Home > Ionization Science > FAQs and Myths
Ionization science brings with it many questions and even some myths. This page is dedicated to addressing those myths and questions and giving simple and direct explanations for them. If you have a question or have heard of some aspect of ionization that either doesn’t make sense or perhaps, just need further discussion, please feel free to contact us directly or contact your local Aerisa representative.
The story is that Einstein’s sister, Maria “Maja” Einstein, developed tuberculosis in the early 1900s. The treatment at the time was to live at high altitudes, specifically the Swiss mountains for Maja, in order to be able to breathe better. Einstein wanted to understand the difference in the air at higher and lower altitudes in order to help Maja live near the beach with him. Einstein, along with Conrad Habicht, invented the “potential multiplicator.” In one version of the story, the multiplicator is used to measure ions in the air, in the other version of the story, it formed the basis of ionization air purification technology. In truth, Einstein’s sister never had tuberculosis. She died from arteriosclerosis in the United States after suffering a stroke and becoming bedridden four years earlier. The actual use of the potential multiplicator is difficult to deduce, as the paper it is referenced in cannot be accessed.
Ozone occurs naturally in the air–background readings may be 0.01 to 0.04 ppm. Ozone in the stratosphere is beneficial by creating a layer that protects the earth from harmful radiation from the sun. Ozone is produced through various processes near the earth’s surface as well. However, ozone at breathing levels can be harmful to humans and animals above certain concentration levels. The OSHA standard for ozone is 0.10 ppm average over an 8-hour work shift–so, it doesn’t take much more to be an issue.
We at Aerisa recognize that all electronic equipment creates some ozone–those that say otherwise are simply disingenuous. However, if ionization equipment is manufactured correctly and the overall air purification system is engineered properly, there will be no increased levels of ozone. Please be certain that Aerisa air ionization systems are completely safe and are specifically configured to not create any increased ozone levels within the application area. As proof, see the videos in the Library from two of our installations. (Note that some of these installations are over 5 years old.)
Ionization does help remove particles from the air, resulting in cleaner air; however, these dust particles do not disappear. Instead, ions attract and attach to particles in the air, increasing the particle’s weight and causing the particles to drop out of the air onto surfaces. Some ionization technologies claim to trap the particles in their units (e.g., electrostatic precipitators); however, the entire volume of air in the room/building would need to pass through the units for the particles to become trapped in the units. Most stand-alone units do not have strong enough fans (if one at all) to accomplish this to any extent.
Ionization technology creates both positive and negative ions through plasma generation. Plasma consists of localized areas of positive and negative charges, composed of ions created by losing or gaining electrons from one another. Because matter cannot be created nor destroyed, one would need an electron source to create only negative ions. Positive and negative ions will both react with substances in the air and with each other during their lifetime. An unequal number of positive and negative ions may exist in the air due to reactions that have occurred. Of course, the overall benefit from these reactions is cleaner and fresher air with fewer odors.
Both positive and negative ions exist naturally in the air. Ions can be generated by natural sources such as sunlight, UV light, radiation, wind, and lightening. Levels of ions indoors and outdoors are influenced by environmental factors such as altitude, geographic features (mountains, oceans), pollution, and electrical equipment, to name a few. There have been numerous investigations into the biological effects that ions, both positive and negative, have on microorganisms, animals, and humans. Many of the studies were poorly constructed while others show a possible relationship between ions and physiological outcomes without a definitive causal link. In other words, there are no definitive associations between ion charge and moods, disease, or energy levels.
There are no peer-reviewed scientific articles, reports, or studies that investigate the effect ionization has on cancer or most other diseases. Ionization technologies have been developed to be used for medical purposes to increase healing of wounds; however, Aerisa technology is not suited for that type of use.