Laura K. cares for two cats, a dog and runs her coaching business in her home.
She developed seasonal allergies when she moved to New York City and started getting worried about basement flooding and subsequent mold in what she describes as "an ancient house." She didn't want to start coughing while talking to her clients during the day or while she was sleeping at night. So, she got a Molekule.
"I liked the idea that (Molekule) killed things as well as trapped them - between the basement and the animals and the age of the house, who knows what could be lurking!," Laura explained. "I wanted my sleep back. My allergies were always worse at night and were affecting my sleep, even with medication."
She saw its benefits. The Molekule air purifier did everything she wanted - plus more. Laura rarely has to take any allergy medication anymore, except on heavy pollen or dust days.
Many air purifiers aim to catch the pollutants in filters. But Molekule uses a specific feature that destroys pollutants on a molecular level. Dr. Yogi Goswami developed Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology because his son Dilip had asthma symptoms that could not be alleviated. He and his wife could control what Dilip ate or drank, but there were still triggers for his asthma in the air. Dr. Goswami considered HEPA filters, but the technology in these filters hadn't been updated in nearly 70 years and did nothing to help his son's symptoms. While these filters collected large pollutants like mold and bacteria, thousands of smaller microscopic pollutants and viruses escaped the filter altogether. His son, and millions of allergy and asthma sufferers needed a better air purifier.
Instead of simply trapping particles, Molekule takes it a step further by breaking down indoor air pollutants like allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses and airborne chemicals. While working with the Tyndall Air Force Base cleaning up contaminated ground water with sunlight, Dr. Goswami looked at cleaning the indoor air with artificial light. The light acts as a catalyst on the PECO filter to completely destroy pollutants at the molecular level. In his two decades of research, he developed a small unit and put it in Dilip's bedroom. A couple weeks later, they noticed Dilip was not using his inhaler as often. With that confidence he continued working, eventually developing the Molekule air purifier which could completely destroy air pollutants.
Dr. Goswami said: "As any parent would understand, it's not a good feeling to see your child suffer when they can't breathe... Then seeing something was helping, was a good feeling!"
Dr. Goswami then tested his invention with 46 asthma and allergy sufferers who used the air filtration technology for a four-week period. The study showed a direct correlation between the use of the technology with a dramatic reduction in symptoms.
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Dr. Goswami, his son and daughter brought the Molekule unit to consumers, and now Dr. Goswami gets thank you notes from fellow parents of allergy sufferers.
"When I developed the PECO technology and saw what a difference it had on Dilip's asthma, there was nothing we wanted more than to share this solution with the world," he explained. "Those messages give me a feeling of satisfaction."
TIME also recognized Molekule as one of 2017's best inventions. The research and development team continues to work on improving the PECO technology for allergy sufferers everywhere, like Dilip -- who now serves as Molekule's CEO.
"I still feel we are changing the way people expect their indoor air to be," Dr. Goswami added. "For a while people felt there was nothing better we could do. We're changing that."
To find out how Molekule's innovative technology can help you breathe easier, click here.