For healthy lungs, we are often advised to keep a clean environment, free from air pollutants at home. Especially, people with respiratory problems like asthma or those allergic to dust require the best home environment that promotes well ventilated fresh air. Installing air purifiers is the most preferred way to increase air quality at home. With the advancement in technology, the filtration method used in traditional purifiers seems to be getting outdated. In recent years, ionic air purifiers that claim better surrounding environment have hit the market. However, quite a few health related controversies have been hovering over the use of ionic air purifiers. Reports suggest that the use of these appliances can be detrimental to respiratory health.
Ionic Air Purifier Controversy
These filterless air purifiers eject negative ions at a specific rate. As the negatively charged ions travel in the air, they stick to pollen, dust and other air pollutants that come into their way. These negatively charged contaminants are then attracted to other positively charged pollutants. The attraction produces clusters of dust that are quite heavy to float in the air. As a result, due to gravitational force they go down and finally land on the floor or any other nearby surface. So, unlike traditional air filters, they do not eliminate air contaminants from the room. However, experts are of the firm opinion this method of purifying the air is not an effective way to clean the environment as the dust still remains inside the house.
Ionic Air Purifier Dangers
What are the dangers of ionic air purifier? The fact that the working of this appliance causes production of ozone puts a question mark on ionic air purifier safety. Although, the emission of negatively charged ions does make air pollutants to settle down on the floor, the release of ozone in this process is a cause for grave concern. This is because, ozone gas is basically a lung irritant. So, using ionic air cleaners is likely to trigger respiratory problems.
Many patients, who have had installed ionic air purifiers suffered frequent bouts of coughing and headache. Why did this happen? Upon breathing air polluted with ozone, the mucous membrane lining the lungs develop inflammation. This often leads to persistent coughing and wheezing. The inflamed lining of the lungs can also trigger pain while deep breathing. Thus, within 24 hours of ozone inhalation from ionic air purifiers, the person may experience chest pain while breathing, resulting from inflammation of airways.
It is observed that we actually inhale ozone when sitting in a room installed with ionic air purifier switched 'ON'. Breathing air containing ozone is likely to worsen pre-existing lung problems. Asthma and ozone do not go well together. No wonder, evidence proves that inhaling ozone worsens asthma and other respiratory problems. Recurring asthma attacks has often been associated with ozone exposure. Bronchitis patients are also likely to experience worsening of symptoms in case they have installed ionic air purifiers.
Quite a few ionic air purifiers sold under different brands are found to emit ozone in small amount. However, long-term use of these low ozone emitting air purifiers can reduce efficiency of lungs. With exposure to ozone on a daily basis, lung capacity may gradually slide down. This in turn increases the risk of respiratory problems in the long run. Healthy lungs becoming vulnerable to respiratory defects is one of the ionic air purifier dangers.
As use of ionic air purifiers pose health risk, buying these appliances is definitely not a wise decision. Instead, go for appliances that do not release ozone into the environment. Air purifiers manufactured under various brands like BlueAir and Alen work on the principle of trapping and filtering hazardous pollutants from the surrounding air.