A version of this story originally appeared on NoCamels – Israeli Environment News
By David Allouche
If like me, you believe probiotics – pills that contain billions of “good bacteria” – are helpful for digestion, then you may like this new technology developed by Israeli cleantech company Better Air.
The company has created a system that improves the quality of the air we breathe by inserting probiotics into air conditioning systems at home, in the office or in hospitals.
The system, called BioZone, is meant to reduce contamination, mold, allergies, etc.
CEO Yuli Horesh tells NoCamels: “Instead of chemicals, our technology utilizes safe and beneficial bacteria and enzymes, like millions of tiny workers, that physically actually works down to the microscopic level, removing dirt, allergens and other contaminants. Probiotics are as safe for your skin and for surfaces as yogurt is for the inside of your body.”
Fighting the Sick Building Syndrome
Better Air says it developed BioZone to counter what is known as fight the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), which describes situations in which building occupants experience health problems that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.
The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term Building Related Illness (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness can be directly attributed to specific contaminants that usually come from the ventilation system.
The AC impact
One of the most known factors and causes for problematic indoor air quality is air conditioning systems. According to Better Air, while operating, AC systems create high amounts of moisture and are almost always subject to extreme temperature changes, as the AC system cycles on and off.
This wet, damp and sometimes cold or warm environment is an ideal breeding ground for mold and pathogenic bacteria spores. This affects the ducts and air passages as well, and the bacteria are ultimately blown out through the AC shutters.
Other physical symptoms related to air conditioning include cough, chest tightness, fever, chills, muscle aches, and allergic responses such as mucous membrane irritation and upper respiratory congestion.
Horesh tells NoCamels that BioZone can counter many of the physical effects that are usually tied to AC systems.
“BioZone is for all indoor environments, where mechanical air systems are applied such as buildings, airplanes, trains and busses,” Horesh explains. Better Air’s system is targeted especially to hospitals, retirement homes and restaurants.
Tested as efficient
According to the Israeli website Globes, Better Air began marketing its product in Israel, in addition to a cooperation with a European manufacturer of probiotic hospital cleaning supplies. The company also has an agreement with Hilton hotels in the UK.
Better Air, based in Rishon LeZion, Israel, has 14 employees and has raised NIS 8 million (approximately $2 million) from private investors.
Photo by wyinoue