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October 24, 2011

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Purifiers banned over levels of ozone

AIR purifiers releasing excessive levels of harmful ozone have been found on sale in the city, quality watchdogs reported over the weekend.

Machines made by two manufacturers - Shangjie and Broad - failed recent tests on 20 brands conducted by the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision.

The Shangjie SJ-1090B model and the Broad TB400 unit were discovered to release ozone in levels above the country's standard.

Ozone - a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms - is used to sanitize and deodorize rooms.

But it is also an irritant, affecting the eyes and respiratory system and can aggravate conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.

And as ozone is colorless and odorless, people are usually unaware when levels in a room are excessive, officials said.

The products that failed the quality tests have been removed from shop shelves. Customers who had bought them can get refunds, said the bureau.

Recently, air purification services have been at the center of controversy, with consumers warned to be on the lookout for bogus air quality testing companies.

Residents have complained to the Shanghai Commission of Consumer Rights and Interests Protection that companies falsely claimed harmful chemicals were being released by their furniture in order to sell them expensive air cleaning units.

The quality bureau has compiled a list of recommended air quality testing companies. This is available in Chinese on its website

Under China's laws, air quality testing companies are not allowed to produce or promote any air-cleaning products, said officials.


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