Parents and Scientists Unite Against Likely Ineffective, Unproven and Potentially Harmful Air Cleaners That Have Been Installed in Thousands of Schools Across the Country

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Experts worry about the long-term health effects on children exposed to these unproven and likely ineffective devices. Parents For Healthy Indoor Air Quality launch a fundraising campaign to pay for independent research.

Dr. Marwa Zaatari

Professor Jose-Luis Jimenez, University of Colorado Boulder stated, “Thousands of classrooms and counting, have already implemented electronic air cleaners, inducing a false sense of security at best and at worst harming the health of our children.”

Parents across the country and the world have been shocked to find that many of the air “cleaners” sold to school districts and installed in their children’s classrooms are the same misleading devices that the world’s top indoor air experts have been warning about for years due to the potential creation of toxic byproducts and lack of independent peer reviewed studies. In response to these dangers and lack of data, a group of concerned parents and industry leaders have created a fundraising campaign to fund the independent research of these devices that is so desperately needed.

Conservatively, an estimated Hundreds of Millions of Dollars have been spent on these devices nationwide, according to Dr. Marwa Zaatari, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force member.

These unproven and potentially harmful electronic air cleaners, predominantly purchased with CARES Act funds, have been marketed under a variety of names like; ionizers, needle point bipolar ionization, UV-PCO, plasma generators, H2O2, and DHP. Due to the increasing recognition of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 in poorly ventilated schools, sales reps and manufacturers are making such claims as; 99.9% SARS-COV-2 removal, mountain top air, all-natural, chemical free, active vs passive; as selling points to schools looking for ways to protect their students. Most sales reps rely on carefully crafted, at times misleading marketing material written by a combination of marketing teams and lawyers, with an abundance of fine-print disclaimers.

Respected indoor air quality scientists agree that these technologies are primarily unproven and lacking critical scientific peer reviewed independent backing of their effectiveness or safety. This makes them potentially harmful for our children.

Professor Jose-Luis Jimenez, University of Colorado Boulder stated, “Thousands of classrooms and counting, have already implemented electronic air cleaners, inducing a false sense of security at best and at worst harming the health of our children.”

Unfortunately, these devices, described by CDC as “emerging technologies” and by ASHRAE as “unproven” lack enforced Testing Standards Methods and have inadequate government regulation.

As schools around the country begin to open for in-person learning, many parents are worried about the lasting health effects of these unproven devices. If these electronic air cleaners are not removed, they will continue to potentially introduce harmful byproducts into the air of their children’s classrooms for years to come. This can lead to an array of devastating health outcomes for our children, teachers, and school staff.

Dr. Marcel Harmon, Associate Principal and Research and Development lead at BranchPattern stated, “This equipment creates interior conditions that differ from the environments our physiologies evolved to function within. It should not be surprising such an evolutionary mismatch could result in negative health impact.”

Dr. Marwa Zaatari, indoor air quality expert and one of the organizers of the campaign added, “we are a group of concerned parents and experts vowed to protect the health of our children and help schools make wise decisions about their indoor air quality by funding independent peer-reviewed research. This is the only way to ensure an honest evaluation of these aforementioned devices.”

The funds raised in the campaign will be donated to a team of researchers led by Illinois Institute of Technology to measure the effectiveness and safety of a wide variety of emerging air cleaning technologies. More specific details can be found on the campaign website.

**The claims made in this release are explored in great detail and supported by many studies and citations in Dr. Marwa Zaatari's Open Letter to Address the Use of Electronic Air Cleaning Equipment in Buildings.**

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Marwa Zaatari
Parents For Healthy Indoor Air Quality
+1 (310) 596-1402
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