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Paula Hensley, July 22 2021

What to look for in Air Purifiers

Look out for inefficiencies that can hide health costs while browsing the shelves of your nearest air purifier. Many popular air purifiers use a negative ionization technology as a central component of their operation ionization technology. Ionizers claim to purify the air by emitting charged ions (anions) that attract negatively charged particles (cations) causing them to leave the air and stick to surfaces such as ceilings, walls and furniture. Air purification methods have limited possibilities to remove particles and other pollutants from the air, but that is not all. 

These particles, which are charged with negative ions, cannot be removed from the air, so they stick to surfaces. These surfaces include the surfaces of the airways, such as the windpipe, alveoli and air in the lungs. Ionizers do not get rid of all these pollutants. They can build up and cause heart, lung and other respiratory diseases. They also produce harmful ozone.    

Ionizers produce ozone (O3), which can accumulate dangerously indoors. Indoor ozone can irritate the respiratory tract, cause asthma attacks and damage the olfactory bulbs, which can be fatal in high concentrations. Do not buy an air purifier with ionizer. Most air purifiers and ionizers do not remove particles such as ozone and mold from the air, and they can cause harmful side effects, even if they claim to charge the particles only a little. 

Ozone generators use a process called corona discharge to release ozone molecules into the air. Ozone molecules mix with particles and gas molecules, and ozone atoms cling to other molecules and blow them away in a process known as oxidation. Oxidation in the atmosphere is what lightning strikes cause, causing the air to smell distinctly during a thunderstorm. It is worth saying that ozone is terrible when you are indoors because of the formation of ozone. An ozone generator will do little to clean the air, and may even be bad for you.

Ozone reactions release ultrafine particles (UFP) into the air. Indoor ozone levels can be five to ten times higher than the recommended limit, ranging from 0.05 to 0.1 ppm (parts per million) due to lack of ventilation in combination with outside penetration of ozone (into put this into perspective - ozone-sensitive individuals like children, people with asthma or pets can experience health effects of 0.01 ppm).   

Don't buy an ozone generator. Not only will it not clean your air, it can harm you and the most vulnerable in your home, such as your children and your pets. One of the most common UV cleaning methods is called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). UVGI is an intense UV light that falls directly on bacteria and viruses and damages their DNA, which then needs to be repaired.

Bacterial cells and viruses close so completely that they can no longer function. The UV air purification is not without cracks. Many bacterium and viruses must be exposed to UV light for a certain period of time before they are rendered harmless ; some strains must have been treated with UV light for several hours before they are shut down, so that they are completely destroyed in the home. 22 UV purifiers bring light into the house but are also useful outdoors. The light can also penetrate into pollutant particulars.24 The air treated with UV light is full of harmful fine dust (PM10 and PM2.5). 

Do not buy a UV light air purifier. The light can burn the skin and damage the eyes. Air treated with UV light can still be full of harmful fine dust. UV light disinfects but does not clean the air Research has shown that the disinfection potential of UV light in the air is exaggerated. Many UV air purifiers also produce ozone. 

source: IQAir

Written by

Paula Hensley

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