Thursday, May 2, 2024

Negatively Charged Ionized Air: The Issue of Health Effects

Environmental & Science Education
, STEM, Science & Society, History of Science, Nature of Science, Pseudoscience

Ed Hessler

Joe Schwarz, director of the Office For Science & Society, University of Montreal examines the claims of the positive effects of negative ions. A sample follows.

Schwarz begins and ends his story at Niagara Falls. Between them he comments on scientist Philipp Lenard, the 1905 Nobel Laureate in physics. In a paper published in 1892 "he described how the splashing of falling water charges the surrounding air air with electricity, known today as the 'Lenard effect.'"

It wasn't until the 1950s that Albert Krueger began scientific studies of effects of negative ions on living tissues."  Krueger was very deliberate in what tissue he chose to study. The work was followed by many studies and a few of these are discussed.

The Chinese were the first to wonder whether a synergistic effect occurred when two health  practices were combined. Chronic fatigue syndrome was studied but while some effects were observed the science, according to Schwarz, is not strong. 

Schwarz discusses Himalayan salt lamps, the semi- precious stone tourmaline and ion air purifiers. All have been studied.

In addition you may be interested in this recent study of biological health effects of negative air ionizers. It is long and technical but I point out some sections to consider: the abstract, the graphical abstract, and the conclusions. As you scroll through the paper you may also find some of the illustrations and tables of interest.

Schwarz examined his own "mood enhancement" experience trip on the Maid of the Mist tour at Niagara Falls.


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