Are you suffering from coughing, sore throat, asthma attacks, headaches, and breathing difficulty even though you have installed an air purifier at home to stay protected from polluted air? Well, it is no secret anymore that these illnesses might be a side effect of your air purifier. Don’t panic and continue reading; I will explain it in detail.
Air Purifiers Side Effects
Kinds of Air Purifiers
Air purifiers have many kinds. All of them come with their side effects. While it can help filter the dust, germs, and odor from your house, it can also create more concerns like generating ozone and noise.
There are various brands of air purifiers available, and not all of them are designed equally, so let me explain their side effects based on their way of purifying air.
Air Purifiers that Use Ozone to Purify the Air
These types of air purifiers have very serious side effects as the whole device is engineered to discharge a harmful, odorless, and colorless gas called ozone.
These air purifiers excrete ozone in a notable quantity and spread it across the room to kill germs, bacteria, odor-creating germs, mold, etc. ozone is a purifying gas, but it has its side effects.
Ozone is a major cause of many illnesses like sore throat, congestion, chest infection, and chest pain. Ozone can also trigger and worsen many lung diseases by damaging the lining of the lungs. It leads to bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.
This air purifier may become deadly if you already suffer from these diseases. Regular inhaling of ozone can lead to lung cancer.
Ionizer Air Purifiers
This air purifier is electronic and works by electrically charging the air inside the room. When coming out of the purifiers, these electrically charged particles or ions stick to any dust and debris in the air.
Electrically charged ions then accumulate on any surface available, which can be a wall or a table etc., creating black wall effects. All the pollutants and ions eventually neutralize, fall out, and enter the air again.
What is the point of filtering if these pollutants are entering the air again? The cycle will continue and accumulate more pollutants inside the room or any closed space than before the purifier was installed. So it is better to avoid it.
These electric purifiers claim to be ozone free but also create ozone as a by-product when charging the particles. So electronic or ionizer air purifiers also release ozone, thus leading to the same side effects.
Air Purifiers that Use Filters
An air purifier that uses filters to purify the air is a better option among all as it does not discharge or create ozone; rather, it takes air in and uses its filters to purify it. This is an efficient way to kill all germs, bacteria, and pollutants.
Still, the side effect is that you have to use it about thirty to forty times an hour to completely filter the air in the room to provide the air purifier’s high CFM or cubic feet per minute capability. This will lead to extra electricity usage, and you will need a smaller room for it to work efficiently.
When the types of air purifiers and their particular side effects are explained thoroughly, it will be easy to choose the air purifier that best suits your needs. Almost all air purifiers come with side effects. Following are some common side effects of the majority of air purifiers.
UV Air Purifiers
UV air purifiers use UV light to sanitize the air and remove all germs and pollutants. The ultraviolet air purifier does so by disinfecting the air through UV rays. UV rays can be harmful to human skin and eyes. Even if your skin or eyes are exposed to it briefly, it will still damage it permanently and can also lead to cancer.
General Side Effects of Air Purifiers
Air purifiers generally come with noise. The companies advertise it by calling it ‘white noise’. There is no doubt that different purifiers come with different noise levels. Some may be quieter than others, but they are surely expansive. For those people who do not like constant noise or are not a fan of white noise, this will definitely be a problem for them.
Air purifiers can be very costly. Their extravagantly high price makes it a luxury for most people. People from developing countries need these appliances as they use solid fuels like wood, dung, and coal to cook food in their kitchens. The gasses released from these fuels get trapped inside the house, making it extremely polluted.
So the point is that these relatively poor people need something budget-friendly rather than expensive. After installation is done, the appliance needs maintenance which again is expensive.
If you use an air purifier that works on filters, you will most likely change the filters frequently. Even the ones with UV lights need to be changed and replaced.
Replacing the parts is expensive as well as time-consuming. You will have to either replace the filters or clean them. Not cleaning it regularly will affect the purifying process, but all this cleaning and replacing do not happen automatically. It will consume a lot of your time, energy, and money.
Accumulates Germs, Bacteria Dust, and Debris
Air purifiers can be the cause of dust and debris in your room. If used constantly in a room without cleaning, it pulls all the pollutants and creates an accumulation of germs, bacteria, and dust around it.
The charged ions in the electrical air purifier stick to the dust instead of removing it from the room. Those ions then result in more dust and germs, thus making the room dustier than the outside.
If you have allergies to dust or any other airborne allergens, there is a higher chance of your allergies getting worse. The air purifier collects all the pollutants while filtering them and will stick to your body and clothes, making you more vulnerable to allergies. So, either avoid using it or keep it far from yourself.
Cannot Clear Tobacco Smoke Quickly
Air purifiers are not the very best option if you want to get rid of the smoke. Tobacco smoke is quite sticky, so just like dust particles, the charged particles can also adhere to it, sticking it to walls and furniture. So it makes the smell stay longer in your house instead of clearing it quickly.
Similarly, it is useless for clearing out the fresh odor from your kitchen or washroom. It can not immediately clear fresh odors. If your house is moldy and has an odor, it will work in that condition, but for the immediate odor, it is quite useless.
One of the biggest side effects of an air purifier is the emission of ozone gas. It is a very deadly gas often known as killing gas. The ozone generator air purifiers release ozone to kill the pollutants present in the air. Electrical and UV air ionizers release ozone as a by-product. It is almost impossible for these purifiers to work without discharging ozone.
Ozone can cause many diseases like sore throat, congestion, chest infection, and chest pain. It can worsen your respiratory tract disorders like asthma, bronchitis, and the linings of your lungs and lead to cancer. Large consumption of ozone can even kill your pets.
An Air Purifier can Create Formaldehyde
Air purifiers release ozone, which can rapidly react with terpene in scented products like perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and skin care products. When terpene reacts with ozone, it makes formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is very harmful to human beings. When the concentration of formaldehyde exceeds 0.1 ppm, it may lead to various illnesses and discomforts like coughing, nausea, wheezing, watery eyes, skin irritation, and burning of eyes, throat, and nose.
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In a nutshell, air purifiers are designed to protect us from harmful substances present in the air and provide a healthy and clean environment inside our house.
Now the question is, is it cleaning the air? It surely has inescapable side effects making it more harmful than helpful. However, there are still good brands with better devices with minimum side effects, so before buying, compare them.
I’m Alex Johns, a seasoned expert in air purification with years of experience in the industry. As editor of the Air Purifierly blog, i share valuable insights and advice on how to improve air quality and protect your health at home and beyond.