The Olympic Games represent an international tradition where the spirit of competition and sport supersedes borders and promotes unity among nations. The 2008 Olympics have been a topic of intense discussion for citizens around the world because of the decision of the International Olympic Committee to host the games in Beijing. Many have questioned the Committee’s decision to host the games in China’s capital city due to a variety of factors, including concerns over human rights and the environment.
As a company who has a keen interest in air quality, the GoVacuum team was interested to hear that IQAir, our leading brand of air purifiers, was supporting the U.S. Olympic team by providing them with high quality air purifiers to be put in the athlete’s housing accommodations and training facilities. Considering the high level of pollution in Beijing (see graph below), the air purifiers will be a true gift for the American athletes. Having met the President of IQAir, Frank Hammes, personally, I am not at all surprised of his commitment and generosity towards improving the air quality of athletes at such an important event.
My only question, however, is how come, as an international company, IQAir didn’t make a broader effort to improve the air quality of the entire event by housing air purifiers in all the major stadiums and event grounds for the Olympics?
Air Pollution in Beijing Graph (Source: BBC News)
I’m posting the IQAir Press Release that GoVacuum received earlier today for your viewing pleasure.
“IQAir Press Release
IQAir Top News
IQAir to Provide U. S. Athletes With Ultra-High Efficiency Air Cleaning at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. July 29, 2008 – IQAir announced today they are providing the U. S. Olympic Committee (USOC) with ultra-high efficiency air cleaning for USA athletes at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to help create the optimum performance environment.
“We are very proud to be able to support the performance efforts of the USOC in Beijing,” says Frank Hammes, President of IQAir. “The USOC is always looking for new and innovative ways to assist their athletes. This project will be the first time ultra-high efficiency air cleaning is used on a large scale to provide performance enhancement at an athletic event.”
In November of 2007, a team of IQAir experts and the USOC traveled to Beijing to examine indoor spaces that would be used by USA athletes.
“Our goal is to ensure that we do everything possible to provide the very best training and performance advantages we can for our athletes,” says Margaret Hunt, medical director for the USOC. “We feel that while all athletes will appreciate our efforts with IQAir, athletes with asthma will especially benefit.” The project, dubbed “Operation Clean Air,” will utilize IQAir’s HealthPro Series room air purifiers in athletes’ bedrooms. For large training areas, IQAir has designed special facility-sized portable and installed air cleaning systems. IQAir will also be adding ultra high efficiency filtration to the heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) systems in buildings. The air cleaning systems are tested and certified to filter ultra-fine particles down to 0.003 microns, smaller than the smallest virus. They are based on technology IQAir uses in hospitals around the world to filter particles as small as the SARS virus, MRSA, and tuberculosis.
In addition to eliminating ultra-fine particles, IQAir’s systems will also provide comprehensive gas and chemical filtration.
“All large cities suffer from a wide range of gaseous pollutants. These are byproducts of traffic, manufacturing, industry, and other sources,” says Hammes. “Gases and chemicals require a different type of filtration than particulates. And while most consumer products do not address this important aspect of air cleaning, IQAir systems contain the most advanced gas-phase filtration available.”
IQAir’s air cleaning systems are currently being stored in Beijing for installation and placement for the USOC later this month.
IQAir North America, Inc. is a member of the Swiss-based IQAir Group which has over 45 years experience in the design and manufacturing of ultra-high efficiency air purification systems. IQAir offers clean air solutions for a wide range of applications, from commercial air cleaning systems for hospitals and other critical environments to products for homes, offices, and hotels. IQAir is the American Lung Association’s exclusive educational partner from the air purifier industry. IQAir products have earned the Best Buy recommendations of Consumers Digest, Consumers Guide, Reviewboard Magazine, Consumer Search, as well as the top recommendation of the prestigious German government product testing organization, Stiftung Warentest.”