Frequently asked questions
What is NPBI?
Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI), classfied by the EPA as an "emerging technology," is a device inserted into ventilation units (HVAC) that generates toxic byproducts like ozone and VOCs. During the COVID pandemic, it has been sold extensively to schools as a way to compensate for inadequate ventilation. Unfortunately, regulatory authorities, leading academics, and preeminant athorities in their fields writing directly to MUFSD all warn that it creates more far more pollution than it is shown to remove.
If MUFSD disconnects NPBI, will they have to close schools?
No! MUFSD's reopening plan was approved by the Department of Health, which specifically warns against using NPBI, saying, "Units that feature ionizers, precipitators, or ozone generators do not provide additional benefit and can generate harmful byproducts." (p12). Additionally, the NY State Education Department warns, "needle point bipolar ionization (NBPI)… technology can generate ozone, formaldehyde and ultrafine particles from reactions with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For this reason, SED working with Department of Health is not recommending it at this time. Such technology is being marketed heavily; please be cautious – the marketing literature does not discuss the byproducts of ionization."
Is there a better way to clear the air?
Yes! Every neighboring school district (New Rochelle, Pelham, Scarsdale, Harrison and Rye Neck) has either: 1) MERV 13+ rated HVAC filters, 2) 100% outside air intake in HVAC and/or 3) portable HEPA filters in classrooms.
I'm not worried about COVID - why should I care about NPBI or HEPA?
Aren't HEPA filters expensive?
No! The portable HEPA filters used by Scarsdale sell for less than $540. Plenty of other great options exist in this price range. The board wants to spend more for one outdoor classroom than it would cost to provide clean air for every single classroom in the district.