When negative is positive – and vice-versa

Exposure to negative ions has positive health effects

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We all take tens of thousands of breaths every day, and every breath we take contains a large number of ions. Now maybe you haven’t thought about ions, or positive and negative charges, since high school physics… so let’s try to sort out these concepts and show how "negative is positive" when it comes to air purification and virus inhibition.

All the air we breathe contains ions. Ions are simply atoms or molecules with an extra charge – either positively or negatively charged – which is why they’re called positive and negative ions.

But “positive” and “negative” are misleading when it comes to the effect of ions on air quality and health. Positive ions mean something negative, while negative ions in the air are something positive. They’re good for our health.

Unhealthy particles are positive, strangely enough

Most forms of pollutants, toxic chemicals, pet dander, pollen, mold and other harmful chemicals in the air have a positive electrical charge, making them positive ions. And high levels of positive ions in our environment can lead to various diseases. These positive ions can impair brain function, weaken our immune system, and cause a variety of negative symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, breathing difficulties, irritation, lack of energy, impaired concentration, and general nausea.

Apparently, there’s nothing positive about positive ions.

Where do all these positive ions come from?

Anything that is toxic or has electromagnetic properties generates harmful positive ions.

Unfortunately, there are significant amounts of positive ions in the air in today’s society. We are exposed daily to significantly more than in the past and on entirely different levels than what our ancestors were exposed to in their everyday lives.

The concentration of positive ions is higher indoors than outdoors, as well as higher in cities than in the countryside. The long list of items that generate positive ions includes everyday emissions from fluorescent lamps, mobile phones, televisions and computers to interior materials, paint, air conditioning and traffic exhaust. In the office, printers and copiers have been shown to generate large amounts of these ions and be very bad for the air we breathe.

The environment in office buildings, schools and industrial areas in urban settings is particularly problematic. Studies also show how indoor air is often up to five times worse than outdoor air – much of this again being traced to positive ions.

Negative ions are good for our health

Negative ions are simply negatively charged molecules and thus the opposite of positive ions. They also have the opposite effect on human health, mood and energy levels.

When we are out in nature, at sea, up in the mountains, far into the forests or standing near a waterfall, we breathe in large amounts of these negative ions. They are found naturally in large quantities in these environments.

By absorbing these ions into our bloodstream, our production of the neurotransmitter serotonin is increased, which helps relieve stress, increase energy and counteract depression. Simply put, negative ions have positive health effects and are a vital part of why we feel recharged and revitalized after a forest walk.

Airborne warriors against unhealthy particles

However, the positive with the negative ions does not end there.

The negatively charged ions actively seek airborne particles such as dust, mold spores, pet dander and other airborne pollutants and allergens. The negative ions attach to these particles, which are originally positively charged. This means that the hazardous particles can accumulate on a collector surface or fall to the floor instead of floating around freely in the air.

The same physical basis is behind the antiviral effect that LightAir’s IonFlow technology has shown, including during a seven-year study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. It’s the negative ions that attach to all examined viruses, destroys them and make them harmless for humans.

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