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James Votaw Quoted in Article on Insufficient Government Oversight of COVID Air Cleaners

Keller and Heckman Partner James Votaw was quoted in the Fortune article, “Government Oversight of COVID Air Cleaners Leaves Gaping Holes.” The article discusses how recently popular electronic air cleaners, heavily marketed to gyms, doctors’ offices and hospitals, companies, and schools, tend to use high-voltage charges to alter molecules in the air. The companies selling the devices say they can destroy pathogens and clean the air. However, academic air quality experts say the technology can be ineffective or potentially create harmful byproducts. Companies that make the devices are subject to virtually no standardized testing or evaluation of their marketing claims.

Air purifiers fall under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority as devices marketed to destroy “pests,” which include bacteria or viruses. But unlike chemical pesticides, the EPA does not register devices and, therefore, does not routinely review their safety or efficacy. 

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