Alpine Living Air Classic Taking A Closer Look

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Alpine Living Air Classic – Taking A Closer Look

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Is your indoor air polluted? Should you purchase an air purifier to
resolve the problem? Ozone generating machines are widely marketed as the
solution to the problem. Let's examine why these claims simply may be

ozone generator, air purifier, indoor air pollution, clean air, Sharper
Image, hepa filters, ionic breeze

Article Body:
For more than a decade, Americans have been becoming increasingly aware
that the air that they breathe in their homes is generally not of good
quality. Between cooking and pet odors, mold, mildew, the widespread use
of plastic materials, and carcinogenic cleaning products, many feel that
their inside air has been compromised. What do consumers do? Purchase an
air purifier. In 1998 I was given the gift of an Alpine Living Air
Classic machine. It has been touted as an ideal solution for problem air.
Let‟s see if the product lives up to its billing.

As far as air purifiers go, the Alpine Living Air Classic [now sold by
EcoQuest International] is neither cheap nor does it look cheap. Weighing
19 pounds, the “Classic” is housed in a wooden cabinet available to
consumers in four colors: dark walnut, light oak, putty, and black. It is
a solid unit with a thick six foot electrical cord. Claiming coverage of
up to 3,000 square feet most homes could operate with just one unit
although a second one might be needed if your house is large, indoor air
pollution is high, or you have high humidity. Prices currently start at
$549 so it is no cheap investment.

How does it work? The unit produces ozone which coupled with an active
fan it reproduces and spreads the clean, fresh scent of a thunderstorm
throughout your home. Okay, I am parroting some of the marketing
material...I had to because it isn‟t that easy to describe.

So, does it work? As far as producing the „thunderstorm scent‟ it
certainly does. As far as getting rid of pollutants, odors, and the like
I cannot tell you for sure that it does. Indeed there has been plenty of
controversy and government rulings against the reported claims of air
purifiers over the years by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
{EPA}, Consumer‟s Union [they produce Consumer‟s Report magazine], and
the American Lung Association.

The EPA has this to say, “whether in its pure form or mixed with other
chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. When inhaled, ozone can damage
the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain,
coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. It may also worsen
chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma as well as compromise the
ability of the body to fight respiratory infections." They go on to say,
“some studies show that ozone concentrations produced by ozone generators
can exceed health standards even when one follows manufacturer‟s
instructions. Many factors affect ozone concentrations including the
amount of ozone produced by the machine(s), the size of the indoor space,
the amount of material in the room with which ozone reacts, the outdoor
ozone concentration, and the amount of ventilation. These factors make it
difficult to control the ozone concentration in all circumstances."

In conclusion, the EPA states: “Available scientific evidence shows that,
at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is
generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution.” The
concentration of ozone would have to greatly exceed health standards to
be effective in removing most indoor air contaminants. In the process of
reacting with chemicals indoors, ozone can produce other chemicals that
themselves can be irritating and corrosive.

As you can imagine, I no longer use my Alpine Living Air Classic. It sits
in my office, unplugged, and working well in its new role as a coffee cup
holder while I work on my computer. Frankly, the claims made against this
unit made by the federal government and others are certainly frightening.

So, how do I achieve clean air today? Again, by visiting the EPA‟s site I
have learned that there are 3 common approaches to reducing indoor air

Source Control: Eliminate or control the sources of pollution;

Ventilation: Dilute and exhaust pollutants through outdoor air
ventilation, and

Air Cleaning: Remove pollutants through proven air cleaning methods.

Of the three, the first approach -- source control -- is the most
effective. This involves minimizing the use of products and materials
that cause indoor pollution, employing good hygiene practices to minimize
biological contaminants (including the control of humidity and moisture,
and occasional cleaning and disinfection of wet or moist surfaces), and
using good housekeeping practices to control particles.

The second approach -- outdoor air ventilation -- is also effective and
commonly employed. Ventilation methods include installing an exhaust fan
close to the source of contaminants, increasing outdoor air flows in
mechanical ventilation systems, and opening windows, especially when
pollutant sources are in use.

The third approach -- air cleaning -- is not generally regarded as
sufficient in itself, but is sometimes used to supplement source control
and ventilation. Air filters, electronic particle air cleaners and
ionizers are often used to remove airborne particles, and gas adsorbing
material is sometimes used to remove gaseous contaminants when source
control and ventilation are inadequate.
If you are intent on purchasing any air purifier, I recommend that you
first do plenty of independent research apart from what the marketers
tell you. By following the 3 methods stressed by the EPA you should be
able to achieve acceptable indoor cleanliness without resorting to
purchasing expensive – even dangerous – air sanitization equipment.

<b>For more information please read:</b>

The EPA‟s Position:<br>

Some Air Purifiers May Produce Dangerous Levels of Ozone:<br>

What is Ozone Air Pollution?<br>