Research on Negative Ions
Studies Proving the Effectiveness of Negative Ions
(Please note: the links below may no longer take you to existing pages.)
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture found that ionizing a room led to 52% less dust in the air, and 95% less bacteria in the air (since many of the pollutants found in the air reside on floating dust particles).
The U.S.D.A. also performed another study to test the effectiveness of negative ionization at removing airborne Salmonella Enteritidis. The negative ions drastically reduced the airborne salmonella particles, prompting the following statement from the USDA:
"These results indicate that negative air ionization can have a significant impact on the airborne microbial load in a poultry house and at least a portion of this effect is through direct killing of the organisms."
(Summary of Study from USDA Website)
Penn State University
Penn State University has a fine website devoted to Aerobiological Engineering. On their page concerning negative ions they say the following:
"Negative air ionization has the potential to reduce the concentration of airborne microorganisms. The effect appears to result from the ionization of bioaerosols and dust particles that may carry microorganisms, causing them to settle out more rapidly. Settling tends to occur on horizontal surfaces, especially metallic surfaces, and generally in the area near the ionization unit. Ionization may enhance agglomeration, creating larger particles out of smaller particles, thereby increasing the settling rate. Ionization may also cause attraction between ionized particles and grounded surfaces..."
Good Housekeeping Magazine
In March of 1999, Good Housekeeping Magazine had its engineers test an ionizer by using a smoke test, and found that it cleared out of the smoke in a tank.
Agriculture Research Service (of USDA)
The Agriculture Research Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture tested the effectiveness of ionizers for removing dust in a poultry hatchery. The dust level is very high in such an environment. In this study, the use of an ionizer resulted in dust removal efficiencies that averaged between 81.1 and 92.2%. The airborne transmission of salmonella (to the eggs) was also significantly reduced as a result. (Summary of ARS Study)
Journal of Hygiene
Scientists showed that ionization reduced bacterial levels in burns and plastic surgery units by over 96% after a two week period, which results in much better and more rapid healing of patients.
Journal of Applied Microbiology
The use of negative ions was even found by scientists to reduce the presence of airborne viruses by about 40%. A study featured in the 1987 issue also showed the negative ions are free from any adverse side effects.
A 1976 study featured in this publication provided evidence that negative ions can have a biologically lethal effect on airborne microorganisms.
Journal of Hygiene
A 1979 study found that using negative ionization in the air protected chickens from airborne infection of the deadly Newcastle Disease Virus.
Journal of Food Protection
A 2001 study found that airborne negative ionization was highly effective at destroying airborne and surface salmonella.
University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Romania)
A test on male rats showed that just moderate levels of negative ions increased the resistance of the rats, reducing or eliminating the effect of some chemicals.
(Summary of Study)
Effect of Negative Ions on Drivers
A study by Toyota Central R & D Labs, Inc. found that negative ions can reduce fatigue and improve cognition of drivers. (Copy of Study - PDF File)
Negative Ion Stimulate Mitochondria:
"Negative Air Ions Stimulate Mitochondria" Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia.
How Negative Ions Purify The Air
Virtually all particles in the air have a positive charge, while negative ions have a negative charge. In which case, negative ions and particles electrically attract to one another. When there is a high enough concentration of negative ions in the air, they will attract to floating particles in large numbers. This causes the particle to become too heavy to remain airborne. As a result, the particle will fall out of the air, preventing it from being inhaled into the respiratory tract where it can trigger breathing and health problems.
The ionized particle will then be collected by normal cleaning activities, such as vacuuming or dusting. If the particle happens to be kicked back up into the air again, it will be ionized, and quickly settled out of the air once again.
In nature, negative ions are generated by processes such as sunlight, lightening, waves from the ocean, and from waterfalls. "Concrete Jungles" minimize the natural production of negative ions by disrupting the delicate electrical balance between the atmosphere and the earth. XJ-3000C ionic air purifiers recreate them with electrode pins ("needlepoints") to electrically produce negative ions. This method produces a density that is many times higher than the negative ion level found at Niagara Falls, the highest natural producer of negative ions and one of the healthiest environments in the world.