Are Air Ionizers safe for your health? Being an air quality researcher, I have often been asked this question by people concerned about their health. If you are also one of those, you are reading the right blog post. I invite you to learn this informative guide till the end and you will be amazed to learn the final findings. So, without any delay, let’s head on to the next section!
Are Ionizers Safe? Quick Answer
To give you a quick insight, I have used a plethora of ionizers. They give the following advantages:
- Improve air quality;
- Reduce the bad odors;
- Improve sleep.
However, ionizers can also be harmful. As per a study, ionizers emit dangerous ozone substances. The real question is how menacing these chemicals can be. Continue reading below as I’ll uncover the answer to this question along with types of Ionizers
Moreover, I’ll also compare them with ionic air purifiers and filters and share a timeline of where ionizers faced any controversy. Let’s dive into this detailed and informative guide.
Different Kinds of Ionizers
For a better understanding, I am going to explain three different ionizer types. Let’s check them out:
1. Bipolar Ionization
It is a technology that generates both positive and negative ions in the air. However, it frequently works with other gadgets, such as HVAC systems. PURE Plasma Air 600 is an example of this technology.
Some of its health benefits are:
- It reduces the concentration of airborne particles, thus enhancing your indoor air quality.
- It also can disintegrate and neutralize the molecules that cause bad smells, resulting in a more fragrant atmosphere.
However, apart from its benefits, it can also produce irritants that make your asthma and allergies worse. Plus, these ionizers also have the potential to generate ozone.
2. Fan Ionizers
An ionizer fan is a device in which an ionizer is attached to a revolving fan that helps you purify the air as it cools down. Let’s see what benefits this device offers!
- It improves the ventilation of your room.
- It can also remove dust and allergens from the air, providing an allergen-free environment.
In addition to its benefits, it can produce ozone, which is potentially dangerous for people’s health, particularly for children and elders. These ionizers include a Molekule Air Purifier.
3. Air Purifier with Ionizer
Ionizer air purifiers combine conventional air purification techniques. They usually use filters for larger particles, and for smaller particles, they use ionizers. Now, let’s shed some light on the benefits of this wonderful air cleaner.
- It can lessen your stress and enhance your sense of well-being.
- Due to its all-encompassing approach to air purification, it is ideal for those who suffer from allergies or asthma.
However, I recommend purchasing an air purifier with an ionizer like InvisiClean Aura II, which is generally considered the safest among all the above ionizers. This is because they are made to be certified by EPA, which guarantees that air purifiers produce no ozone.
Can Ionizers Eradicate Viruses?
The quick answer is that Ionizers don’t eradicate viruses. However, by producing charged particles, they trap viruses from the air.
Here are some steps of how these air cleaning devices work.
- Ionization: Ionizers emit negative air ions that adhere to airborne particulates, making them heavier.
- Particle Agglomeration: These ions can cause viruses and other particles to the group, facilitating their absorption onto surfaces or removal by air purifiers.
- Decreased Airborne Viruses: Due to their heavier nature, these particles are less likely to hang in the atmosphere, which may reduce the chance of breathing them in.
In addition, according to Scientific Review 2020, ozone generated by ionizers can render viruses inert in the atmosphere and on surfaces.
Moreover, during my research, I found numerous studies demonstrating how effective ionizers are at preventing infections. According to research on guinea pigs, an ionizer was 100% effective in preventing influenza infections.
Perks of Using An Air Ionizer
Last week, I bought a B1000 – Purifier with Ionizer for my home; to my surprise, it’s been a game-changer. My room smells better, my allergies are less severe, and my space feels more airy.
Anyway, enough prattle on. Here are some noticeable benefits of using an air ionizer in your home. Let’s check them out!
- Inhibit Microorganisms: The air ionizer acts as a silent protector by inhibiting the growth of certain types of microorganisms like mold, bacteria, and viruses.
- Allergen Reduction: Sick of being sniffly? Air ionizers combat allergens such as smoke and pet dander, creating a comfortable and allergy-free environment in your home.
- Mood Booster: When it comes to improving your mood, negative ions from ionizers may be your best friend because they increase serotonin levels in your body. As per another study published in PubMed, the negative ions decrease stress and support mood. They can also help you focus and feel better about yourself.
Demerits of Using Ionizers
Although ionizers can eliminate certain items from your home, they have disadvantages. So, before investing in an ionizer, it’s essential to consider these risks.
These disadvantages are as follows:
- Limited Effectiveness: Compared to other air purification techniques like HEPA or carbon filters, ionizers might be less efficient at capturing and eliminating larger particles like pollen, dust, etc. Ionizers like air purifiers can only capture particles up to 0.1 microns. The smaller dust particles can deceive them.
- Ozone Emissions: Certain ionizers produce ozone as a byproduct, acting as ozone generators. This occurs when negative ions electrically charge airborne particles. Its prolonged exposure can lead to various health problems like coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a high risk of respiratory infections.
