Sunday, January 20, 2013

Allergies and the CritterZone

Bill Converse, Inventor
of the CritterZone
Air Purifier. Photo provided
by Air Restore.
In the third installment in a continuing series on “Threats to Pets,” I chat with Bill Converse, founder of Air Restore Inc. and inventor of the CritterZone Air Purifier. The CritterZone was recently awarded a first place among new products at the SuperZoo/National Show for Pet Retailers in Las Vegas.
Molly. Photo by Donna Hailson.
Bill and I begin our conversation discussing pet allergies and human allergies to pets. A number of questions are addressed: What causes allergies? What are some of the airborne irritants that especially give us trouble? What percentage of pets and humans suffer from allergies? Why are some individuals prone to allergies and others not? What are the symptoms of allergies in pets and how do veterinarians determine what allergens are the problem causers? What happens in the body when an allergen attacks? Do pets suffer from seasonal allergies as humans do? What about viruses; can dogs and cats catch the flu or the common cold? Can pets become hypersensitive to airborne particles when kept in the house all the time? And what are the environmental allergen concerns particular to RV travel?

Photo by Donna Hailson.
In the latter half of the program, Bill explains how new developments in ionic technology may help to naturalize the air within our homes, vehicles and other contained spaces by knocking out such irritants as dander and dust and breaking down odors around litter pans, cages and aquariums. The compact (less than 5 inches tall) CritterZone unit is filter-free, uses about 1/20th the energy used to power a 60-watt bulb, and Bill claims it can handle the air in an area of up to 800 square feet.

Air Restore's website offers an explanation of the technology behind CritterZone noting, first, that the air we breathe is filled with various contaminants (dust, dander, bacteria, dry protein from feces, mold, germs, viruses and more). It also contains the natural ingredients of the fresh air that Nature intended including oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and water vapor.

CritterZone units. Photo provided
by Air Restore.
The company claims its product will "naturalize" the air, restoring natural air balances, in a way akin to the work of a thunderstorm. It is said to do so via two distinctly different, but related, continual processes: Bi-Polar Ionization & Plasma Conversion.

Air Restore's website continues with this: "Bi-Polar Ionization is a continual process whereby massive streams of positive and
 negative ions are released into the environment. These ions create charges on the solid
 matter in the air, which are then attracted to the particles of the opposite charge until 
they grow heavy enough to settle out of the air. As the air restores around the CritterZone,
 the process extends deeper into the environmental space, quickly cleaning a 
large area from a small source. The Plasma Conversion Process uses a high-energy plasma flow to convert the 
moisture in the air into natural cleaning agents. The moisture is converted to 
additional hydrogen and oxygen components and then proceeds to use these to create
 oxidation and reduction components in the form of hyper-oxides and hydroxides 
(HOH and OH) - the natural cleaners. These components react to pollutants, virtually
 destroying odors, mold, bacteria, germs, viruses, dust, dander, etc.  These same
 components combine with the moisture in the air to provide a surface of 
protection to actually PREVENT germ and mold growth."

Bill acknowledges that the CritterZone does produce trace amounts of ozone as a byproduct of this process. He concludes, however, that the amounts are less than minimal and the health benefits are substantial.

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