Are you concerned about the poor air quality in your home? Do you worry that anyone in your household may get sick?
If you or a family member is asthmatic, you double the risk of more attacks because of airborne particles causing you to get sick.
Therefore, you should find a way to ensure the air quality is excellent.
In this article, you’ll learn the following:
- What is an ion?
- What is a positive ion, and what produces it?
- What is a negative ion, and what creates it?
- How to increase the negative ions in your home
Kindly read on to learn how to keep the fresh air in your home.
What is an Ion?
An ion is an atom or an assemblage of particles bearing at least a negative or positive electric charge.
A positive charge ion is a cation, while an anion has an ion with a negative electrical charge. Therefore, the addition or removal of electrons can form ionic bonds.
For example, the reaction between a chlorine atom and a sodium atom produces a chloride anion and a sodium cation.
Adding a hydrogen cation to an ammonia molecular ion results in an ammonium cation. Dissociating an h2o molecule forms a hydroxide anion and a hydrogen cation.
What is a Positive Ion?
A positively charged ion is a tiny molecule with a positive electrical charge. Unfortunately, pollution, pet dander, toxic chemicals, mold, pollen, and harmful chemicals are positive ions.
If there are several cations in the air, it can result in several illnesses.
Electromagnetic fields from electronic devices have a positive ion suppressing the immune system and impairing brain function.
Symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, breathing difficulty, headaches, vertigo, lack of energy, and nausea are prevalent signs of high levels of positive ions.
The presence of high quantities of positive ions is especially problematic in industrial zones, office buildings, and cities.
What Produces Positive Ions?
Strong winds, humidity, dust, and pollution form positive ions. Generally, electromagnetic capabilities or toxic substances can produce a harmful ionic compound.
Fluorescent lights, televisions, toxic carpeting, air-conditioning systems, air pollution, mobile phones, computers, paint, photocopiers, printers, and upholstery are dangerous ion generators.
Are Positive Ions Harmful to the Body?
Low-pressure systems and cold fronts increase the presence of positive ions in the air. More positive ions in the atmosphere limit the negative ions in the body.
You’ll notice the relationships between asthmatic patients and people with arthritis because they suffer from aggravated symptoms in these weather conditions.
Moreover, asthmatic attacks increase with more positive ions in the wind. The home has more positive ions because of the electromagnetic fields created by electronic devices.
Positive ions from the generated electromagnetic fields may affect brain function negatively. Moreover, they can suppress the immune system resulting in several symptoms.
Generally, positive ions can become free radicals inside the body and harm healthy cells. They can also increase blood acidity.
Positive ions oxidize the cells and boost lactic acid levels causing several ailments like cancer. They also throw the autonomic nervous system out of balance.
Moreover, a positive ion can cause premature aging because of lymph and blood circulation decline.
Now that you understand positive ions and their effects on the environment, you should learn about negative ions next.
What is a Negative Ion?
A negative ion is a small molecule possessing an opposite charge and positively affects energy levels, mood, and health.
What Produces Negative Ions?
People inhale the negative ions from waterfalls, mountains, oceans, and forests to produce biochemical reactions increasing serotonin levels, boosting energy, relieving stress, and alleviating depression.
Moreover, negative ions attract airborne particles such as floating pollutants, pet dander, mold spores, dust, and potential allergens.
Negatively-charged ions with allergens and pollutants no longer drift in the air but attach to the nearest surface. Therefore, the body feels rejuvenated and recharged.
Researched-Backed Benefits of Negative Ions
Many negative ionization proponents make lofty claims about the mental benefits of negative ions. However, research doesn’t support many of them.
A 2013 review of scientific studies from 1957 to 2012 showed that ionization didn’t affect people’s mental health.
However, the review discovered a notable effect on depressive people:
- Hours of exposure to negative ions may limit depression symptoms. People with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and chronic depression recorded lower scores on questions about their depression symptoms.
- Shorter exposure to negative ions had a positive effect on seasonal depression. Thirty minutes of exposure helped people suffering from the seasonal affective disorder.