- Produce Ultrafine Particles and VOCs in The Air: Air ionizers produce VOCs and ultrafine particles as a by-product in your environment. When inhaled, they directly penetrate your lungs, causing health problems like decreased lung function or worsening asthma.
But, here, I also want to address a statement by David that I found during my study:
Ionizers vs HEPA Filters: A Quick Comparison
HEPA filters and ionizers are different air purifiers that improve indoor air quality but have different operating principles. To upgrade my air purifier, I thoroughly compared these models. Let’s go through them quickly!
1. HEPA Filters
HEPA filters, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters, capture dust, allergens, volatile organic compounds, spores, bacteria, and tobacco smoke in the air using a dense physical filter. The best HEPA filter can capture 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns or less.
2. Air Ionizers
Conversely, ionizers discharge negatively charged ions into the atmosphere, which form bonds with hazardous contaminants. As a result, the particles become heavier and settle, making it easier for surfaces or air purifier filters to collect them. Therefore, ionizer air purifiers keep your environment clean, preventing dust particulate matter and improving immunity.
However, certain ionizers usually release ozone, a powerful lung irritant, in an environment, so I don’t suggest using it for people with bad respiratory conditions. Moreover, if you are looking for a safer option, I recommend using HEPA filters in your home as they are considered safer and more effective than ionizers.
Air Ionizers vs Ionic Air Purifiers: Crucial Comparison
Here’s a quick look at some important aspects of both air cleaners:
Works by producing negative ions that attach to airborne particles, causing them to fall on the ground
Use electrostatically charged plates that hold airborne and dust particles to create a pollutant-free environment
Have low maintenance because there are no filters
Require more maintenance like regular filter replacement
Usually quieter than air purifiers
Can be noisy, especially when they have a high fan speed
Some produce ozone as a by-product
Most do not produce ozone as a by-product
More expensive than ionizers
Are Ionic Air Purifiers a Safe Solution?
While buying an air purifier, you might have asked, “Are air purifiers with ionizers actually safe?” at some point. There has been controversy over the years regarding the safety of ionizers. The old models rely on Ozone produced by them, for the purification of the air. However, with the launch of the latest models, this problem has been minimized a lot.
The current products only produce negative ions to attract and trap pollutant particles in the air. These naturally occurring ions are harmless and provide health benefits like increased energy.
In this case, I attest to Clarifion Air Ionizers. They come as a package of 3 products so that you can use them wherever you want. Moreover, they have a filter system that adds to the air cleaning system. Not to mention the portable odor system that freshens the air.
Related Topic: How to Get the Burnt Smell Out of the House: 10 Easy Hacks
Revisiting The Timeline of Ionizer Debate
Since air ionizers have always been criticized for their harmful effects, many have even filed lawsuits against them. The following is a list of such complaints and lawsuits against air ionizers over the years:
- 2002-2003: Consumer Reports testing exposes limited particulate removal and ineffective cleaning by Sharper Image ionic devices. Sharper Image sues Consumer Reports but loses.
- 2005: Sharper Image lost a case against Consumers Union with $525,000. Consumer Reports reports on ozone emission dangers. CNN covers the health risks. Sharper Image ordered to pay Consumer Reports’ legal fees.
- 2008: After declining sales and lawsuits, Sharper Image declares bankruptcy. The brand was then adapted by another company and stopped selling ionizers.
- 2021: Ionizer companies promote products to schools as COVID fighters despite lack of evidence. Boeing testing shows ionizers underperform. Scientists publish open letter warning about risks.
- 2022: Studies continue to show negligible particle removal effects. Global Plasma Solutions sues scientific publisher Elsevier over a critical ionizer study.
- 2023: Health experts continue advising against the use of ionic technology. Law firms investigate ionizer companies while lawsuits remain ongoing.
Is it safe to be in a room with an ionizer?
Yes, it is safe to use an ionizer in a well-ventilated room. However, long-term exposure can harm your health, due to its hyper-oxidizing action. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep the room ventilated properly and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What are the negative effects of air ionizers?
Excessive use of air ionizers can cause significant health hazards like sore throats, dyspnea, and an increased risk of respiratory infections due to generating VOCs and ozone particles.
Is ionized air good for health?
Yes, ionized air offers a wide range of health benefits. They remove dust and harmful particles from the air and have the potential to improve mood and tackle smoke and pet odors.
Summing up, are ionizers safe for your health? The quick answer is yes. They are safe if they have proper certifications from EPA. They can remove pollutants and substances like pollens from the environment to keep the air clean.
But keep in mind that some ionizers can also harm your body by releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone, which can cause coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Therefore, you should never go for a product lacking the necessary health certifications.
However, if you still have doubts about them, you can get HEPA filters, as these are also pretty good at removing pollutants from the air. The best HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of 0.3 microns of particles.
Danny is a passionate writer who loves to share his knowledge about air purifiers. He’s been writing for 10 years, and he’ll share all that experience with Very Well Home viewers to help you make the best decision when it’s time to buy an appliance!