An air purifier’s main function is to remove contaminants such as toxins, allergens, and pollutants from the air in a room in enhancing the quality of indoor air. These contaminants can be hazardous to anyone, but they are especially dangerous if you have asthma or chemical sensitivity.
Many consumer-grade air purifiers use a passive filter or sorbent materials to remove volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the air. Some air purifiers, on the other hand, emit negatively charged ions that combine with the pollutants. Thereby releasing huge amounts of chemicals in the process.
This article explores the effectiveness of air purifiers. It will also go over the various types of air purifiers and assist you in determining which one is best for VOCs in your home.
Do Air Purifiers Release Any Kind of Toxins?
Toxins are small molecules, peptides, or proteins that can cause disease when they come into contact with or are absorbed by body tissues. They are, obviously, mainly secondary metabolites of plant or animal origin. Toxin toxicity varies greatly, ranging from usually minor (such as a bee sting) to almost immediately lethal (such as botulinum toxin).
Air purifiers are not capable of emitting any toxins. The reason for this is that an air purifier is not a living cell and thus cannot produce organic compounds. So, toxins can only be produced by organisms’ bodies. For instance, fungal biotoxins, microbial toxins, plant biotoxins, and animal biotoxins.
Nonetheless, an air purifier can remove a wide range of toxins from the air. Knowing that this toxin can be harmful to the health if you are exposed to it for an extended period. However, you must select the best type of air purifier that is capable of effectively removing toxins. One air purifier you will like to avoid has an extremely powerful motor. The reason for this is that when air is forced through an air purifier at a high rate, the filters won’t be able to remove as many toxins, which means you’ll be exposed to them for a longer period.
Furthermore, some air purifiers have been linked to the release of toxicants into the environment. Toxins are naturally occurring substances such as those found in poisonous mushrooms or snakes. Toxicants are man-made products, artificial products introduced into the indoor space due to human activity.
Do Air Purifiers Release Chemicals?
Many people believe that air purifiers can help filter allergens, pollutants, and irritants from the air and improve air quality in the home or workplace. To remove particles from the air, air purifiers frequently use a filter, electrostatic, or UV light-emitting technology. However, experts have spoken on whether or not air purifiers could indeed pollute our homes and workplaces.
An air purifier advertisement promise is appealing. They advertise a purifier that can purify the air in the home by removing impurities such as odors, smoke, dust, toxins, and allergies. That is right. Air purifiers can mitigate some of the risks posed by these contaminants in our homes and offices. In reality, however, not all air purifiers live up to the marketing hype. That begs the question, do air purifiers release chemicals?
The truth is that not all air purifiers are safe to use. Even if the manufacturer claims that the air purifier removes nearly 100 percent of particles, this may not always be the case. Contaminants are not always completely removed. Most soot specks, which are so small that you can’t see them individually, can be trapped inside the filter found in most common air purifiers nowadays.
Furthermore, the release of harmful chemicals into our living spaces has been linked to many of these purifiers. They do not directly release chemicals into the room, but oxidation byproducts may cause additional chemicals to be present in the air delivered. Some of which are known to be harmful to the human body if exposed to them for a long time.
For example, ozone-generating air purifiers are known to intentionally release ozone, which manufacturers have described as “activated oxygen,” “super oxygenated,” or “energized” in the past. When used at extremely high, unsafe levels, ozone is only partially effective at cleaning the air and poses a serious health risk.
Are Air Purifiers Worth It?
In general, air purifiers are worthwhile investments that can provide a long-term solution for removing pollutants from your rooms. However, it is unlikely to eliminate or neutralize all irritant particles from your home. Because many particles can settle on both soft and hard surfaces, such as furniture, bedding, and carpeting, as well as your walls, this is the case.
Some people, however, believe that air purifiers are ineffective and can pollute the indoor space. The truth is that not all air purifiers can release harmful chemicals into the environment. Some are effective at removing pollutants from your indoor space.
Furthermore, some people purchase air purifiers that are significantly smaller than the size of a room and believe that they are ineffective. If your room is large, a large air purifier is recommended, but portable purifiers should fit the bill for a small room.
Another issue that leads people to believe that purchasing an air purifier is not worthwhile is the filter. The type of filter is what distinguishes some purifiers from others.
For example, the HEPA Filter, which is commonly used in most air purifiers, is effective at removing harmful pathogens from the air, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus, as well as dust and pollen grains. This type of filter is used in hospitals.
There are, however, other types of purifiers, such as ionizers (ozone generators) and UV technology purifiers. This type of filter isn’t always suggested for use in the household since it can expose you to more harmful substances like Ozone.
Can Air Purifiers Remove Viruses Like COVID-19?
Some air purifier manufacturers implied, or outright claimed, that their machines would protect you from coronavirus at the start of the pandemic. Is it possible, however, that an air purifier can remove coronavirus?
According to recent research, air purifiers can reduce traces of airborne Covid-19 on hospital wards. However, as advised by the WHO, social distancing, wearing masks, and practicing good hygiene must be your first line of protection. You should not rely solely on an air purifier to remove viruses from your home.
Even though the virus is extremely small, it is always associated with small droplets and aerosols that are emitted when people talk. Those droplets aren’t smaller than a micron and an air purifier can capture and filter out these droplets and aerosols.
Furthermore, while there are many different air purifiers on the market today, only a few can be trusted. Inwards, a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is known to remove 99.97 percent of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any other airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns. As a result, a HEPA filter with UV light is effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 particles from hospital air.
Air purifiers for Covid-19 should, however, be used in conjunction with other measures to reduce transmission, such as masking, gathering outside, staying at home when sick, and not crowding into rooms.
How Do the Different Types of Air Purifiers Filters Work?
Air purifiers work effectively in most cases by doing two things: forcing an airflow through the purifier and purification of the air with effective filters. Every air purifier is primarily made up of filters that trap pollutants in the indoor air. Continuous airflow is used to expel the purified air from the air purifier.
Nonetheless, there are a variety of air purifier filters to choose from. This is how they work.
The HEPA filter is a mechanical type of air filter. It works by pushing air through a fine mesh that traps hazardous airborne contaminants like dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, mites, tobacco smoke, and some bacteria. Then, via the filter and the internal fans, it expels clean air to the indoor space.
The HEPA filter is one of the most popular and effective filters. The reason for this is that it can capture fine pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.
An air purifier with an activated carbon filter works similarly to a HEPA filter in that it pulls air through the filter to trap contaminants.
The materials used in these two types of purifiers are the main difference. Activated carbon is a special treated medium and highly porous. It can adsorb pollutants as air passes through it.
An ionizer is a type of air purifier that cleans the air without using filters. This purifier works by emitting negatively charged ions, which combine with pollutants and make them heavier. The denser particles will fall to the ground or other surfaces because they are too heavy to move freely in the air. Regardless, the contaminants will remain inside the room until they are cleaned up.
Short-wave UV-C light is used by air purifiers with an ultraviolet (UV) light feature to inactivate airborne germs like bacteria and viruses. As air is forced through the device, it passes through the UV lamp, which uses germicidal irradiation to attempt to disinfect the air.