SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Many companies have promised that their energy-saving light bulbs can save you big bucks. But one company claimed their light bulb can do much more.

Tennessee-based Purely Products said their “Healthy CFL” bulb can make the air you breathe healthier, just by being turned on. The bulb is advertised as “an air purifier wrapped in a light bulb” that can cleanse the air. The company also pledges a “healthier” and “more energetic” you because of it.

The science behind these health benefits is an ionizer, company representative, Roberta Modena said. “When the light is turned on, it’s actually going to emit and release ions in the air. The built-in ionizer freshens and purifies the air by generating negative ions,” she said.

Professor Kyaw Tha Pau U of UC Davis, an expert on indoor air quality, said he was skeptical of the China-made bulb’s advertised effects.

“I’m not sure how effective it would be, just because of its size and the amount of air that’s in a room,” he said.

He explained that the only way to judge how well the CFL bulb works would be to put it to the test through a third-party tester.

“It would be legitimate in my mind if an independent laboratory, a trustworthy laboratory had tested it, number one. Number two, if it goes through peer review,” he said.

For Dmitri Stanich of the California Air Resources, there is a bigger problem. “There is potential for ozone to be created through the ionizing process,” he said.

Stanich said the bulbs should not be sold in California because Purely Products has not provided proof that the bulbs don’t release unacceptable amounts of ozone. “The board’s concern with this product is that it hasn’t been certified to comply with our indoor air quality standard,” he added.

After ConsumerWatch brought this fact to the company’s attention, Modena said she was unaware of the California ozone law, and said the company would make efforts to comply.

“We want to make sure we’re meeting the requirements of your state,” the representative said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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