WHAT ARE NEGATIVE IONS?
Ions are invisible particles, either molecules or atoms, which bear an electric charge. Atoms, for instance, consist of an atomic nucleus that contains neutral neutrons and positively charged protons, as well as orbiting electrons that are negatively charged. When an atom is in a neutral condition, the number of protons (+) and electrons (-) is equal. When the number of protons and electrons is not the same, the particle becomes an ion that is either positively or negatively charged.
Positive Ion (Cation): an atom (or molecule) that has lost one or more electrons due to a high-energy impact. Natural forces that generate positive ions include the decay of radioactive minerals, radon gas, forest fires, lightning and ultraviolet rays.
Negative Ion (Anion): an atom (or molecule) that has gained one or more extra negatively charged electrons. Negative ions are naturally generated by evaporating water, ocean surf, waterfalls and ionic minerals such as Tourmaline.
HOW ARE NEGATIVE IONS GENERATED NATURALLY?
There are also certain minerals that emit Negative Ions for example Tourmaline and Germanium.
FACTS ABOUT NEGATIVE IONS
- Tasteless, Odourless.
- Urban areas typically have much lower concentrations of Negative Ions in the air than rural areas.
- Ionisation is mandatory in many European and Russian Hospitals.
- In March of 1999, Good Housekeeping Magazine had its engineers test an ionizer by using a smoke test, and found that it cleared out the smoke in a tank.
- A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture found that ionising 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).
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 magnetically 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, and will then be collected by normal cleaning activities, such as vacuuming or dusting.
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. Ioniser/ionic air purifiers recreate them with electrode pins ("needlepoints") to electrically produce negative ions.
ARE THERE ANY SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON NEGATIVE IONS?
Ancient peoples recognized that the air is "electric" so to speak, but it is thought that the formal study of ions did not begin until fairly recently. In 1899, two German scientists, Elster and Geitel, discovered that there are particles in the atmosphere that carry electricity. These particles were later named "air ions" by the British scientist Faraday. The word "ion" was taken from the Greek language, in which it means to "go" or "wander about."
To date over 5000 studies have been conducted on Negative Ions. Many of these are available online.
SOME COMPILED STUDIES
How Negative Ion Affects the Human Body?
Dr. Robert O. Becker, pioneering researcher and author of the book, The Body Electric and Cross Currents, has established that energy system within our bodies consists of two forces, magnetism and electricity, with the electricity component consisting of low-frequency direct-current (DC) electric field. This electromagnetic energy system is affected by the earth's natural electromagnetic environment, which is normally relatively quiet, with minor rhythmic variations, but which experiences great increase in an electromagnetic charged environment.
Numerous studies have established the effect of Negative Charged Ion environment on the human body. The negative charged environment has stimulated the body's own healing mechanism in the case of stress and specific physical problems.
Increase blood flow with resultant increased oxygen-carrying capacity, both of which are basic to help the body healing itself;
Changes in migration of calcium ions which can either bring calcium ions to heal a broken bone in half the usual time, or can help move calcium away from painful, arthritic joints;
The pH balance (acid/alkaline) of various body fluids. (Often out of balance in conjunction with illness or abnormal conditions)
Hormone production from the endocrine glands can be either increased or decreased by Negative Ion stimulation;
Altering of enzyme activity and other bio-chemical processes.
Negative Charged Ions are Effective in Treating Cancer (Cited from High-Voltage Treatment published by Youth Publishing)
In 1950; Dr. Haskell applied Negatively Charged Ions to patients of Hypertension. Amazingly, Negative Ions were proven to have a positive effect in lowering one's blood pressure, while no beneficial effects were observed with Positive Ions. Negative Ions are also effective against influenza, asthma and especially bronchial disease. Another study done by the University of Frankfurt involved a "Cancer Team" in order to further study the physical effects of Negative Ions to cancer cells. Different types of cancer cells were transfused into the bodies of mice. In order to have a base of comparison, one group of mice was put into a negative ion environment each day while the other group remained untouched. As a result, the mice in the negative ion environment lived, on average, for 59 days, while the mice that were untreated lived no longer than 34 days. The mice from the experimental team lived 25 days longer; some even lived as long as 80 days! The experiment's result confirms the effectiveness of Negative Ions in treating cancer.
"Negative Air Ions Stimulate Mitochondria" Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia.
Other Negative Ion Benefits
Asthma, Allergies, and other Respiratory Problems and Illnesses. Many scientific studies have been conducted over the years (mostly in Europe and Russia) showing how exposure to high levels of negative ions drastically or significantly reduce asthma and allergy symptoms, as well as respiratory-related illness.
Studies have also shown a link between negative ion treatment and benefits for the following:
Inhaling negative ions regulates the production of serotonin inside the brain. The overproduction of serotonin inside the brain is the cause of migraine headaches.
A study at Columbia University suggested that negative ion treatment is more effective than anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac and Zolof, and there are no side effects with negative ions.
