air purifier

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Choosing an Air Purifier for a Room or Your Home

According to the United States Department of Health the air inside your home might be 100 times more polluted than the air you breathe outdoors. Pollutants that can have an affect on air quality in your home fall into the following categories:

Particulate matter:

Dust and dust mites, tobacco smoke, pollen, animal hair, tobacco smoke, mold, and bacteria are some of the most common matter found in a home.

Gaseous pollutants:

These include tobacco smoke, gas cooking stoves, and vehicle exhaust. Building materials, furnishings, and the use of products such as pesticides, adhesives, cleaning products, paints and varnishes.

The Environment Protection Agency recommends considering the following factors before choosing a home or room air purifier or air cleaner:

- The potential effectiveness of the device under the conditions it will be used.
- The need for routine maintenance, including cleaning and replacement of filters and sorbents.
- The estimated capital and maintenance cost.
- The installation requirements (e.g., power, access).
- The manufacturer's recommended operating procedures.
- The possible production or redispersal of pollutants, such as ozone, particles, formaldehyde, and trapped gaseous pollutants.
- The inability of air cleaners designed for particle removal to control gases and some odors, such as those from tobacco smoke.
- Possible health effects from charged particles produced by ion generators.
- Possible soiling of surfaces by charged particles produced by ion generators.
- The noise level at the air flow rates that will be used.
source: EPA
- Some results indicate that even without significant background ozone, devices being marketed as negative ion generators that purify the air, can potentially elevate exposure to ozone levels greater than the health-based air quality standards for outdoor air.
source: J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 1999 Nov-Dec;9(6):594-601. Ozone emissions from a "personal air purifier". Phillips TJ, Bloudoff DP, Jenkins PL, Stroud KR.

Most certified indoor environmentalists agree that a H.E.P.A.* filtration system is the best possible system. This is due to the fact that they address all indoor air pollution issues and effectively get rid of most of all airborne threats.

*H.E.P.A. stands for high-efficiency particulate air or high-efficiency particulate arresting.

last update: April 2009

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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