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Cleaning Up Indoor Air in the Gulf


Santa Fe Springs, CA, July 7, 2010 – The BP oil spill is exposing thousands of gulf coast residents to foul odors and elevated levels of chemicals. While the EPA found that so far concentrations are below government exposure threshold levels, it acknowledges that they can cause sensitive residents to suffer from health effects such as headache, eye, nose and throat irritation, or nausea.

The EPA recommends that persons who are sensitive to these chemicals, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), should stay indoors to limit exposure, close windows and doors, and set air conditioners to a recirculation mode.

However, in areas where these chemical vapors have been present long enough they have started to penetrate homes and are dominant pollutants in indoor air in the Gulf. Some local residents have purchased air purifiers to help filter out the gasoline-like smell – with mixed results.

Frank Hammes, President of IQAir® North America, and an expert on indoor air purification states, “Most air purifiers that are sold in department stores are made to capture dust. They do not have the gas phase removal technology needed to help rid homes of the airborne chemicals and odors. The technology is there. Chemical and odor control technology has been used for years to protect people from these types of VOCs in airport terminals. The same technology can be applied to this current issue.”

Hammes offers the following tips:

  • Avoid running your bathroom exhaust fans when possible, since this can cause more polluted outside air to be drawn into the home.
  • Improve indoor air quality within at least one room of your home by using an air purifier that offers good wide-spectrum gas and odor filtration. Select a system equipped with cartridge-based granular activated carbon and chemisorption technology for VOCs and other airborne chemical compounds. HEPA-type air purifiers are only suitable if they utilize this additional gas-phase filtration technology.
  • Do NOT use ionizers or electrostatic precipitators that are commonly sold as air purifiers. These products will also not eliminate VOCs (and can exacerbate breathing problems as they can create ozone and lead to increased deposition of particulates into lung tissue).

Room air purifiers equipped with commercial-grade gas phase filtration are available through specialty retailers at a starting cost of around $1,000.00 US.

Frank Hammes, President of IQAir® North America, Inc., is an expert on air quality and air quality control measures. He lectures and trains indoor air quality professionals on ways to help residents create healthier indoor environments during natural disasters.

About IQAir North America, Inc.

IQAir North America, Inc. is a member of the Swiss-based IQAir Group that develops, manufactures and markets innovative air quality products for indoor environments. With more than 45 years experience in the design and manufacturing of ultra-high efficiency air purification systems, IQAir offers complete clean air solutions for a wide range of applications, including residential, offices, schools, hospitals and other critical environments. IQAir’s innovation stems from its research, development and manufacturing conducted completely in-house.

This approach has led to products and solutions which set new standards in performance, purity and quality. IQAir is the exclusive educational partner for the air purifier industry for the American Lung Association. IQAir products have earned the Best Buy recommendations of Consumers Digest, Consumers Guide, Reviewboard Magazine, Consumer Search, as well as the top recommendation of the prestigious German government product testing organization, Stiftung Warentest. IQAir North America, Inc. headquarters is located at 14241 E. Firestone Blvd., Ste. 315, La Mirada, CA, 90638. Phone (562) 903-7600; Fax (562) 236-9229; Internet

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USA and North America

IQAir North America
14351 Firestone Blvd
La Mirada, CA 90638

+1 (562) 903-7600 x1115

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