Why Can’t Air Purifiers Be Shipped To California?

Took hours to browse through endless catalogs to choose an air purifier but only to find it can’t be shipped to your address? Well, chances are that you’re from California.

So, why can’t air purifiers be shipped to California?

Well, the main reason behind this is the strict ozone emission laws of the state. Now, you may be wondering how ozone emission ties back to an air purifier.

In this article, we plan to put an end to all the confusion. So, let’s take a look at the real reasons behind air purifiers being banned in California.

Why Can’t Air Purifiers Be Shipped to California?

Not only air purifiers can’t be shipped to California, but they are hardly seen in any store in California. The real reason behind this is the strict ‘Ozone Emission’ Laws of California.

As per the state laws, all air cleaners and purifiers shipped to or sold in California must meet the set emission laws and electronic safety standards. No device with an Ozone generator can emit more than 0.050 ppm or parts per million of ozone. This law was passed back in 2010 and is still strictly maintained.

Sadly, a lot of air purifiers don’t maintain this regulation, and although they promote ozone-free functions, these purifiers end up producing a lot of ozone.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a molecular gas that’s made of three atoms of Oxygen. Oxygen atoms usually exist in a pair, and they’re essential in that state.

However, the addition of another oxygen atom makes the gas deadly.

Thankfully, ozone doesn’t exist naturally in the environment. At least, it’s not supposed to.

Most of the naturally occurring ozone exists far up in the stratosphere due to UV radiation, but that Ozone layer actually protects us from UV rays.

On the other hand, when the devices present in our proximity start producing ozone, it can be harmful to us.

How Can Ozone Harm You?

Ozone can react adversely when it comes in contact with us. Within hours of contact, one may suffer from a cough and be short of air. This is because ozone first enters through our breathing and irritates the respiratory tract.

Slowly, it will damage your lungs. If exposed to ozone for a long time, it can even lead to death. So, it’s not something you want to be around.

It’s important to note that not all air purifiers produce ozone. Moreover, different air purifiers may produce different amounts of ozone.

How Much Ozone Do Air Purifiers Produce?

Also, manufacturers aren’t always honest about how much ozone their devices produce. This is why it’s comparatively tough to determine the amount of ozone produced by a specific device.

However, on average, an ozone generator present in different devices emits more than five thousand milligrams of ozone.

This is unhealthy for living conditions, so air purifiers that produce ozone are banned in California. In fact, they shouldn’t be used by anyone at all if they’re producing ozone over the safety levels.

Ozone-based air purifiers kill airborne bacteria and germs. Now, there’s a marketing catch in air purifiers.

A lot of air purifiers claim to produce ozone below health standards. However, air purifiers that emit ozone below safety standards can’t do any of these.

So, it’s better to avoid ozone-emitting air purifiers altogether.

How Do You Know If Your Air Purifier Produces Ozone or Not?

There are two types of air purifiers on the market. There are ‘Ionic Air Purifiers’, and then there are ‘purifiers with ‘Ozone Generators.’ Evidently, air purifiers with ozone generators produce ozone only.

On the other hand, ionic air purifiers use high-efficiency particulate air filters, also known as HEPA filters, to clean the air of any particles.

Unlike ozone generators that must produce ozone to clean the air, these have to produce electronic charges.

That being said, there are certain ionic air purifiers that also produce ozone. However, the percentage of such purifiers is rather low.

So, the main way of ascertaining whether your air purifier produces ozone or not is to check its label.

If it says “Electronic” on the product type, then it produces ozone. The devices with a “Mechanical” label on them don’t produce ozone.

This is because electronic air purifiers may be capable of generating ozone. On the other hand, mechanical purifiers work solely with HEPA filters, so the chances of producing ozone are zero.

How Can You Buy an Air Purifier in California?

As you can see, getting an air purifier in California can be rather tough, as most air purifiers out there come with an ozone generator.

However, there are a handful of brands that produce ozone-free air purifiers, and you can get them in California.

Thankfully, CARB, or known as California Air Resources Board, has created a list of such brands. These devices either produce no ozone or their ozone emission level is very low, so they are safe to use. See the list of air purifiers certified by CARB here.


As you can see, a lot of air purifiers, especially electronic ones, come with ozone generators. Even if they don’t have ozone generators, there’s still a chance that they emit ozone.

So, due to the strict rules of California, these purifiers aren’t allowed there. This answers your question why can’t air purifiers be shipped to California?

So, what to do if you really need an air purifier?

Just get a mechanical air purifier, as these don’t produce any ozone at all. Or you can also check the purifiers enlisted by CARB, as this list contains all the purifiers allowed in California.

  1. California’s Regulation to Limit Ozone Emissions from Indoor Air Cleaning Devices | California Air Resources Board
  2. Why Can’t I Have An Air Purifier Shipped To California? (aircaring.com)
  3. Air Purifiers that Produce Ozone May Be Hurting Your Health – Rabbit Air.

Last Updated on May 27, 2023

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Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

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