Chinese authorities unveil a new more strict standard for air purifiers

A new national standard for air purifiers was unveiled by Chinese authorities on Nov 21 to bring order to the country’s chaotic purifier market.

To avoid this situation, the draft national standard will include more specific metrics for measuring the performance of air purifiers, including their “clean air delivery rate”, or the number of cubic units of air per minute delivered with all particles of a given size removed, the Standardization Administration said in a statement on Nov 20.

The country’s widespread air pollution problem has given rise to a booming market in air purifiers, with total sales volume reaching 2.4 million units in 2013, Nanfang Daily reported.

However, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Industry and Commerce said in a report on Oct 29 that the market is chaotic, with many producers and sellers of air purifiers exaggerating the performance of products and deliberately misleading consumers during promotions.

The draft of the new standards also includes indexes that evaluate the service life of purifiers. In addition, it proposes detailed requirements for the labeling of air purifiers. Producers must mark clearly on the product label both the service life and the volume of space for which it can provide effective filtering. The draft standard includes performance data for both particles and formaldehyde.

According to a spot check on 20 air purifiers by the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision in December, only the products of three companies reached their advertised effectiveness or indicated the space in which they would function effectively.

Many producers also failed to keep the country’s overall air pollution situation in mind, a technician at a Shanghai manufacturer said. “Some producers are blindly borrowing the technology of producers in other countries and simply ignore the air pollution situation in China,” he said.