Air quality. It’s not sexy, is it? Most of us never think about it. Since the average adult inhales seven to eight liters of air per minute, this has a huge impact on your health. You definitely want to make sure that your air quality is great.
So what makes air quality “great”? A high concentration of negative ions leave people feeling refreshed and healthy. They also help to clean the air of harmful bacteria and pollutants. How? Well, all airborne particles (like mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses) have a positive charge, and negative ions have a negative charge. Negative ions and particles magnetically attract to one another. This makes the particles too heavy to stay remain airborne, so they are no longer suspended in the air. This prevents them from being inhaled into the body. High concentrations of positive ions creates the reverse effect.
Here Are Some Examples of What the Air Quality of Different Environments is Like:
- Waterfalls 95,000 – 450,000 per cubic centimeter
- Mountains, seashores, breezy forest 50,000 – 100,000
- Breezy country meadow 5,000 – 50,000
- Caves 5,000 – 20,000
- Cities 100 – 2,000
- Rooms and offices 40 – 100
- Rooms with Air Conditioner 0 – 20
As most of us spend the vast majority of our time in urban, climate controlled environments, this is not a great thing, is it? Positive ion producing things like air conditioning, televisions and clothes dryers, carpet and upholstery can further deteriorate the air quality. Even if you get outside and walk around the city, you’re not getting a huge boost in negative ions.
Ten Reasons to Pay Attention to your Air Quality
1. Negative ions are called nature’s antidepressant. They increase your serotonin and lift the mood. If the level of negative ions is high enough, it can even be a treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
2. Negative ions are reduce airborne allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores.
3. When the air is abundant in negative ions, airborne viruses and bacteria are significantly reduced. This means you don’t get sick as often. Another reason illness is reduced is that air that is heavy with negative ions improves the function of the cilia in your respiratory tract. This leads to fewer instances of respiratory illnesses like colds, flu, hay fever and asthma.
4. There are wind streams (such as the Santa Ana winds) that bring in sickness, malaise, depression, suicides, anxiety, and crime sprees. It sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s true. Called “witch winds,” these winds are heavy with positive ions.
5. Have you ever felt the relaxing sensation of being around a waterfall or ocean? The air actually normalizes your breathing rate, decreases blood pressure and relieves tension. Additionally, because negative ions are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, they may help to combat harmful free radicals within your body.
6. High concentrations of negative ions lead to improved energy levels. This is even true for those with mental handicaps.
7. Good air leads to better sleep. A French study found using negative ionizers could help you to sleep better. This is once again due to their positive effects in normalizing serotonin production in the brain.
8. Good clean air also reduces instances of headaches and sickness. The company Norwich Union found installing negative ion air cleaners in a work area full computers and other electronic equipment reduced instances of reported sickness and headaches by 78%. Negative ion generators are also routinely used in European hospitals for their improved healing rates.
9. Pierce J. Howard PhD at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences says in the Owners Manual for the Brain – “Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.”
10. Negative ions also protect the body and mind from the harmful effects of environmental stressors such as electromagnetic fields.
So, what can you do if you don’t have great air quality? Do what you can to improve it as much as possible. If you spend all day indoors, get outside. Open a window. Go for a walk in some green space. Buy a plant. Seriously, buy several. Plants help clean the air. Plug in a Himalayan salt lamp. Move away from your computer. Buy a negative air ionizer… or two. And one for your car. Don’t smoke inside. Take off your shoes inside the house. This keeps the dirt and dust outside. Go natural. Buy clothes made of natural fabrics. Clean with baking soda, pure soap, and vinegar rather than pine scented, chemically ladened cleaners. Use natural fabrics for draperies and carpets. Synthetics often off-gas chemicals for years. Clean filters (furnace, vacuum, air conditioner, etc) regularly. Get out of the city as much as possible.
You’ve all heard me say it. Breath is life. But it’s only as good as the quality of air that goes in. Make it as clean as possible so that it can nourish you inside and out.