Bill to protect Californians from polluting air purifiers stalls

By Blanca Begert | 06/26/2024 01:05 PM EDT

The legislation met opposition from scientists worried about blocking research into pathogen-killing devices.

A California bill that would put stricter regulations on ozone-producing emissions from electronic air purifiers won’t move forward this year.

State Sen. Lena Gonzalez pulled S.B. 1308 ahead of an Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing Monday after receiving opposition from a group of scientists that sought to exempt devices that use germicidal ultraviolet light.

“My primary focus is to prioritize public safety while evaluating the essential regulations for technology designed to protect people’s health and well-being,” she said in a statement. “At present, I have decided to hold off on advancing Senate Bill 1308 to address specific intricacies within the proposed legislation to ensure that goal is met.”


Air purifiers, which boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic and in successive wildfire seasons, can clean the air mechanically by filtering out particles with HEPA filters. But some of the electronic varieties, like those that pull particles from the air through electrostatic attraction, also generate ozone, which is the main component of smog and can have harmful respiratory impacts.