|AllerAir in the News!|
What started out as a solution to his wife's severe allergies has become a $5-million-a-year air-purification business for Sam Teitelbaum.
With the carbon-based air-cleaning technology he helped develop to counter spouse Florence's condition attributed to extreme sensitivity to various environmental chemicals found in the air, food, water, building materials and fabrics, Teitelbaum founded AllerAir Industries Inc. 10 years ago.
With fewer than 20 employees, the private company is challenging industry multinationals like Bionaire, Honeywell International Inc. and Sharp Corp.
"We're kind of the specialists now," the president said from the cramped headquarters and manufacturing facility in St. Laurent.
Jeffrey Kanel, vice-president of business development, noted AllerAir is among the first firms to combine HEPA filters with a mass acitivated carbon bed that together trap 99.97 per cent of all airborne particles as well as absorb chemicals, gases and odours.
Activated carbon - the type used in military gas masks, hospitals and large food-storage facilities - is a natural substance that has been treated to open millions of tiny pores which attract and trap odors, chemicals and gases. It is made from a wide range of source materials from coal and coconut shells to peat moss and bone.
Kanel and Teitelbaum said that most mass-market air cleaners/filters only trap particles and have no more than a few token ounces of carbon while AllerAir's MAC-B filters contain pounds of carbon to safely and effectively remove dangerous substances from the air.
"We hope air purifiers will some day be as common as bottled water," Kanel said.
AllerAir systems have applications for residential, commercial, industrial, medical and military use. They've been installed in school classrooms, fashion houses and military installations in Iraq. The company recently received orders from South Korea after the government there introduced new indoor air-quality standards for public buildings.
Custom-made specialized models are used for smokers, disaster restoration, security threat situations and microbiological contamination. "We're 100 per cent safe," Teitelbaum said. "We even use unbleached,organically grown cotton for our pre-filters."
Kanel said the company works with allergists and respiratory specialists.
"Everybody needs an air purifier," environmental medical specialist Dr. Doris Rapp told The Gazette from her Arizona clinic.
The pediatric allergist and New York Times best-selling author - her latest book is Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call - said she uses AllerAir products because "they have very high standards and they have different machines at affordable costs. Others might be as good, but I'm not familiar with them like AllerAir."
Teitelbaum said there are about 5,000 permutations of the basic filter model. The units range in price from $259 U.S. for the small home or office models with four pounds of carbon to $25,000 U.S. for the explosion-proof military-strength purifier using 2,000 pounds of carbon.
Kanel said sales have been increasing 25 per cent a month the past three years, with 98 per cent of AllerAir's market outside of Canada. About 4,200 units a year are sold.
|Surgeon General: All Secondhand Smoke is Deadly|
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Second-hand smoke clearly kills people and the only way to control it is to ban all smoking in workplaces, the U.S. surgeon-general said on Tuesday in a report that puts the Bush administration on the side of smoking restrictions.
The report by Surgeon-General Richard Carmona, which echoed the forcefulness of a 1964 Surgeon General's report that paved the way for mandatory cigarette warnings and advertising restrictions, detailed the effects of passive smoking and said no one should be forced to inhale someone else's smoke.
"The scientific evidence is now indisputable: second-hand smoke is not a mere annoyance," Carmona said at a news conference. "It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults."
Yet, he added, "Millions of Americans continue to be exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes and workplaces."
At least 60 percent of U.S. nonsmokers show signs of exposure to second-hand smoke, Carmona wrote in a preface to the report.
"Nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces and by a voluntary adherence to policies at home, particularly to eliminate exposures of children," he wrote.
The report said it is impossible to protect nonsmokers even with designated smoking areas, making a workplace ban necessary.
Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, speaking at the same news conference, said, "Despite the great progress that has been made, involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke remains a serious public health hazard that can be prevented by making homes, workplaces, and public places completely smoke-free."
Anti-smoking groups were delighted.
CALL FOR STRONG LAWS
"Today's surgeon general report on second-hand smoke provides overwhelming evidence that states and communities should protect the health of their citizens by enacting strong smoke-free laws," John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.
"Elected leaders must continue to move toward a 100 percent smoke-free nation and do their part to help reduce death and disability from cardiovascular disease," said M. Cass Wheeler, CEO of the American Heart Association.
States, cities and other local authorities have battled over instituting smoking bans. Some industries, especially bars and restaurants, have said they will lose business if smoking is completely banned, although the health associations cited several studies showing no such effect in places such as Massachusetts and California that have enacted broad bans.
The report also says the tobacco industry has sought to cover up scientific findings on environmental tobacco smoke with biased research and other means.
But the tobacco industry stuck to its mantra of personal choice and responsibility.
Reynolds American Inc.'s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco unit said in a statement on its Web site, "It seems unlikely that second-hand smoke presents any significant harm to otherwise healthy nonsmoking adults; and, given the extensive smoking bans and restrictions that have already been enacted, nonsmokers can easily avoid exposure to second-hand smoke."
Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA unit said people could choose whether to be around smokers.
Source: Reuters UK
|Testimonial of the Month|
“I have only owned my allerair air purifier for three months, but it is by the far the best I have ever purchased. As an RN with asthmatics in my family, I am especially concerned about air quality in a closed Maine home in the winter. We have a smoker, and a golden retriever in the house, and the air quality in the past two months has improved so much that my asthmatic son visiting for two weeks did not have breathing problems. Thanks allerair for finally making a GOOD air purifier available!”