Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Files Complaints Against Air Filtration Companies

May 24, 2004, 01:00 ET from Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights

    BERKELEY, Calif., May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights
 (ANR), a national public health advocacy organization, filed complaints on
 May 20th with the New York Consumer Protection Board and the New York Attorney
 General's Office, claiming that two air filtration companies, FailSafe Air
 Safety Systems ( and Airistar Technologies, LLC
 ( are engaging in false advertising by misrepresenting the
 ability of their products to reduce health risks caused by secondhand tobacco
     "Consumers should be informed that these companies' products, being touted
 as an alternative to New York's smokefree workplace law, do not provide
 protection against the serious health risks -- such as heart attacks -- that
 can be triggered by secondhand smoke," said Cynthia Hallett, ANR Executive
     Some air cleaning systems may be able to remove some of the toxins found
 in smoke, but no product to date is able to remove all of the harmful gases
 and particulates in tobacco smoke.
     Reducing, but not eliminating, tobacco smoke does not mean a reduction in
 health risks.  Tobacco smoke, according to health experts, has a "non-linear
 dose response," meaning that significant short-term damage to the
 cardiovascular system can occur even at very low levels of exposure.  "The
 bottom line is that these ventilation systems won't protect health. This is
 merely a smokescreen for a serious public health issue. Americans deserve the
 truth," said Hallett. "The only way to protect all Americans from secondhand
 smoke is to create 100% smokefree environments."
     The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published a warning in
 the British Medical Journal urging nonsmokers at risk of heart disease to
 avoid all indoor places where smoking occurs.
 (;328/7446/980 )
  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified secondhand
 tobacco smoke as a Class A carcinogen, meaning that there is no safe level of
     "These companies' marketing statements go beyond mere puffery to the point
 of perpetuating a public health fraud," stated ANR Executive Director Cynthia
 Hallett.  "In light of both companies' efforts to weaken the New York State
 Clean Indoor Air Law, we urge the Attorney General to require that these
 companies cease misleading advertising regarding their products' ability to
 provide health protection from tobacco smoke, that they include a prominent,
 explicit disclaimer similar to those of other companies, clarifying that no
 air purifier can protect against secondhand smoke, and that they deliver
 written notice of this disclaimer to all members of the NY State Assembly."
     For more information:
      Factsheet on ventilation:
      Factsheet on the science of secondhand tobacco smoke:
      Bibliography of health studies regarding ventilation:
      Bibliography of studies regarding the health hazards caused by secondhand

SOURCE Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights