⚠️DON’T BE DUPED—schools often buying junk air purifiers instead of proven HEPA filters. Avoid ionization, plasma and dry hydrogen peroxide—that the Lancet #COVID19 Commission recently deemed “often unproven” & potential sources of pollution themselves. 🧵
2) Schools have been “bombarded with persistent salespersons peddling the latest air and cleaning technologies, including those with minimal evidence to-date supporting safety and efficacy” according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Green Schools and ASHRAE.
3) In the frenzy, schools are buying technology that air-quality experts warn can lull them into a false sense of security or even potentially harm kids. And schools often overlook that trusted contractors — engineering, HVAC/consulting firms — stand to earn big money from deals
4) Academic experts are encouraging schools to pump in more fresh air and use tried-and-true filters, like HEPA, to capture the virus. Yet every ion- or hydroxyl-blasting air purifier sale strengthens a firm’s next pitch: The device is doing a great job in the neighboring town.
5) “Global Plasma Solutions wanted to test whether the company’s air-purifying devices could kill covid-19 virus particles but could find only a lab using a chamber the size of a shoebox for its trials. In the company-funded study, the virus was blasted with 27,000 ions per cm^3”
6) “In Sept, the company’s founder incidentally mentioned that devices being offered for sale actually deliver a lot less ion power—13x less—into a full-sized room. The company nonetheless used the shoebox results — >99% viral reduction—in marketing its device heavily to schools
7) “as something that could combat covid in classrooms far, far larger than a shoebox.
School officials desperate to calm worried parents bought these devices and others with a flood of federal funds, installing them in >2,000 schools across 44 states, a KHN investigation found.”
8) They use the same technology — ionization, plasma and dry hydrogen peroxide — that the Lancet COVID-19 Commission recently deemed “often unproven” and potential sources of pollution themselves.
9) Marwa Zaatari @marwa_zaatari, a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force, first compiled a list of schools and districts using such devices.
10) Schools have been “bombarded with persistent salespersons peddling the latest air and cleaning technologies, including those with minimal evidence to-date supporting safety and efficacy” according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Green Schools and ASHRAE.
11) @marwa_zaatari said she was particularly concerned that officials in New Jersey are buying thousands of devices made by another company that says they emit ozone, which can exacerbate asthma and harm developing lungs, according to decades of research.
12) “We’re going to live in a world where the air quality in schools is worse after the pandemic, after all of this money,” @marwa_zaatari said. “It’s really sickening.”
13) The sales race is fueled by roughly $193 billion in federal funds allocated to schools for teacher pay and safety upgrades — a giant fund that can be used to buy air cleaners.
14) In April, Global Plasma Solutions said further tests show its devices inactivate covid in the air and on surfaces in larger chambers. The company studies still use about twice the level of ions than its leaders have publicly said the devices can deliver, KHN found.
15) There is virtually no federal oversight or enforcement of safe air-cleaning technology. Only California bans air cleaners that emit a certain amount of ozone.
16) U.S. Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), chair of the education and labor committee, said the federal government typically is not involved in local decisions of what products to buy, although he hopes for more federal guidance.
17) In the meantime, “these school systems are dealing with contractors providing all kinds of services,” he said, “so you just have to trust them to get the best expert advice on what to do.”
18) These go-between contractors — and the air cleaner companies themselves — have a stake in the sales. While their names might appear in school board records, their role in selling the device or commission from the deal is seldom made public, KHN found.
19) A LinkedIn job ad with the logo for one air purifier company, ActivePure Technology, which employs former Trump adviser Dr. Deborah Birx as its chief medical and science adviser, recruited salespeople this way: “Make Tons of Money with this COVID-killing Technology!!”
20) The commission, the post said, is up to $900 per device.
“We have reps [who] made over 6-figures in 1 month selling to 1 school district,” the ad says. “This could be the biggest opportunity you have seen!”
21) Tested in Shoebox, Sold for Classrooms
While New York officials are “not permitting” the installation of ionization devices due to “potential negative health effects,” schools across the state of New Jersey are installing ionizing devices.
22) in Montclair, NJ, parents have been raising hell over the new Global Plasma Solutions’ ionizing devices in their children’s classrooms. The company website promises a product that emits ions like those “created w/ energy from rushing water, crashing waves and even sunlight.”
24) the district spent $635,900 on installing ionizers, which would go in classrooms serving more than 6,000 kids. The devices are often installed in ducts the company founder Charles Waddell said, because the ions that are emitted lose their power after 60 seconds.
25) But the company’s shoebox study and inflated ion blast numbers that helped sell the product last year leave a potential customer with little sense of how the device would perform in a classroom, Zaatari said.
“It’s a high cost for nothing,” Zaatari said.
26) The company has sued her and another air-quality consultant for criticizing their devices. Of the pending case, @marwa_zaatari said it is a David-versus-Goliath situation, but she will not be deterred from speaking on behalf of children.
27) great reporting by @LaurenWeberHP and @By_CJewett.

