To the Editor:
By installing needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) units in all 6 Larchmont/Mamaroneck schools against New York State Dept of Health guidance, the Mamaroneck Board of Education and Superintendent Shaps is putting students and staff at risk for covid and unknown future respiratory problems.
We’ve learned that even here in Westchester County misinformation can drive leaders to make bad decisions. Despite now knowing NPBI has little to no independent 3rd party evidence of its basic safety and effectiveness, the Board and Superintendent Shaps defend its use by recounting the marketing claims of the NPBI salespeople.
The decision to install the NPBI was well-intended; our HVAC systems are old and the sales pitch was alluring. The pitch of ‘easy to install, easy to maintain, not expensive, and very effective’ must have felt like a prayer answered in 2020. There’s no shame in falling for a well-honed sales pitch at a time of unprecedented stress, but there is shame in now knowing that the technology is hazardous to developing lungs and still choosing to keep it running in our schools. We can still work together with the Board so all people who breathe inside Larchmont and Mamaroneck schools are safe.
There is no real debate on NPBI, aside from the misinformation campaign led by the people selling it to under informed buyers. The reality is that every expert and reputable health organization, including the EPA, CDC,State departments of Health, ASHRAE, US Department of Education and scientists globally, warn against use of NPBI because there is little credible evidence of its basic safety and effectiveness.
The Board and Superintendent’s rebuttal is straight from the manufacturer’s misinformation sales pitch. They respond saying that the manufacturer says it works, that their ionization technology is new and great, that prestigious places like Harvard use NPBI. All of that is irrelevant. Manufacturers do not have independent third-party research to back up their claims; experts in the field do not recommend ionizers.
The Board wants to believe that passing the ozone test they commissioned proves NPBI is safe. Unfortunately, ozone is just one of many hazards associated with NPBI so no matter the result, NPBI has no place in our schools.
We’ve been shocked that misinformation from a sales pitch could take hold of leaders in Westchester County. The MUFSD Board needs to disable and remove the NPBI units immediately. They won’t do it until the community rises up in an even bigger way. Let’s remind them there’s no shame in having fallen for the sales pitch, but now that they know better, they must act.
We invite the community to learn more atwww.mufsdairquality.com and to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 8 pm for a 30 minute Expert Panel on Zoom with distinguished scientist, Dr. Douglas Collins, to learn more about the scientific consensus on NPBI & what we can do about it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.mufsdairquality.com for the zoom link.
Jordana Viuker Brennan, LEED AP, BPI BA, WELL AP, Mamaroneck
Sean Brennan, P.E., Mamaroneck
Carmine Castellano, Larchmont
Bryan Cummings, Ph.D., Larchmont
Melanie Fernandez, Ph.D., Larchmont
Danielle Peterson-Robles, Larchmont
Johnathan Peterson-Robles, Larchmont
Jonathan Tobkes, M.D., Larchmont
Taylor Tobkes, M.D., Larchmont