Published September 25, 2013
There are unseen dangers in your home -- and the stuff in your TV could save you from them.
A new device, shaped like a small garbage can and about as big, creates a plasma field similar to that in a flat-screen television, which emits billions of harmless electrons, Novaerus exclusively tells FoxNews.com.
It emanates no heat. It constantly draws in the air around it. Harmful particles in that air are exposed to an electromagnetic field, and ultimately the genetic material inside the airborne bug is rendered harmless -- meaning they can't mutate or recombine.
“The plasma field can destroy the protein bio-films of viruses, break down the cell walls of bacteria and mold, allergens and odors,” said Kevin Maughan, the founder of Novaerus. “It eradicates 100 percent of airborne pathogens and reduces microbial surface counts by up to 90 percent.”
These and other gadgets are part of any well-connected modern digital home. They monitor problems and send alerts directly to your phone or tablet, even when you're not at home, and aim to solve a growing healthcare problem: superbugs.
Radon gas emitted by the soil near a home’s foundation and the mold that collects in the walls and ceiling are already well known as silent killers. But new dangers like Volatile Organic Compounds released by household items like paint are also making us sick. And, so-called superbugs like MRSA kill about 23,000 people each year, according to a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“MRSA is one of the most serious problems,” Dr. Steve Solomon, the director of the CDC’s Office of Antimicrobial Resistance in Atlanta, told FoxNews.com. “The first cases were reported in the 60s, but it has grown and is a more common problem -- especially in hospitals. But it can be found outside of hospitals as it becomes more resistant to antibiotics.”
Both MRSA and Clostridium Difficile can infect people who have built up a resistance to antibiotics. Last month, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an outbreak of MSRA in their locker room; a high school in Indiana had a similar outbreak.
The CDC told FoxNews.com that superbugs are not normally transmitted over the air from one patient to another, but rather by directly sneezing or coughing on someone. If there is a chance of these pathogens transmitting over the air, Novaerus says they will remove them 99.9 percent of the time.
Current hospital-only products such as the Novaerus NV600 treat an area about 600-square-feet. Maughan says the company plans to release consumer models, one for the bedroom and one for the living room, in mid to late 2014 at a cost of about $500-$900 each. The devices use about the same power as a light bulb and require no setup -- you plug them in and power up.
Other new tech gadgets can help monitor and remove airborne toxins as well. And companies like CubeSensors, Netatmo and Canary offer products to spot pollutants, monitor for carbon dioxide, track temperature fluctuations, and watch for dangers like mold and radon.
The Netatmo Weather Station, connects to your phone or tablet. The device can warn you about temperature fluctuations and high noise levels; if there is a problem with air quality such as a high level of carbon monoxide, you get an alert.
Another product, the CubeSensors, can detect volatile organic compounds, gases like formaldehyde and benzene that are emitted by paints, carpets, copier machines and many other home devices. If these gases are detected in your home, the device will flash red and send an alert to your phone or tablet as a warning.
Ales Spetic, the CEO of CubeSensors, told FoxNews.com devices like his are important because we are spending more and more time indoors, and because there is very little data about the toxins present in the typical home.
Fortunately, the connected home will be smart enough to detect them -- and warn you about safety hazards.