The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to consent agreements with two marketers of ozone generators for use in homes and offices, settling charges that the marketers made unsubstantiated claims about the ability of the products to clean air of various indoor air pollutants and to prevent or relieve allergies, asthma and other conditions. The Commission's action makes the consent orders binding on the respondents:
- Living Air Corporation, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota; its sister company, Alpine Industries, Inc., of Blaine, Minnesota; and William J. Converse, an officer of both companies; the marketers of the Living Air Model XL15 and other ozone generators; and
- Quantum Electronics Corporation, based in Warwick, Rhode Island; and its officers Albert O. Coates, Maurice Lepenven, and Jacqueline J. Maynard; the marketers of the Panda 200 and other ozone generators.
Under the final orders, the respondents are required, in connection with marketing any air cleaning product, to have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support claims that:
- the product eliminates or clears specified chemicals, gases, mold, mildew, bacteria, or dust from the environment;
- the use of ozone is more effective than other air cleaners in cleaning or purifying indoor air;
- the product does not create harmful by-products; and
- the product prevents or provides relief from allergies, asthma, and other specified conditions.
Further, any representation about the efficacy, performance or health-related benefits of any air cleaning product must be supported by competent and reliable evidence which, when appropriate, must be scientific evidence. The settlements also require the respondents to notify any officers and employees involved in preparing and placing their advertisements, as well as current distributors and retailers, of the FTC action. Finally, they include various provisions that will assist the FTC in monitoring the respondents' compliance.
The Commission announced the consent agreements for public comment on June 9. The vote to issue them in final and binding form occurred on Sept. 22 and was 5-0.
NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of $10,000.
A news release was issued at the time the Commission announced the consent agreements for public comment. Copies of that release and of the final orders are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. For the latest FTC news as it happens, call the NewsPhone at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other information also are on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at http://www.ftc.gov
FTC File/Docket Nos.:
Living Air, et al -- 932 3112
Quantum -- 932 3111