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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I have been trying to find out any (pro/con) feedback about the rgp phi cells. I have been searching the archives and trying to sort it out.... I figured I would post a new thread and to get some answers. I have been selling several to customers (approx 12) and before I really get going with more I would like to know how everyone feels about this product and any concerns..... The ozone which was one of my concerns appears to be small amounts. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this has been posted before I tried to find what I was looking for but too many threads to sort through....Thanks

    We are not an ozone generating product. We conform to UL 867 for ozone generating devices which requires any product to produce less than .05 ppm. We produce in the area of .01 ppm. This is less than a copy machine.

  2. #2
    We had a thread on this just a few weeks ago. Read the "What about the PHI air cleaners?" posts. Suffice it to say - "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

    Case in point. Let's talk about the ozone issue. If you go to the RGF site, ozone is all over the place. Yet you say they say that they say: "We conform to UL867 for ozone generating devices which requires any product to produce less than .05 ppm (50 ppb). We produce in the area of .01 ppm (10 ppb)."

    UL of course stands for Underwriters Laboratories. You can't "conform to UL867 for ozone generating devices" unless you have been tested by UL. The UL867 test protocol is very specific and is designed for stand-alone ozone generating devices. I was not able to find any indication that the PHI devices are UL tested or listed.

    In addition, if you do some more research you will find that this company has done their own tests showing ozone counts in the 30 to 40 ppb range with at least one over 50 ppb.

    Given that information, are you confident that the indoor air chemistry created by the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generated by this device is on the money for all contaminants found in the indoor environments of your customers? I wouldn't bet on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Lubbock Texas
    Breatheasy I think you are sand bagging a little on this subject. I found this article on the Internet this spring from whom I would assume is you or some one in your office and I would say it is sound evidence of why not to use this product. A really a good piece of work.
    Jim they are using a High Output UVGI bulb which creates a ozone right at the surface of the bulb. Their cell to be honest with you doesn't sample enough of the air stream to be really effective with the TI02 (Photocatalysis) And purposely creating ozone with the UV bulb in a confined space will concentrate it and carry out in to the airstream . Here is an article I found a while back about it that will answer all your questions.
    Paul Roberts
    Genesis Air Inc
    Field Tech Rep& Applications

    Concerns Raised about Safety and Effectiveness of Photohydroionization
    By Jim Rosenthal, 3/23/2006
    Test results purporting to show the effectiveness of the devices raise more questions than they answer.

    In response to our questions concerning the effectiveness and safety of the RGF Photohydrionization (PHI) technology for use in air conditioning and heating equipment, we just received a "Validation Verification" produced by RGF regarding their system to be used for "indoor air and surface treatment." This was signed by James A. Hart, a chemical engineer employed by RGF and an attorney by the name of Sharon B. Rinehimer. It listed a number of tests and testimonials on their product. The purpose of the letter was to state that they have "reviewed and concur" with the results.

    The Verification did not mention that James A. Hart was employed by RGF or whether or not there is a connection between Ms. Rinehimer and the company. RGF produces products for Shaklee and Ecoquest International (formerly Alpine) and many of the tests mentioned in this verification were conducted for these companies. We have done some additional research into these tests and have found out some interesting information.

    The first test listed is from the California Microbiology Associates done by a Dr. Dee Graham. The test shows reductions in mold counts in air samples taken from two dwellings. The test protocol is suspect in that there were no "controls" taken of outside air. Interior mold counts track mold counts outside.

    More interesting is the fact that the ozone readings "intermittently exceeded 0.05 parts per million (ppm) or 50 parts per billion (ppb) in both homes." Yet the verification specifically states that the ozone levels produced by the RGF device are "0.1 to 0.2 ppm (10 to 20 ppb)" and that "0.05 ppm (50 ppb) is the Federal safe limit for ozone." There is also a "Note" that says "0.1 to 0.2 ppm is equal to the ozone levels in the country or forest."

    It is obvious from this document and other RGF materials that they are concerned about the amount of ozone produced by their devices. Given the recent negative publicity regarding devices that generate ozone in Consumer Reports, from the American Lung Association, from the California Air Resources Board and from the EPA, they have good reason to be. We have covered the problems with ozone exposure in some detail in the Articles section of this website. These articles have extensive Bibliographies listing reliable sources of information on ozone. Suffice it to say that it is a lung irritant, a known trigger for asthma and can cause chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. It should not be used around the ill, infirm, young or elderly. Many factors affect ozone concentrations produced by machines that generate ozone including the amount of ozone produced by the machines, the size of the indoor space, the amount of material in the room with which ozone reacts, the outdoor ozone concentration and the amount of ventilation. These factors make it difficult to control ozone concentrations. No governmental agency sets ozone limits for air cleaning devices. The 50 ppb reference in the literature refers to the FDA limit set for medical devices. However, even lower levels of ozone can be cause for concern. For example in a recent study conducted by researchers from Yale University led by Michelle Bell and published in JAMA it was found that just a 10 ppb increase in the previous week's ambient ozone concentration was associated with a 0.52% increase in daily mortality or roughly an additional 3,700 deaths per year in the cities in the study. As Dr.Jonathan Samet, M.D., chairman of the epidemiology department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a May 2005 Consumer Reports article: "We cannot guarantee safety at any ozone level, so it makes sense not to contaminate your living space."

