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. Negative ions occur naturally, near waterfalls or after rain. These negative ions can even positively affect humans, animals and the environment because they create oases of clean air. However, ionic air filters are not that benign.
When released into indoor air and inhaled, ozone is a powerful lung irritant that exacerbates allergies and asthma. Ionic air purifiers not only produce ozone as an undesirable by-product, but they are also not particularly effective in removing other pollutants from the air. The information about the potential dangers posed by ionizing machines in their environment is alarming. The emission of ozone to the air you breathe is not only hazardous to health, but also to the air quality of the environment. Inhaling ozone, even in small amounts, can irritate the lungs.
Specific effects may include throat irritation, cough, chest pain and shortness of breath, as well as an increased risk of respiratory infections. Not only are ionic air purifiers not as effective, but they can also be bad for you. As mentioned above, ionizers produce ozone. This occurs when negative ions electrically charge particles in the air. Since the conflicting data associated with the ionizer remains persistent, I usually keep my ionizer option turned off.
Ionizer air purifiers are generally safe because ionizers aren't energized enough to be harmful to you. Air ionizers are designed to help provide cleaner air and they do so through the use of ionized particles. These ionizers turn on for 8 hours every day, and I have a Therapure TPP300D with UV+ ionizer that turns on for 8 hours in my living room. As more information is disseminated and presented to the public about the risks of air ionizers, consumers will be better informed before purchasing an air purifier and will likely be aware of and avoid these potentially hazardous ionizing systems.