Ionic Breeze vs Consumer Reports, at it again

A little while back, an SDMB thread was devoted to questioning the efficacy of air purifiers, and many Dopers wrote that Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze was a piece of crap.

So did Consumer Reports. In their analysis (if I remember correctly), they said the device would be effective in a room with an area of two square feet, or something wildly funny like that. (CR didn’t provide the height for such a room, perhaps out of kindness to SI.)

Anyway, at least one Doper excoriated those of us who agreed with Consumer Report’s put down, saying something to the effect that one shouldn’t knock it til one has tried it.

Sharper Image was even more furious. They sued CR, and lost. Last May, Sharper Image had to pay CR’s legal bill of $525,000.

This month, Consumer Report came out with another bad review of the product:

Excerpt (my bolding):

**October 2005
Air cleaners: Some do little cleaning
Man installing 3M filter.
DUST BUSTER This $15 3M filter installs easily, but you needn’t pay for clean air.

Even the best air cleaners could be a frivolous investment, according to medical experts. Our tests also show that a few produce significant levels of ozone, an irritant that can worsen asthma and decrease lung function.

Market leader Sharper Image’s Professional Series Ionic Breeze Quadra SI737 is among the ionizing room models that did a poor job of cleaning dust and smoke from the air in our May 2005 report on ionizing air cleaners. All ionizing models produce some ozone, but those poor performers emitted enough of it to fail the industry-standard Underwriters Laboratories test that we replicated. **<>folder_id=772715&ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=333135&bmUID=1128350350608

This time, Sharper Image isn’t suing. Instead they’re resorting to a letter to journalists, critiquing the magazine’s critique.

The article I read is in today’s NY Times: This Time, Retaliation by the Sharper Image Is a Bit Less Litigious

I’ve often thought of starting a thread called ‘Ionic Breeze, or Moronic Sleaze?’.

I bought two quadras at $350 a pop several years ago. They do make the air smell better. But then I unplugged them when I began reading about the ozone they produce being bad for you.

Now I’ve got an Allerair 5000 D plugged in. But wouldn’t you know it; I no sooner buy it when I see that Consuer Reports makes some comments that most if not all air purifiers aren’t worth anything.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe CR doesn’t know what they’re taking about because a few months ago I bought a mini sterio on their recommendation only to discover that it wasn’t nearly as good as they said.

My brother pointed out once they’d be pretty effective if you strapped one to either arm and spent your time doing whirling dervish impressions in your living room.

So what do the Google ads offer us? Air purifiers, of course.

If the “smell” you were noticing was ozone. Uh-oh. Too bad many people associate ozone smell with cleanliness.

Ozone is oxygen, normally found as O[sub]2[/sub], in the form of O[sub]3[/sub]. It is therefore a strong oxidant. :smack: It will bind with gases(read:smells) in the air, but it does not clean the air. Moreover, it like a lot of nitrous oxide, is an irritant that will in the long run effect your eyes, nose, sinuses and lungs.