Some question whether the purchase was a good use of taxpayer dollars, noting that the company behind the systems is at the center of the federal lawsuit.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – You paid for it! More than $ 25 million has been spent installing air purification systems at Shelby County Jail and Shelby County schools to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Some wondered if this was money well spent.
Global Plasma Solutions has said its devices can remove almost all of the coronavirus from the air, but the company and its ionizing machines are at the center of a federal lawsuit.
“Anytime you have a large amount of money that the government throws away, it tends to be wasted,” Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright said.
Wright was surprised to learn that over $ 1 million had been spent installing the system at the jail, and approximately over $ 24 million had been spent installing Global Plasma Solution systems at various schools across the county. by Shelby. The aim was to improve ventilation.
According to the company’s website, “patented needle-tip ionization technology safely introduces ions into the airflow using the airflow in your ventilation as a delivery system.” A video explains As the ions travel through the room, the pathogens are destroyed.
But a recently filed lawsuit calls into question its effectiveness.
According to the lawsuit, the company is preying on people desperate to purify the air and protect themselves from COVID-19, and uses deceptive marketing tactics.
“What we do know is that they spent money on unproven technology,” said Josh Spickler.
Spickler runs Just City, a nonprofit that aims to get people out of jail. Spickler wonders why the ionization system was installed in the Shelby County Jail.
The county spent more than $ 1 million to install the system after Spickler and others filed a complaint and raised questions about the conditions of detainees being held and the spread of COVID-19.
“Ionizers are not the solution people in jail need. We brought this complaint to protect people in jail and it is the duty of Shelby County and the Sheriff to protect his people in buildings.” , Spickler said.
Spickler said that instead of installing the ionizers, the sheriff should have focused on improving the flow and quality of the air.
As for the money spent on the system, Sheriff Floyd Bonner said, “We’re all trying to do our best with this.”
When asked if this was a good use of a million dollars?
“Again, not knowing the science behind COVID, you are trying to do what you can do to be as safe as possible,” Bonner said. “I feel like it was a great investment not only to ensure the safety of inmates, but also of employees. “
“It looks like several million dollars have been spent on this, so taxpayers should definitely be concerned with how it happened, where the money is going and what commission will keep track of it as well,” Wright said.
A spokesperson for Shelby County Schools said the project installation was 85% complete and the money spent on this project was not coming from the general fund or other local dollars. They said the money for it came from COVID relief funds. The statement also said that the district partially researched and verified the air quality systems and that the system met their requirements. The neighborhood made this video explaining ventilation.
The spokesperson said that when researching and verifying indoor air quality solutions, their review identified NPBI as the type of technology that meets their requirements to provide an efficient, competitive type of solution. and safe for improving indoor air quality, minimizing the spread of aerosol-based contaminants and diseases.
A press release also indicates that the district is committed to providing the best services and support to our students.
RELATED: ACLU, Just City File Complaint Requesting Release of Shelby County Inmates Vulnerable to COVID-19
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According to the spokesperson for Global Plasma Solutions:
The dispute is without merit and is based on faulty assumptions and poorly conducted tests, which is why GPS quickly filed a motion to dismiss the complaint filed by a professional complainant. GPS defends its products and its claims.
GPS is proud to be a national leader in providing innovative indoor air quality solutions. Our company was established in 2008 to bring the benefits of ionization without the harmful by-products of older or less advanced technologies. Our low power Needlepoint bipolar ionization technology, which is installed in over 250,000 locations, is different and meets stringent ozone-free safety standards (EPA, CDC, ASHRAE).
GPS has performed hundreds of hours of testing in trusted third party laboratories to evaluate and validate its products. These tests should not be ruled out simply because GPS ordered them. We also work with a number of customers who, due to the nature of their facilities, continuously monitor their air quality and prove the benefits of NPBI every day.
We would like to see many more academic institutions and agencies involved in this research – and we are actively advocating for clear national standards to guide this research and help minimize the confusion many see in the market.
Bipolar needle ionization is not a quick fix and has never been positioned as such. Rather, it is designed to work as part of a complete, carefully designed and professionally installed HVAC system that includes filtration. Tests in third-party laboratories have been shown to be effective in reducing SAR-CoV-2 in large laboratories.
GPS is and has been deeply committed to science and transparency. As part of this commitment, we have invested over $ 1 million in testing in the past year alone. We work closely with some of the country’s most trusted independent research laboratories to review, refine and validate the safety and effectiveness of our technology. We also have advanced testing centers in Charlotte, NC and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
GPS is testing its effectiveness in fighting SARS-CoV-2 in a large room-sized enclosure – not the “shoebox” you may have heard about in an inaccurate report. The GPS carried out the first SARS-CoV-2 tests in June 2020 at the height of the pandemic. These tests were appropriately performed in a small biohazard level 3 enclosure due to strict COVID-19 safety protocols and requirements. As of July 2020, subsequent testing has been carried out in a much larger, room-sized enclosure. [20’x8’x8’] to better mimic real world conditions. The efficiency results from the larger chamber were consistent with those from the initial tests, and these lab results all demonstrate that GPS technology helps reduce certain viruses and bacteria.