2020 was a year marked by lots of glossy brochures, gadgets, and air cleaning devices claiming to eliminate the COVID-19 virus. Many fell short of the performance advertised, caused much consumer frustration, and resulted in some significant lawsuits over products not performing as advertised, and that, in fact, actually created hazardous by-products. As consumers discovered, some of the products introduced more harm into an environment. Buyer Beware!
Many standards organizations, and manufacturing associations, have been working hard at writing testing standards that can be used to evaluate devices based on their claims – taking the snake oil out of the equation, and allowing proper device comparison(s).
ASHRAE has been fundamental in providing standards and guidelines for the built environment. "ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow's built environment today. ASHRAE was formed as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers by the merger in 1959 of American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE), founded in 1894, and The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE), founded in 1904." Ref: https://www.ashrae.org/about
ASHRAE's Epidemic Task Force was instrumental in quickly setting guidelines, and to date ASHRAE, and its membership, is working continuously on revising documents and new standards to provide most up to date information to users of such documents. One of the Standards is the new ASHRAE SSPC185.3 Method for Evaluating/Testing Room Based Air Cleaning Devices/Systems to help the consumer make an educated decision based on independent testing available to a standard. This standard will be written for all air cleaning devices and is not exclusive to UVC disinfection. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is also working on a standard, called Method for assessing the reduction rate of key bioaerosols by portable air cleaners using an aerobiology test chamber. Industry organizations are clearly recognizing the consumer confusion and anger that was prompted when consumers learned the products they purchased, which were supposed to help create a safer indoor environment for their loved ones, in fact often did nothing, or too little, and may have instead caused harm by introducing ozone or other hazards.
EPA Registration requirements, UL / ETL / Intertek for Device Safety testing, and the FDA are beginning to become more and more involved to help make sure that consumers are protected from false advertisements. They are establishing new standards that will help these organizations when addressing their product evaluations, as testing criteria will be established, available, and continuously updated by these organizations to reflect important changes.
American Ultraviolet will keep our fingers on the pulse as we actively participate in many of these committees, with the goal of helping our clients sort through product decisions, and being in position to meet and exceed all of our clients expectations.
None of the American Ultraviolet UVC products detailed above are certified, or approved under any applicable laws, as a medical device, and as such, American Ultraviolet, and its Representatives and Distributors, do not currently intend for them to be used as medical devices anywhere globally. Products have not been evaluated by the FDA.