Why You Should Stop Using This Type of Air Purifier!
Air Quality Index (AQI) is now in concern to many major urban cities around the world. This issue, definitely, caused by traffic, construction, and manufacturing. And at foremost, air ventilation in the city per se.
Below chart show today's (9 Feb 19) AQI ranking across the globe. More number, more dangerous.
Thus, many people began to taking care of their Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) too. And the champion is...air purifiers.
We won't discuss about how to choose an air purifier to match your place here. We rather talk about a kind of air purifiers, which used to be famous 30-40 years ago. But now we found that, the result of using it is quite opposite to what we have been expected. Right, this old-school technology air purifier still available in the market and can be harmful to your health and ones you love.
Ionizer / Ozone Generator / Plasma Air Purifier
There might be more of variants in commercial names than the above. Do notice that they deploy the very same technology as we will go on below.
How does the Ionizer / Ozone Generator work?
An ionizer technology applies high voltage to a series of built-in needles. Cause electrons which are discharged into the air. When these electrons hit the air molecules, negatively-charged ions are formed and expelled into the room. Then these negative-charged ions would catch, the opposite polar, positively-charged compounds such as dust, cigarette smoke, pollen, and pet dander. The byproduct particles can easily be trapped into air cleaner's filters.
Beside of this promising air cleaning process, the negative-charged ions also turn oxygen (O2) in your room to ozone (O3). Which ironically, a while ago, people believed that it is good to inhale ozone. Think about fresh air after rain. High voltage thunder strikes the air and turn oxygen to ozone, so fresh. Wow, now we human can emulate such thing. We are brilliant. Let's inhale this ozone from the ionizer!
Unfortunately, recent studies found that ground-level ozone is consider toxic to human body. (Natural ozone normally be in the atmosphere)
How ozone can be harmful?
The EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) has reported there is a variety of health effects associated with high levels of ozone. This may include lungs damage, chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.
Furthermore, there are additional risk factors which can perpetuate the side effects of ozone such as undertaking activities which raise breathing rates (such as exercising indoors), certain pre-existing lung diseases, and greater duration of exposure.
So, What should we do?
If you are looking for a new air purifier, skip the Ionizer / Ozone Generator / Plasma Air Purifier ones. And looking for other options such as HEPA Filters, Activated Carbon Filter, Electrostatic Filters, or Ultraviolet Rays technology.
If you already have an Ionizer / Ozone Generator air purifier in your house, and has no plan to replace with a new one soon. Do run your air purifier and ionizer while you are out of the house/room. Then, the charged particles will bond with other compounds without damaging your lungs. However, if you are sensitive to ozone or one of your house members has asthma, it's best to avoid ionizers entirely.
Sip Well ☕