March 30th, 2017 10:00 PM by Dan Howard
We could also title this: Why not to use the iconic Sharper Image “Ionic Breeze”
Not only is “what air purifier” a top 10 question, it is often a topic of discussion brought up by environmental consultants, particularly when we get to a property that has an ozone producing air cleaner such as the Ionic Breeze running.
Ozone is energized oxygen. Instead of two oxygen atoms, it is 3 oxygen atoms grouped together. Just like most couples, the two oxygen atoms try to get rid of the third. That “third wheel” oxygen atom bonds with a group of atoms that will let it tag along, (often a pollutant) and that new grouping is changed and is often no longer a pollutant and sticks to the filter in the device. (forgive the analogy Mrs. Thompson, and yes. I remember the more scholarly way you taught this lesson)
What this means to you is that if your home is empty and has odor problems, ozone generators are the best solution for that problem.
If you, someone you care about, or your pet are living in a home, do not use ozone there. Even small amounts of ozone, according to the EPA, "can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation." Those with asthma may find their conditioned worsened by exposure to ozone, and ozone also reduces the body's ability to combat respiratory infections.
Back to the Ionic Breeze. That was the product that put Sharper Image on the map. In 2003 Consumer Reports did a story about the serious health effects of having these in your home. Sharper Image sued Consumer Reports disputing the study. Consumer Reports prevailed and received over half a million dollars for their legal fees. Consumer Reports did more stories about the Ionic Breeze and soon Sharper Image declared bankruptcy. For a well documented account of this saga go to http://www.airpurifierguide.org/faq/what-happened-to-ionic-breeze
The EPA further discusses the serious hazards of ozone as an air cleaner in occupied areas