When it comes to air purifiers, there are a variety of options available on the market. One of the most popular types is the ozone ionizer, which is designed to help provide cleaner air by using ionized particles. But are ozone ionizers safe?Under certain conditions of use, ion generators and other air purifiers that generate ozone can produce levels of this lung irritant significantly above levels considered harmful to human health. A small percentage of air purifiers claiming a health benefit may be regulated by the FDA as a medical device.
If you're considering an air ionizer, it's important to understand the differences between this type of product and the typical HEPA filter. An air ionizer works by releasing negatively charged ions into the air, which then attach to airborne particles like dust, pollen, and smoke. This causes the particles to become heavier and fall out of the air, thus reducing airborne pollutants. On the other hand, a HEPA filter works by trapping particles in its filter media.As more information is disseminated about the potential dangers of air ionizers, consumers are becoming more informed before making a purchase.
Chamber and field tests have found that an ionizing device can lead to a decrease in some volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including xylenes, but an increase in others. Additionally, a recent study of air ionizers in school classrooms reduced particle concentrations and led to some improvements in respiratory health among children 11 to 14 years old. However, this study also found that ionizers had an adverse effect on heart rate variability (a measure of cardiovascular health), meaning that any benefit to the lungs came at a cost to the heart.Ionizer air purifiers are generally safe because they aren't energized enough to be harmful to you. However, due to conflicting data associated with the use of these devices, it's best to keep your ionizer option turned off.
If you've read all the information about air ionizers (whether they're marketed as ionic air purifiers or ionizers), you've probably already realized that most people shouldn't buy an air purifier with an ionizing function.