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Panasonic to Mark 50th Anniversary of Launch of Japan's First Air Purifiers


July 24, 2012 - Osaka

Panasonic Corporation today announced that September 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the company's launch of Japan's first air purifiers. As of the end of March 2012, the company has sold over 10 million units since the release of its first air purifier model in September 1962*.

50 years since launch of Japan's first air purifiers

Panasonic's long involvement in contributing to the improvement of indoor air quality (IAQ) actually started with production of electric fans as early as 1913 and ventilation fans in 1928. Then, in around 1960, recognizing that air pollution in urban areas was becoming a problem, Panasonic initiated the development of air purifiers based on its perception that purification, as well as ventilation, was essential for the further improvement of IAQ. The company succeeded in developing models equipped with a three-layer filter for household and professional use, and launched Japan's first air purifiers in September 1962. The company went on to develop an electric dust collecting type purifier and also extended the range of applications to factories, schools, and cars.

In the 1980s and 1990s, with homes becoming more airtight, there was increasing public interest in measures against cigarette smoke and allergens, such as house dust and pollen. Panasonic promoted compact, easy-to-install designs and added functions, including an auto start/stop function triggered by a smoke sensor that could detect air pollution. Around this time, sales of air purifiers increased as their popularity became more widespread.

In 1995, the company launched a model incorporating a filter coated with catechin, an ingredient of green tea. Then, the company added anti-bacterial and allergen-inhibiting functions using "Bio Anti-Bacterial and "Aller Buster(R)" filters. Following these developments, nanoe(TM), nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles, was adopted as a technology for purifying air through use of discharged ions. In 2007, the company began offering air purifiers that featured greater air suction at floor level, where house dust accumulates. In 2009, the adoption of the Mega Catcher system, in which the whole front panel slides, further increased house dust suction power. Meanwhile, the company had continued to launch industry-leading products, including ECONAVI-equipped energy-efficient models. Overseas promotion was already underway in the 1970s. Currently, Panasonic air purifiers are sold in China, other Asian countries, the Middle East, etc.

By 2001, the Japanese air purifier market had grown to about 1.39 million units, compared to 450,000 units in 1994. In the next decade, increasing interest in IAQ boosted the market size to the 2011 figure of 2.5 million units. The market scale is expanding from "one in every home" to "one in every room."

Panasonic is committed to contributing to the improvement of indoor air quality through its
air purifying products.

* Total number of units, including those sold by former Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and the former Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonic's stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.



Source: Panasonic

Contact:

Global Public Relations Office
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: +81-3-6403-3040
Fax: +81-3-3436-6766



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