A 2015 small study didn’t uncover any significant effects of negative ions on mental health or mood. However, it discovered a tiny improvement in cognitive performance after increased short-term exposure to negative ions.
A 2018 review of ionization research discovered an effect of negative ions on several human health facets, such as:
- Assist in regulating mood and sleep patterns
- Reduce stress
- Increase metabolism of fats and carbohydrates
- Boost the immune system
- Hamper the growth or kill the viruses, harmful bacteria, tuberculosis-causing bacteria, and mold species.
However, researchers didn’t find evidence that negatively-charged ions could:
- Manage anxiety by reducing serotonin
- Reduce blood pressure
- Improve breathing
Are Negative Ions Harmful to the Body?
Generally, there are negative ions don’t pose risks to the body. However, if there should be issues, they come from the negative ion generators placed in small spaces such as a bedroom.
An ionizer emits negative ions through the electrical currents discharged into the air.
Here are some of the potential risks you’re likely to face:
Researchers say the ionizers can disperse ground-level ozone into the environment and worsen asthma attacks.
However, a 2013 review of studies found no significant and reliable evidence of a detrimental or beneficial effect on pulmonary functions or asthma.
Build-up of Static Electricity
An ionizer can release additional electrical charges resulting in dangerous electrical charge levels in the house.
Electrical charges know out negative ions to stick on surfaces, such as your airways. If there’s a build-up of particles in your respiratory system, you’ll likely have to deal with an increased risk of lung disease or worsened asthma symptoms.
If negative ionization is what you need to maintain excellent air quality, turn to the next section to learn how you can generate more negative ions.
How to Increase Negative Ions
1. Experience the Great Outdoors
You can find extremely high concentrations of negative ions in the following:
- Dense forests
- After heavy storms and rain
2. Take a long, hot shower.
The shower can produce tons of negative ions; thus, you feel energized after a hot shower.
3. Invest in houseplants
Plants also absorb positive ions from electronic devices and electric equipment. As a result, they maintain fresh air and create a naturally-supportive environment.
Moreover, some plants can remove VOCs and toxins, such as benzene and formaldehyde. Other houseplants can purify the air by producing negative ions.
Examples of plants that can eliminate toxins:
- Peace Lily
- Janet Craig
- Rubber Plant
- Bamboo Palm
- Lady Palm
- Areca Palm
4. Open the windows
Negative ions can enter the home through open windows, especially if there’s a nearby woodland area, sea, or even a vibrant garden.
Moreover, maintaining comfortable humidity can eliminate odors, dampness, and molds inside the home.
5. Commune with nature
An air-conditioned office can only produce 50 negative ions per cubic centimeter; thus, it’s advisable to take a walk in a nearby park, breathe the outside air, and eat lunch outside.
6. Use eco-friendly cleaning products.
Many commercially-available cleaning products contain VOCs and other toxic chemicals harmful to the environment and the air quality.
Therefore, it’s essential to check the labels to ensure no harmful chemicals get inside the home. Moreover, regular home cleaning can eliminate dust mites, pet dander, pollens, and other airborne contaminants.
It’s best not to use air fresheners containing volatile organic compounds and phthalates, which contribute to poor air quality and aggravate asthma and allergy.
7. Pull the plug from electrical and electronic devices.
Electromagnetic smog depletes negative ions; therefore, it’s essential to reduce the use of electrical equipment and mobile devices at home.
Ensure to pull the plug of appliances and electrical equipment when not used. Also, keep the mobile device away from the bed when sleeping.
8. Avoid synthetic materials
Carpets, curtains, and soft furnishings have positive ions generating static electricity that deplete negative ions.
It’s best to opt for furnishings from natural materials such as wool, linen, bamboo, and cotton.
9. Create an indoor waterfall
An indoor waterfall naturally increases negative ions because it disturbs the water molecules and breaks off the electrons, which attach to oxygen molecules.
Then, the oxygen atom gets an extra electron, thus having a negatively-charged particle.
10. Invest in an ionic air purifier
If the windows are open, polluted outdoor air can’t replenish the negative ions inside the home.
Therefore, it’s practical to opt for an air ionizer to produce negative ions that bind and neutralize the airborne particles.