by Bob Giddens
In the late nineties, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
sued Alpine Industries for not having sufficient documentation to
back up claims that were made in the company's literature and training.
Their standards of documentation were very tough and Alpine
lost on almost all counts except for smoke, cigarette smoke, and
second hand smoke.
In addition to the areas where Alpine won, the FTC conceded odors
before the trial. The Alpine air purifiers of this era were
effective against almost all odors, especially those of an organic
origin. This would include food and garbage odors, pet and animal
odors, people odors, many construction and industrial odors and much
more. Some odors were controlled almost immediately and others took
a while. As an example, the offensive odor of mold spores in a hotel
room could usually be eliminated in half an hour.
As the nineties came to a close, there was a company changeover
from Alpine to EcoQuest (EQ). Through documentation from Kansas State
University, EQ was soon able to claim dramatic mold and bacteria kills
on surfaces (not
Through other studies, EQ was able to show a greatly reduced
particulate removal rate from air.
addition, it was often obvious to customers that air
purifiers by Alpine and EQ
were doing more than could be officially claimed.
In the win-loss column this legal matter showed as a loss for
Alpine. That company and Bill Converse (the
original founder/owner) lost on almost all counts. But there was
never a stoppage of operations or selling. A fine was assessed,
which EQ paid a few years later when Alpine
dropped its intent to appeal. In 2009, EQ went into foreclosure. The
major marketing assets were purchased by Aerus Holdings and within a
year the company name became Vollara.
The two earlier companies (Alpine Industries and EcoQuest International)
have ceased to exist. This did not stop the stigma of the lawsuit
from reflecting on us and on our products, but it is a legal
distinction of some significance. On a voluntary basis and in the
spirit of cooperation, Vollara continues to operate within the
guidelines that went in effect based on the Alpine/EQ
There was never an accusation that air purification didn't work or that
it was harmful. The basis of the complaint against Alpine
was that Bill Converse signed a Consent Letter in the
middle nineties agreeing to refrain from using claims that were not
substantiated by a competent authority. He did not comply with that
Consent Letter and, consequently, he lost in court.
Our new company also markets water technology products, nutritional
supplements, and other products that are in no way related to
this legal history.