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Clearing the Air about Air Cleaners - Unlike Ionic Air Cleaners, Products with HEPA Filters Work and Are Safe.

MILFORD, Mass. -- The Holmes Group, a leader in the air cleaner category, wants to "clear the air" by educating consumers about the differences between ionic products, and products with HEPA-based filter technology. An article, "New Concerns About Ionizing Air Cleaners" in the May 2005 issue of Consumer Union's Consumer Reports raises serious doubts about the effectiveness and safety of ionic air cleaners such as Sharper Image's(R) Ionic Breeze Quadra. In sharp contrast to ionic air cleaners, HEPA-based products with fans work and they are safe.

"We welcome the findings from Consumer Reports as there are many misconceptions about the efficacy of ionic air cleaning products that have been marketed for years through infomercials and print advertising," said Paul J. Powers, Jr., senior vice president and general manager, Home Environment Division, The Holmes Group. "In addition to exposing the potential dangers posed by the high levels of ozone emitted from ionic air cleaners, the magazine affirmed what we have been saying for years - most high-priced ionic air cleaners are relatively ineffective. But, the public deserves

to know the conclusions reached in the Consumer Reports story are not an indictment of the entire air cleaner category."

Consumers have an effective and safe alternative to ionic air cleaners. HEPA-based filter technology is a scientifically proven air cleaning technology that has been used for years in hospitals, labs and other environments that must be pristine.

Ionic vs. HEPA Technology - Fans are Critical to Move Air Toward the Air Cleaner

Ionic air cleaners use a series of ionizing wires to positively or negatively charge particles in the air, in combination with a collection plate that has the opposite charge and acts as a magnet for particles. This approach is flawed because most of these devices lack a fan mechanism to move air towards the cleaner. In contrast, HEPA air cleaners use a fan to move significant volume of air to draw this air through a pre-filter, which traps large particles like pet dander, dust and pollen. The air is then forced through the pleated HEPA filter, designed to trap over 99 percent of airborne pollutants including microscopic particles like smoke, dust and mold spores. HEPA-based air cleaners are available under brand names like Bionaire(R), The Holmes Group(R) and General Electric(R).

The Safety Issue

According to published reports, ionic air cleaners can create significant levels of ozone. This is a concern for everyone, but especially people with asthma and respiratory allergies. HEPA-based air cleaners do not employ the technology used in ionic air cleaners, and thus do not emit significant levels of ozone.

What Consumers Should Know Before Purchasing

When buying an air cleaner, consumers should look for a product that is CADR certified. The CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate, is a certification by a third-party laboratory under the direction of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). This standardized measurement system determines how well an air cleaner reduces pollutants like tobacco smoke, dust and pollen from the air.

AHAM urges consumers to use the CADR rating to purchase an air cleaner that is rated for the size of the room in which it will be used. There are highly effective air cleaners on the market for rooms and living spaces of all sizes. Before buying an air cleaner, consumers should know the room size so they can purchase the right unit to clean that space.

A variety of HEPA-based air cleaners deliver a CADR suitable for a variety of room sizes, eliminating pollutants and providing a healthy environment. HEPA air cleaners are now widely available with permanent filters, quieter operations and sleek design.

About The Holmes Group

The Holmes Group, a fully integrated consumer products company, headquartered in Milford, MA, with offices and manufacturing facilities worldwide, is a leading manufacturer of consumer products for Home Environment, Kitchen, and Lighting. With well-known brands such as: Bionaire(R); Crock-Pot(R); FamilyCare(R); Holmes(R); MASTERGLOW(R); Patton(R); Rival(R); and White Mountain(R); The Holmes Group continuously develops, manufactures and distributes innovative, high quality products to meet consumer demands.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 11, 2005
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