A test method for measuring the ozone emission of in-duct air cleaners
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There are many U.S. health-related standards for ozone that aim to limit exposure to ozone. The potential for ozone emission from electrically connected air cleaners is well- known and has led to standards and regulations for portable indoor air cleaning devices, which emit ozone at measured rates of 0.056 – 13.4 mg/hr. However, there is evidence that some in-duct air cleaners may actually emit more ozone than portable air cleaners, despite being exempt from most regulations due to the lack of a suitable test method for measuring ozone generation. To explore if in-duct cleaners actually do emit ozone, I investigated seven commercially available residential in-duct air cleaning devices. These devices used one of two broad technologies as means of air cleaning: UV light or electrical corona. The lowest measured emission rates came from two air cleaners that utilized UV light technology and were 0.309 ± 1.7 mg/hr, which was likely below the detection limit of the apparatus and method, and 4.29± 1.5 mg/hr. Three of the air cleaners tested, also with UV lamps, were of the same brand and model yet exhibited differing emission rates, ranging from 7.44± 1.6 mg/hr to 15.8± 2.6 mg/hr. These three air cleaners were classified as medium emitters and also utilized UV light technology. The high median measured emission rates were measured from both an air cleaner utilizing electrical corona technology, 30.2 ± 4.0 mg/hr, and UV light technology, 29.4 ± 3.9 mg/hr. These experimental results confirm that some in-duct air cleaners are able to generate more ozone than some portable air cleaners and also suggest potential health risks to the indoor environment.