My colleagues at @smartrestartaps have previously advocated to @MarkWarnerVA @MarkWarner on this exact topic in March too. Glad it’s getting more attention.

28) Actually in February 2021, @smartrestartaps and @APSHearOurVoice and local teachers advocated for more details in funding specifically for only spending money in schools on classes of products that are CDC recommended.
29) Specifically, the CDC only recommends HEPA filters and safe UV devices (including safe upper room UV) on the CDC website that doesn’t harm kids. Detailed thread on CDC recommendations below. 🧵
30) to be clear, the academic scientists do recommend HEPA and certain safe UV products. And portable HEPA filters do work really well. Here is a study on it and #COVID19
31) And for larger venues, upper room UV might be better for very larger rooms. And both HEPA and UV are commended by the CDC directly! But no other product types!
32) And the EPA recommends HEPA portable machines was well - though with enough CADR cleaning capacity for the room it’s used in.
33) Here is a quick summary of the CDC and academic scientist recommended indoor air strategies…
34) Oh hey look, a press release on company Global Plasma Solutions peddling their stuff. This is the infamous company that pushed the sketchy “shoebox” study mentioned above, and company attacking Dr @marwa_zaatari with a junk lawsuit to intimidate her.

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More from @DrEricDing

5 May
📍VARIANT TAILORED VACCINE—Moderna announced that a variant-tailored 3rd dose of the NIH-Moderna vaccine greatly boosted antibody levels in volunteers in a new study. The updated vaccine, tailored against the #B1351 variant from 🇿🇦, worked best.🧵 #COVID19 businessinsider.com/modernas-boost… Image
2) Earlier research, done in petri dishes, suggested the B.1.351 variant was able to partially reduce the effectiveness of leading vaccines, including from Pfizer and Moderna. businessinsider.com/coronavirus-va…
3) How much did the #B1351 variant decrease neutralization from Pfizer and Moderna vaccines? A lot. 20-30x fold drop for Moderna. And 30-40x fold drop for Pfizer - akin to a completely unrelated distant bat coronavirus. While not equal to efficacy, this is a big drop. See 🧵
Read 9 tweets
5 May
Biden waives the vaccine patents. Saving humanity is more important than protecting corporate IP, which taxpayers paid for with our research dollars anyway.

In America, right matters. Saving the world matters. #COVID19 #CovidVaccine
2) Previously, the Trump WH had *blocked* patent waivers where it was first proposed in October 2020!! Let that sink in how much elections matter! washingtonpost.com/health/2021/05…
3) Been yelling about this for weeks. 50 companies stand ready to produce the vaccines. But to fully produce it, the pharma companies need to assist in technical sharing too. We can’t let pharma off the hook.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
Biden waives vaccine patents—process will be slow, but it has begun! American leadership is back! #COVID19 #CovidVaccine

2) The Biden administration supports temporarily lifting intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines and will move forward with international discussions to waive them, its top trade negotiator said on Wednesday.
3) “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures… in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said
Read 5 tweets
5 May
OMG—so good.

“Oh but you read something from Facebook?”

“You heard what? on who’s podcast?”

“Tell your friend on Facebook to stick to jewelry”.

➡️ Listen to doctors and scientists.

Thx @jimmykimmel. #vaccinate #COVID19
2) thank you to all the doctors in the video. And thx again to @JimmyKimmelLive & @jimmykimmel for doing this video.
3) we need to work together to get to herd immunity. Tell your friends and family. Convince them any way you can. Thx 🙏
Read 4 tweets
5 May
Incentives—will a free drink or a $100 payment actually convince anyone to get #COVID19 vaccinated? Maybe, but “It gets at the low-hanging fruit”—people who aren’t actively opposed but may have been too busy to make an appt.

By @Jamie_Ducharme
2) “West Virginia is offering $100 savings bonds to 16- to 35-year-olds who get vaccinated. Maryland will pay fully vaccinated state employees $100. Breweries participating in New Jersey’s “Shot and a Beer” program are giving out free drinks to legal adults who gets vaccinated.
3) “Connecticut and Washington, D.C., are also running free-drink promotions for the inoculated. Harris County, TX, approved $250,000 for vaccine perks like gift cards and freebies. Detroit is handing out $50 prepaid debit cards to those who drive a neighbor to a vaccine clinic.
Read 8 tweets
5 May
While pushing a 1-year old in a baby stroller, an Asian dad was beaten randomly on the streets of San Francisco (Mission Bay).

SF police immediately arrested the 26 year old attacker. Crazier—no words were even exchanged. The attack was completely random.
2) this comes just soon after this other brutal attack in Manhattan in broad daylight against an Asian grandmother.
3) AAPI violence has gotten out of control now.
Read 5 tweets

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