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Product Review 2: Air Purification

CLEAN, HEALTHY HOMES & OFFICES:  local Business Specializes in Environmental Products – Feb. 1999–

Westfield:  The Eardly T. Petersen Company at 224 Elmer Street in Westfield features products that will help ensure that the indoor environment at home or in the office is as clean and healthy as possible.”

Indoor air pollution — indoor air quality (IAQ) — is the leading cause of environmental illness in the United States,” states Keith Petersen, spokesman for the Eardly T. Petersen Company. “Allergies and asthma are at epidemic proportions — the incidence of asthma among children is at an all-time high. The common estimates are that the indoor environment is 5 to 10 times more polluted than the outdoor environment, and the energy-efficient homes and office buildings are so tightly insulated that the pollutants are trapped. Add to this the fact that we spend an average of 90% of our time indoors, and it is easy to understand why these respiratory illnesses are rampant.”

The Eardly T. Petersen Company has featured products since 1956 that help solve environmental issues. “My Dad started this business in 1956 by selling a high-quality vacuum that filtered the exhaust air to the tiny, microscopic size of 3 microns (the human hair averages 100 microns thick). This is the more amazing because at that time many vacuum cleaners still used cloth shake-out bags (shudder), and the ones using paper disposable bags still filtered so poorly that prodigious amounts of pollutants were being spewed into the environment.”

“Today,” continues Keith Petersen, “the industry has highly-engineered vacuums such as the Miele from Germany that boast sealed, HEPA filtration to result in absolute filtering to .3 (3/10) of a micron. At this size, dust mite feces and even bacteria are filtered from the exhaust air. Many manufacturers advertise effective filtration; but, without a sealed system the laboratory tests show that millions of microscopic particles are being emitted in the exhaust air of these vacuums every minute. The consumer can be considerably misled.”

“Next,” says Mr. Petersen, “the industry now has Swiss and Italian steam cleaning systems which are absolutely terrific. These resemble a compact canister vacuum and, using low pressure steam, will clean and sanitize any cleanable surface in the house. By means of a flexible, slender hose and a variety of tools, oneself can quickly clean — using clean water only — no chemicals! — carpets, upholstery, drapes, windows, kitchen appliances (yes, degrease the stove! and quickly clean/sanitize the refrigerator), bare floors including wood, toilets, shower stalls, tile walls, painted walls, wallpaper, outdoor furniture, engines and equipment, silk flowers, toys, stuffed animals — the list is endless. These units are 100% safe and have been used in Europe for many years. They will destroy mold, mildew and dust mites, require no maintenance and will last indefinitely.”

Also available are different types of air cleaning units. These fall into three main categories: (1) filters (2) ionizers and (3) air purifiers. “Each of these uses a different technology to help clean the indoor air environment,” says Petersen. “However, we see, by far, the best success stories from the customers using the air purifiers. These are small, stand-alone units that combine the same processes that Nature uses — ionization and oxidation — to naturally cleanse the indoor environment. They work on the same principle as a thunderstorm — they have been aptly referred to as a “thunderstorm in a box”! — and the most popular model can be set to purify from 100 up to 3,000 square feet (usually the average house), making it vastly superior to the filters and ionizers which can only handle one room.”

Today there are also a variety of good Drinking Water Systems (DWS) available. “Look for the NSF seal of approval, or some other industry certification,” advises Petersen, “as there are considerable variations in quality in DWS. The water is definitely an issue today, as what comes out of the tap is far from crystalline clean and tasty. By installing a good DWS at a nominal price, the home or office can have crystal-pure, sparkling clean water for drinking, coffee and tea (it’ll never taste so good!), soups, pasta and all cooking needs, etc. Pollutants such as chlorine, asbestos fibers, lead, cryposporidium cysts (which can be fatal for the young, the elderly and the immune-compromised), algae, mold and off-tastes, turbidity and trihalomethanes (THM’s) can be removed to 99.97% levels to .5 microns. It beats hauling home bottled water, and it’s cheaper!”

The Eardly T. Petersen Company can be reached at 908-232-5723 for answers to questions on the environment; or, they can be visited at 224 Elmer St., Westfield, e-mailed at, or on the web at