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Sunday, Jul 08 2012 12:00 AM

B Connected: How to breathe easy when buying your summer air purifier

By Myriam Valdez

Buyers beware: your air purifier could be doing more harm than good for your health. Contrary to popular belief, air purifiers can actually be detrimental to your breathing – that is if you don’t purchase a safe and certified air purifier that is appropriate for your family’s needs.

For most people looking for an affordable and practical air purifier, portable air cleaners are a great choice, as they can remove some of the pollutants in the home that aggravate their allergies or breathing difficulties. “These particles are so microscopic and lightweight that they can remain suspended in the air for hours,” says Lori Miller, owner of Oreck Home Care Center in Bakersfield.

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CARB certified Oreck ProShield Air Purifier

Consumers should make sure to purchase one fit for the intended room where the purifier will beplaced to conserve energy. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when buying an air purifier is that it should be certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as safe for home use. Some air cleaners are being marketed as “air purifiers,” but in actuality emit dangerous ozone into the atmosphere.

Even more alarming: these “ozone-generators” can cause build-up that not only minimizes the effectiveness of the air purification, but over-time, can emit a foul odor which could be indicative of harmful particles in your home.

“The more we can do to help our immediate environment, the better off we are,” says Miller.

Stay safe this summer and purchase the right purifier for you. For a handy list of CARB-certified air purifiers, please visit arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/aircleaners/certified.htm

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