    The second tests were conducted by RGF staff led by Jim Hart, RGF Director of Engineering, aka James A. Hart. These tests were conducted in the office restroom and the test procedure is described as: "Wear sterile gloves, face mask, etc. At each interval perform a centrifugal test and a settling plate test." Significant mold count decreases were recorded but it is unclear whether these mold count reductions were due to the fact that the room was closed and new mold spores were not introduced into the environment. These results could conceivably also have been achieved by gravity and the settling of the mold spores in the room. No ozone measurements were recorded in the bathroom.

    The same team lead by Jim Hart also conducted tests of ozone concentrations in a 2,000 cubic foot room in a private residence, an 832 cubic foot office and a 1,000 cubic foot poly lined test chamber. The only test plan and procedure mentioned is "all six ozone meters were tested in the chamber for 48 hours to determine test variations." There is no mention of how close the meters were to the devices as is standard protocol. Ozone levels recorded were between .02 ppm (20 ppb) and 0.04 ppm (40 ppb). Again it is interesting to note that the aforementioned "Verification" stated that the ozone levels created by the device were between 0.01 ppm and 0.02 ppm.

    Another test mentioned was from Kansas State University and had to do with the performance of RGF devices on mold and bacteria. This was led by the food scientist, Dr. James Marsden. Unfortunately, the study had nothing to do with indoor air. Testing was done on the effectiveness of the devices on "reducing microbial populations on stainless steel surfaces." Indoor air chemistry is unique and one cannot make any assumptions about how devices might perform based on tests on any other medium.

    Reference is also made about the effectiveness of the devices by a Dr. Wecht, the former Allegheny County Coroner. Actually, the statements made by Dr. Wecht are in the form of a testimonial and are not based on test results. Dr. Wecht has resigned his position and is currently under an 84-count indictment for using his office for personal gain. Althought the indictment has nothing to do with his testimonial, it would be prudent to have some statement from him that he has no financial connection to RGF or the sale of any of the products.

    Other tests were performed by Performance Analytical on the reduction of "odors and VOC's." In the tests for odors 5 chemicals with distinctive odors were introduced into a chamber with a PHI device. To measure odor reduction the people at Performance Analytical measured the reduction in these 5 gasses. They did no measurements of other chemcals or compounds in the chamber. They did not do particle counts or ozone measurements. The real question is what was created by the chemical reactions between the odorous compounds in the chamber and the chemicals produced by the PHI device. As we have seen in numerous peer reviewed studies, the byproducts of these chemical reactions are often more dangerous than the original chemicals themselves.

    In the case of VOC's, Performance Analytical introduced 2 VOC's into the chamber with the device in operation. The VOC's were d-limonene and styrene. They measured the VOC's in the chamber at set intervals. They found that the d-limonene was reduced by 84% greater than the control and that the styrene was reduced 31% greater than the control. They did not measure other chemicals or compounds in the chamber nor did they do particle or ozone counts. The results of these tests are not surprising. The VOC d-limonene is a terpene. It is well known that terpenes react with ozone to create millions of sub-micron sized particles. The fact that the d-limonene was reduced by 84% is a good indication that intense chemical reactions took place. It is almost certain that the particle counts in the chamber were extremely high. What is surprising is that the people at RGF would not be aware of this phenomenon. Numerous studies have been done on ozone/terpene reactions (see the Articles and Studies section of this website) and they are a cause for concern at the EPA and among indoor air scientists and engineers.

    What is very troubling about all of these studies, tests or testimonials is that NONE of them have been done with PHI cells mounted in air conditioning and heating systems. Yet the results of the tests have been used to substantiate the effectiveness of the devices for that purpose. Of particular concern is that no tests have been presented showing the effects of the PHI technology on the components of the HVAC system. The combination of UV light, ozone and hydroxyl radicals will be extremely detrimental to anything made out of plastic, rubber, neoprene or any other organic chemical compound. It is likely that things like wire, tape, seals, mastic and flex duct will also "oxidize", become brittle and fail prematurely.

    To summarize, a review of what we can find out about the tests "verified" by RGF raises more questions than it answers. The tests have either not been conducted by independent third parties, are not concerning the effectiveness of the products in indoor air, have not followed standard scientific protocols, are inconsistent or are incomplete. They certainly do not support the stated levels of effectiveness of the device - nor do they attest to the safety of operating this device in conjunction with occupied spaces.

  4. #4
    Yea, that article looks familiar. It came about after I attended a meeting where someone was promoting the PHI cell for use in nursing homes where over half of the residents have COPD or emphysema. When they claimed that it was effective against the Avian Flu, I became a bit skeptical. I became even more skeptical when they told me they could explain how the device worked but it would take at least 4 hours to cover the "science." (I am not sure what they would have done with me after I understood the "science.")

