Migliaccio & Rathod LLP is currently investigating various air purifiers for their use of ionization technologies newly brought into question by researchers. Ionization technology in air purifiers is the process of electrically charging air pollutant particles so that they settle out of the air more quickly. According to a new study by researchers at Illinois Tech, Portland State University, and Colorado State University, this ionization may be creating alternative harmful compounds to the ones they destroy. While the technology leads to some level of diminished volatile organic compounds (VOCs), it simultaneously results in increased oxygenated VOCs which may include the likes of acetone and ethanol. Unfortunately, these compounds put the consumer at risk in many of the same and worse ways as the VOCs for which they presumably purchased an air purifier in the first place. In the best case, VOCs irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, whereas, in worse cases, they are linked to cancers in both animals and humans. Moreover, these purifiers tend to only address larger particulate matter, not to include microparticles which can similarly wreak havoc on lung, heart, and basic airway function.
The ionization technology causing the formulation of alternative oxygenated VOCs is one of the most popular technologies currently on the market, particularly for their ability to remove viral particles. Understandably, demand for clean air has increased through the COVID-19 pandemic, however this most recent study indicates that inadequate testing and studies have been done on the full impacts of these highly popular consumer products. Specifically, purifiers tend to be solely tested in controlled laboratory settings, rather than in normal operational settings where the technology will interact with other compounds. Another study showed that, in some cases for children aged 11-14, the air quality change may positively impact lung health while posing a detriment to heart health. Both studies conclude that further testing is needed for ionization technology in air purifiers in order to maximize beneficial outcomes for consumers and avoid decidedly negative impacts and tradeoffs.
Air Purifier Brands using ionization technology include, but are not limited to:
- OION Technologies
- Biota Bot
- Green Air
Have you purchased an air purifier from any company utilizing ionization technology?
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The lawyers at Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have years of experience in class action litigation against large corporations, including in cases involving defective products. More information about our current cases and investigations is available on our blog.