You don’t question why air cleaners or air purifiers are good for your health. The name itself, air purifier says it all. But what do they really do?
A Brief History…
The first prototypes of air purifiers go way back in the 1860s when a man named John Stenhouse invented the first respirators. Though these only filtered wood charcoal particles in the air, firemen are more than happy in putting these to use.
Some hundred years later, HEPA filters emerged as a result of the need to filter the air when the U.S. is utilising the use of nuclear resources in Manhattan.
Just how do air purifiers purify the air?
You see, the air we breathe is not merely part oxygen, part carbon dioxide. It also has other particles like pollens, dust, sea spray, pet odours, spores and other pollutants depending on whom you are with and where you live. This gives us a picture that the air we breathe consists of particles with different sizes.
Oxygen particles are so small we don’t see them.
Dust is something the naked eye can see with sufficient lighting.
Air purifiers have HEPAs installed in them. And when they suck in unfiltered air, these HEPA filter particles that are much bigger than oxygen. This is only a brief explanation of the whole process though.
The Reality about the Quality of Air
Generally, air purifiers filter pollutants and other allergens. The extension of the damage and health risks of air pollution, believe it or not, are as follows:
4. Infant deaths
These are real risks. Even in indoors, air pollution may come from cleaning detergents, moulds, pesticides, stoves, heaters, etc. It may sound as Obsessive-compulsive-ish but, sadly, this is reality and proven by scientists, experts, and governing bodies.
But with the right air purifiers, you will lessen if not eliminate the effects of all kinds of air pollutants.
WAIT! there are “right air purifiers” and wrong purifiers?
Well, yes and no.
No, because they practically do the same thing–clean the air you breathe.
And yes because there air purifiers that are “ionizers“.
Ionizers give out negative-charged ions in the air. And when these come in contact with air pollutants, the air pollutants get a negative charge too. And in turn, they clump with positive-charged air particles (like how magnets work).
The downside is…
If the area or space they are put in is bigger than what they can handle, the negative ions will “invite” more pollutants due to their negative charge. That’s how it’s like. Another downside is that ionizers cause an artificial ozone in the air. Our atmosphere naturally has this ozone, but only at levels that are healthy. Ionizers cause an imbalance with the ozone in our space. And with increased levels, they are pretty harmful. They cause damage to the respiratory system at increased levels.
How am I supposed to know if they are Ionizers?
As the barber meme goes,
“say no more. I got you fam.”
Lucky us! California Air Resources Board (a governing body in determining the safety of use of air cleaners/purifiers) has a website containing the list of ionizers, electrostatic precipitators, other electronic filtration devices, and other air cleaners using new technologies that passed their requirements. You just need to press and hold CTRL + F and type the make and model of the air cleaner by clicking HERE.
Did You Know?:
Cleans Your Lungs
Lungs have a natural body-cleansing process. When you breathe fresh air in, your lungs will recognise it. And it will dilate more compared to when you breathe regular air. And as you exhale, it will release airborne toxins from your body.
Regulates Blood Pressure and Flow
Lungs and blood work hand in hand closer than you think. Blood carries the oxygen throughout the organs and the whole body. Guess where it takes the oxygen from… your lungs. And once it absorbs fresh air you breathed in, it eases up your whole body and lowers the blood pressure. This gives us a more relaxed feeling and a more limber body. Hence, the yoga breathing and all.
Sharpens the Mind
Again fresh air in action, the nasal cavity is in literally in direct contact with the brain (Ancient Egyptians pulled the brains from the nostrils during the preparation of mummies). This means the air you breathe affects the workings of your brain in subtle ways. 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe in goes to the brain. Imagine how the remaining 80% is divided among other organs and hundreds of bodily function.
Air purifiers will give you the benefits of breathing in fresh air and eliminate the risks mentioned above. You don’t have to worry about pets or allergies. If it rids the air of pollutants, it may also be theoretically possible to slowly cure a person of airborne diseases or perhaps lessen the chances of that person infecting other family members. I have yet to research this, and when I do, I will update this post.