  Some air purifiers may effectively remove mold particles from the air but are ineffective against killing mold spores.  Spores are typically resistant even to UV light treatment.  However, if spores become trapped in a filter, this does keep them from proliferating in your home.  Careful and proper disposal of used filters is essential.  We recommend changing filters outside your home to prevent unwanted release of trapped particles and spores.
  • Do Air Purifiers Work For Pet Allergies? – Partially.  Some air purifiers can remove pet hair and dander trapped in the air.  However, heavier pet dander particles often fall out of the air column and settle onto surfaces.  Frequent cleaning is recommended.  Also, keep pets out of sleeping areas to avoid contact with pet dander throughout the night and other sleeping times.
  • Do Air Purifiers Help With Hay Fever?– Depends on the source of your hay fever allergy.  According to the Mayo Clinic, hay fever can be caused by various pollens, fungi and mold spores, dust mites or cockroaches, and pet dander.  Air purifiers range in their effectiveness of cleaning the air of these particles depending on model type.  Air purifiers are most effective at reducing pollen particles in the air column and are recommended by the Mayo Clinic.  Dust mite feces, cockroach body parts and pet dander are typically heavier particles that fall out of the air column and must be cleaned from surfaces.  Use allergen covers on bedding and pillows to protect against the most common exposure to dust mites.  Keep pets out of sleeping areas.  Use HEPA filter equipped vacuums to clean surfaces.

Summary

In conclusion, air purifiers, while not sufficient to deal with all the hazards of indoor air pollution on their own, are a useful tool which should not be overlooked by anyone interested in keeping his or her home’s air as clean as possible. When the air purifier is of good quality and used effectively, it has an important role to play in the fight against the toxins and irritants that infest our inside air.

  • Air purifiers are most effective at removing particles that remain trapped in the air column such as various pollens, dust, and some molds
  • Air purifiers are not very effective with dust mite allergies since these allergens tend to remain on surfaces like pillows, bedding, furniture etc.
  • Air purifiers have mixed results with pet allergens due to these particles not always remaining long enough in the air column to be filtered effectively
  • Air purifiers are one solution to providing healthy indoor air and should be used in conjunction with other methods