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Ionic Wheeze

Ionic Wheeze

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Ionic Wheeze

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  1. Ionic Wheeze Tim Johnson CFB 3333 April 27, 2005

  2. Demonstration Seeing is Believing

  3. Contents • Ionic Breeze Claims • Electrostatic Precipitators • Ozone • Consumer Reports • Endorsements

  4. Ionic Breeze Claims • Moderately priced ($350) • Cleaner air with no filters to replace • Silent operation • Minimal power consumption • Continuous cleaning • Complies with U.S. safety standards

  5. Ionic Breeze Claims Are all these claims true? Is the Ionic Breeze safe? …or effective? NO, scientific evidence suggests otherwise

  6. Electrostatic Precipitators • The Ionic Breeze Quadra is an electrostatic precipitator • Electric current is passed through metal collection plates • Charged, airborne particles become attached to oppositely charged collection plates • Ozone gas is released as a byproduct

  7. Types of Ozone “Good” Ozone • 10 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface • Protects us from the sun’s UV radiation “Bad” Ozone • Near Earth’s surface • Harmful to humans • FDA, 0.05 ppm • NIOSH, 0.10 ppm

  8. Effects of Ozone According to the EPA, ozone gas can: • Irritate the respiratory system • Reduce lung function • Worsen chronic respiratory diseases like asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis • Inflame and damage lung cells • Cause permanent lung damage Symptoms of ozone exposure include prolonged coughing, sore throats, and chest pains

  9. Ozone Concentrations • Ozone cleaners can emit unsafe levels of ozone, even when a user follows the manufacturer’s operating instructions • Ozone concentration influences: • Size of the room • Amount of ventilation • Opened doors and windows • Device strength • Device setting

  10. Consumer Reports February 2002 • Tests focused on Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) • Of the 16 models, only the Ionic Breeze did not have certification from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) • The Ionic Breeze finished in last place and received a “poor” overall rating, the lowest possible score for overall performance • “Proved unimpressive in our tests” • “Almost no measurable reduction in airborne particles” • After complaints from Sharper Image, an independent expert confirmed CR’s testing protocol

  11. Sharper Image FAQ Question 23. Does CADR measure the effectiveness of the Ionic Breeze GP or Quadra? “No, not at all. CADR is not designed to test the new Ionic Breeze technology, which has a low air-speed flow versus conventional kinds of air cleaners that rely on a high-speed airflow for their operation. One key to the Ionic Breeze’s efficiency and effectiveness is its silent, 24-hour operation. Its airflow is slower but constant.”

  12. Consumer Reports October 2003 • Additional, longer-lasting experiments • Ionic Breeze failed again • Two independent experts verified the Consumer Reports’ protocol, and they found pseudoscience in Sharper Image’s testing methodology

  13. Air Cleaning Speed Graph Friedrich and Whirlpool models (on lowest setting) cleaned more than 25 times faster than the Ionic Breeze (on highest setting) (from Consumer Reports, October 2003, p.27) The bars represent the speed of removing respirable smoke particles from a test chamber.

  14. Litigation • Sharper Image sued Consumers Union, the nonprofit organization that publishes Consumer Reports, claiming: • Articles were “incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading” • Consumer Reports staff were driven by “disappointment and shock” because Quadra sales had not decreased since the first review in 2002 • Data was altered to make the Ionic Breeze look bad • The case was dismissed on November 9, 2004 • Sharper Image forced to pay Consumers Union $525,000 under California’s Anti-SLAPP laws • Sharper Image originally appealed the decision, but later dropped the suit because sales were not suffering

  15. Consumer Reports May 2005 • Tested ozone emissions of 5 ionizing air cleaners • Models that perform poorly and emit relatively high levels of ozone: • Sharper Image Professional Series Ionic Breeze Quadra S1737 SNX • Brookstone Pure-Ion V2 • Ionic Pro CL-369 • IonizAir P4620 • Surround Air XJ-2000

  16. Endorsements Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) • “Seal of Truth,” but NOT: • A “seal of approval” • An “endorsement” • A “recommendation to buy” • $5,000 application fee required • Companies submit “independent research” to be reviewed by an anonymous panel of alleged experts (the panel also saw reports stating the Ionic Breeze was ineffective)

  17. Endorsements British Allergy Foundation (Allergy UK) • Seal is an endorsement • Fee is required • Refused to disclose details about the testing protocol • Allergy UK website states that using endorsed products “does not mean that an individual’s allergic symptoms will necessarily diminish.”

  18. Endorsements Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) certifications • The higher the CADR, the better • Ratings generally range from 10 to 450 • Ratings above 350 are considered excellent, and ratings below 75 are considered poor • Cleaners with a CADR of 10 or less are essentially the same as gravity removing airborne particles

  19. Conclusions • The Ionic Breeze Quadra and other electrostatic precipitators can produce dangerous concentrations of ozone • Scientific data indicates that the Ionic Breeze is not an effective means of removing pollutants from the air • Sharper Image utilizes financial influence and pseudoscience to “prove” the effectiveness of the Ionic Breeze • Some endorsements have little significance, but CADR certifications can indicate effectiveness

  20. Ionic Breeze For Sale Like new! Contact me at to make an offer

  21. Selected References • Consumer Reports • February 2002 • October 2003 • May 2005 • Consumer Reports Press Room • Consumer Reports - Air cleaners: The Truth Behind the Accolades • Response to Consumer Reports by Richard Thalheimer • EPA – Ozone Generators (not electrostatic precipitators, but still relevant)

  22. Thank You Questions?