    The UL867 reference on ozone generation is just another example of stretching the truth on this product. You are either UL867 listed or you are not. I have not been able to find where they are listed.

  5. #5
    Well breatheasy why don't you call Kansas State University (Dr James Marsden) and ask what the results of the Avian flu Inactivation test were. I don't remember the exact number but it killed 199,000+ cells in 12 hrs on stainless steel in other conditions it may take longer. I think you are failing to understand the technology. If you are a single celled organism, you cannot foster microbial resistence to being oxidised. H2O2 is a stronger oxidiser than bleach and is created by PHI/RCI Technology

  6. #6
    Note that the Avian Flu tests were for a different form than the lethal one, and on surfaces. Yes, they were found effective - and with minimal ozone level measurements.
    Believe it or not, some of the "E" systems are being tested by UL - and everything that is submitted has passed as far as I've heard. Keep in mind that the UL doesn't mean squat when it comes to health and effectiveness when implemented. Do you see UL on any of the SC Johnson cleansers?
    The EPA determined that air fresheners can create cancer causing chemicals when exposed to outside air, yet you don't see the same controversy!
    Look at the dates on any tests performed, as the technology continues to change and improve. The catalyst mix and designs continue to change.
    When a problem is identified, the smart people try to find a way to overcome it.
    Just remember, it is easy to create problems - look at lead paint, petroleum products, and many of the other "healthy products" that have been developed over the years. Mercury in your flu shot anyone? Fluoride in your water? Copper on your boat paint?

  7. #7
    That was right on Syntrop, Genesis' system looks promising too...

  8. #8
    Their system works extremely well, and as Genesis states, their market is quite a bit different for the most part.
    There is a lot of market, and the key is selling the right solution. If I'm talking to a casino, I have no problem recommending that they try Genesis over anything else on the market - as well as using multiple carbon combination with appropriate 30% and 95% particulate filtration.
    If you are marketing to the home owner and small businesses, it is an entirely different set of solutions to most of their problems.

  9. #9

    Question Any Updates to this Issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimhvac86 View Post
    I have been trying to find out any (pro/con) feedback about the rgp phi cells. I have been searching the archives and trying to sort it out.... I figured I would post a new thread and to get some answers. I have been selling several to customers (approx 12) and before I really get going with more I would like to know how everyone feels about this product and any concerns..... The ozone which was one of my concerns appears to be small amounts. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this has been posted before I tried to find what I was looking for but too many threads to sort through....Thanks

    We are not an ozone generating product. We conform to UL 867 for ozone generating devices which requires any product to produce less than .05 ppm. We produce in the area of .01 ppm. This is less than a copy machine.

    I am interested in this product and wonder if there have been any updates?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Central FL

    PHI is great

    Eco-Quest and the Guardian / Air Knight are 2 different products. Eco-Quest was made to have some ozone output. The Guardian and Air Knight do not have Ozone output as part of it air purification process. Like any electrical device they do have some type of ozone output do to the nature of being electrical but it is a purely negligible amount.

    I have had mine in my home for over 3 years. Tough product to articulate if you have never heard about any of the related processes in the past. (Similar to PCO understanding)

    I have tried everythign in my home at one time or another and this is the first product where I could tell the difference within 24 hours. Decide on your own, but this has been nothing but a winner for us with a very devoted following.

    PHI Fan!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    It just doesn't make sense to me that you'd want to breathe something that is toxic. If it's killing mold, bacteria and inactivates viruses, it's toxic to carbon-based life forms. That's you and me too. People have made the point that there's an optimum dosage where it kills mold without really affecting people. If that's the case, I'd like to see reproducible measurements of the generated chemicals, and clinical trials.
    -If you won't turn it on then nothing else matters.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Central FL

    PHI is great

    pmeunier...While I understand your conceptual statement, that is a pretty "Broad Brush Stroke" to try and lump into 1 category and seems a little over aggressive. I think RGF the manufacturer has done a pretty good job of compiling their data and testing. (Many from independent providers...such as Kansas State University, Midwest research Institute, California Microbilogy Center, etc.)

    Everything that is being put out into the air exists in our air is just dependent on the levels that anything or anyone is exposed to that determines if it is unhealthy or causes and unhealthy reaction. A dustmite usually does not survive at under 30% relative humidity. Meanwhile, we as humans seem to do just fine. I recommend going to and looking at their data and "clinical trials". Yes they manufacture some items that you would only use in remediation projects or unoccupied spaces, but that is not all they do.

    Appreciate your concerns however.

  13. #13
    The "studies" touted by RGF are either anecdotal or psuedo-science. They are not clinical trials. A clinical trial would be a double-blind study using real people to determine if the product had any health benefits.

    It is interesting that none of the studies in the RGF literature or website test their units in real life environments. Assumptions made about the effectiveness of the devices used in actual HVAC systems are invalid when based on tests run in chambers.

    It is frustrating for me to see this misuse of science and the lack of critical thinking of those who continue to sell this product.

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