Falsely Advertised?: Class Action Claims Global Plasma Solutions’ Air Cleaning Products ‘Make the Air Worse’
by Erin Shaak
A proposed class action filed this week claims Global Plasma Solutions Inc. has misrepresented its commercial air treatment systems’ ability to clean the air of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the virus that causes COVID-19.
According to the 111-page lawsuit out of Delaware federal court, the defendant’s products actually “make the air worse for people” by producing harmful byproducts. Further, the company’s claims that its products can kill the COVID-19 virus are allegedly based on “unvalidated” testing methods that are not representative of real-world conditions.
In all, the case claims Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) has placed “profits over people” by engaging in “false, deceptive, and misleading” advertising aimed at concealing from the public that the products are, in reality, “incapable of performing as marketed.”
The lawsuit first takes aim at GPS’s patented Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) technology, described in the complaint as “the backbone” of the company’s products. All seven of GPS’s air treatment systems, which include the GPS-FC48-AC, GPS-FC24-AC, GPS-DM48-AC, GPS-FC-3-BAS, GPS-IMOD, GPS-IRIB-18 and GPS-IRIB-36, utilize NPBI technology, the case says.
According to the suit, the defendant represents that its products’ NPBI technology is superior to other air treatment methods, can eliminate harmful VOCs, allows no harmful byproducts to be emitted, and produces cleaner air, including by removing toxins such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that GPS’s representations “failed to hold up” when placed under the microscope by independent academic studies and industry watchdogs.
While the defendant represents that its NPBI technology—which purportedly uses an ionization field to break down compounds into oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor—can clean the air and eliminate VOCs, a panel of scientists from three universities released an article in February 2021 in which they concluded that GPS’s bipolar ionization technology “was ineffective in addressing the air pollutants that it’s advertised to remove from the space,” the suit says.
Citing the study, the lawsuit further claims the defendant’s GPS-FC48-AC device, while decreasing the levels of some VOCs, actually introduces other harmful compounds, such as acetone, ethanol and toluene, into the air.
“In other words,” the complaint states, “Defendant’s GPS-FC48-AC device does not clean the air and produce a healthy environment. Rather, it trades one group of harmful chemicals for another group of harmful chemicals.”
Per the case, acetone, ethanol and toluene are toxic substances that can cause health issues ranging from nose, throat, lung and eye irritation to fertility issues, harm to unborn children, and damage to the brain, muscles, heart, liver and kidneys.
GPS’s COVID-19 Claims
The lawsuit goes on to challenge the company’s claims that its air cleaning products can kill the COVID-19 virus.
The suit cites a technical assessment of bipolar ionization performed by Boeing that, according to the case, shows that the defendant’s technology cannot clean the air at the rates claimed by its apparently “independent testing.” Per the lawsuit, Boeing’s test found that the use of air ionization “remains inconclusive” as an effective means of disinfecting airplanes during the COVID-19 pandemic given the company’s “limited testing” was unable to reproduce supplier results within an airplane environment.
Per the lawsuit, GPS’s purportedly “independent studies” were actually company funded and failed to reflect real-world situations when it comes to COVID-19 transmission.
“In other words, in a real world application, ionization is not effective against COVID-19 transmission,” the complaint states.
According to the suit, it was GPS’s intent to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by publishing misleading representations about its products, which were then repeated by third-party publications “without question,” to drum up publicity and “construct a veneer of credibility around their falsehoods.”
As a result, the case says, consumers relied on the defendant’s representations and purchased the air treatment products believing they were the best systems available when, in reality, “they were purchasing systems that produce harmful byproducts and are largely ineffective.”
Who Does the Lawsuit Look to Cover?
The case looks to represent anyone in the U.S. who purchased Global Plasma Solutions’ needlepoint bipolar ionization air treatment products.
The lawsuit also proposes state-specific subclasses of those who purchased the products in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
How Do I Join the Lawsuit?
There’s nothing you need to do to join the lawsuit at this time. If the case moves forward and settles, that’s when those affected would have an opportunity to claim whatever compensation the court deems appropriate.
How Can I Stay Updated on the Case?
We’ll do our best to post any notable updates on this page, so check back here for more information. Just keep in mind that it can often take months or even years for a lawsuit to be resolved, settled, or dismissed.
You can also click here to sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter, where you’ll find the latest information about class action news, updates and settlements.
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