The overproduction of serotonin (chemical produced inside the brain) also causes fatigue, and negative ions regulate the production of serotonin inside the brain.
A study in France found that negative ionizers helped people to sleep better, by regulating the production of the chemical serotonin in the brain.
Mental Performance and Concentration
Several tests have shown people exposed to negative ion treatment perform much better in mentally-oriented activities than those who are not.
Due to test results performed by Russian scientists, negative ionizers were always installed in the locker rooms and resting places for the Russian athletes.
Studies performed in one hospital found that burn patients were far more likely to recover more quickly and thoroughly.
Negative Ions for Alternative Ideals in Health, Science, and Medicine
The article in Alternative Ideas in Health, Science, and Spirituality (http://www.sumeria.net/health/ions.html) concluded that
- Negative ions ACCELERATE the oxidative degradation of serotonin whereas Positive ions have the opposite action and inactive the enzymes which break down serotonin.
- An INCREASE in the serotonin level (5-hydroxytryptamine) produces:
- a rise in blood pressure,
- bronciospasam going as far as asthma attack,
- increased intestinal peristalsis (contractions and dilations of the intestines to move the contents onwards),
- increased sensitivity to pain,
- increased aggression.
- A DECREASE in the serotonin level is calming and increasing defenses against infections (as proven with influenza 'the flu').
- Negative ions produce an INCREASE in hemoglobin/oxygen affinity so that the partial oxygen pressure in the blood rises but the partial carbon dioxide pressure decreases.
This results in reducing respiratory rate and enhancing the metabolism of water-soluble vitamins.
In addition, negative ions produce an INCREASE in PH and, in particular, an INCREASE in the secretory performance of the mucosa with an INCREASE in cilliary movement in the airways
High levels of negative ions ...
Are desirable. They're naturally found in places like the beach, in the mountains, in the country, in pine forests, near waterfalls, and many other places that people like to be -- all the places that we feel good after we visit them.
The evaporation of water can produce a moderate amount of negative air ions; the small positive charges are left behind in the water.
High levels of Positive ions ...
Are undesirable. They're found:
- Indoors where a TV or computer monitor (CRT) is operating
- Indoors and outdoors where warm, dry winds blow
- Wherever the air is polluted. Air pollution uses up negative ions
- Air is stripped of electrons as it flows through ductwork, creating unwanted positive ions.
- "Remember that feeling you've experienced near a waterfall or high in the mountains? Those are two places that thousands of negative ions occur. They create an effect on human biochemistry."
- "The normal Ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative Ions per cubic centimeter (about the size of a sugar cube). At Yosemite Falls, you'll experience over 100,000 negative Ions per cubic centimeter. On the other hand, the level is far below 100 per cubic centimeter on the Los Angeles freeways during rush hour."
- "While ionization of the air is mandatory in many European and Russian hospitals and work places, it has only recently come to light in our country with the growing problem of toxic air in our urban environments."
From "Whole Self", Spring 1991, an article entitled "Ions and Consciousness".
Negative Ions help freshen and purify the air
By causing allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust, and animal dander floating in the air (which have either a neutral or a positive charge) to be attracted to and stick to each other, forming 'clumps' (because opposite charges attract). These clumps of particles then become heavy enough so that gravity can pull them down to the floor, where they can be vacuumed up, rather than staying in suspension where they can be breathed in and cause allergic reactions.
Negative Air Ions help kill germs in the air
Research has shown that negative air ions have a bactericidal effect [PDF] on airborne bacteria.
Depression and Mood
Negative ions also have been shown to help lift mood, alleviate depression and seasonal affective disorder (winter depression or SAD). There is even a patent by a prominent researcher and institution for the treatment of depression with negative ions.
Because there is no fan (like in filter-type air filters or room air purifiers), the dust on floors and tables is not stirred up, and so the air in a room with a negative ionizer in use can become almost completely free of dust and pollen.
When a Comtech Research negative ionizer is in use, the dust particles than can normally be seen in a sunbeam shining in the window are either partially or totally gone.
The spot of light on the floor is visible, but NOT the sunbeam between the window and the floor!
Negative ionization of the air does a superb job of eliminating most tiny particles that float in the air.
They are normally suspended in the air (even when the air in the room seems calm) just by the normal convective air currents. You've seen dust floating in a beam of sunlight shining in the window, haven't you? Well, when a high-density negative ionizer is in operation in the room, you see very little (if any) of that. It's really quite impressive to experience. That is the reason they can help people with allergies: they help remove dust, pollen, mold spores, and other allergens from the air. Of course, if you have a window open on a windy day and the pollen is blowing in, no negative ionizer will clear the air quickly enough to help anyone.
Ionized room air does not have to pass through a filter or be circulated by a fan to be cleaned. The negative ions generated by the ionizer emanate from the unit throughout the room and cause dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, etc. to clump together and drop out of the air. In a filter-type purifier with a fan or blower, only the air that goes through the filter can be cleaned. And even then, the tiniest particles still can flow through the filter. These tiny particulates can be better removed by ionization than filtering, even HEPA filters.