Do Air Purifiers Emit Radiation?

Imagine you enter a room, and fresh air welcomes you. Sounds refreshing, right? Yes, it is. But with the increase of air pollution, the air you breathe in is no longer fresh. Instead, the air you inhale contains dust particles, allergens, and different microbes accompanied by odor.

To get a little relief from this issue temporarily, you can install an air purifier. Air purifiers are basically ‘air cleaners’ that filter contaminants present in the air in a room. However, there is a myth regarding the use of air purifiers. It is said to emit radiation. The purpose of this article is to address the answer to the question “Do Air Purifiers Emit Radiation?” and some other information related to air purifiers which might come up in your mind while you are opting for it.

Ionizing Radiation and Non-ionizing Radiation

Radiation is energy emitted from different sources in energy waves or high-speed particles that propagate through a medium or through empty space.  Radiation can be classified as ionizing radiation or non-ionizing radiation, depending on the amount of energy radiated.

Ionizing radiation – An atom has two particles: electron (negative particle) and proton (positive particle). Ionizing radiation is high-energy radiation with sufficient energy to eliminate an electron from its electron shell in the atom, causing the atom to be positively charged or become ionized.

This overall change in the net charge triggers a chemical change within the cells, causing the DNA to be damaged. Exposure to a high level of ionizing could affect your internal organs causing severe tissue or skin damage, cancer, and even lead to your death.

Examples of ionizing radiation that causes potential health hazards are: X-rays, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, alpha radiation, gamma radiation, and beta radiation.

Non-ionizing radiation- Unlike ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation does not have sufficient energy to eliminate an electron from its atom because of its low kinetic energy. Examples of such radiation include microwave, radio wave, infrared, and so on. We are constantly being exposed to non-ionizing radiation in our day-to-day life, and this type of radiation has been found not to cause DNA damage.

Related reading: Does Air Purifier Remove Carbon Monoxide?

Do Air Purifiers Emit Radiation?

Yes, air purifiers give off EMF radiation. You are always exposed to radiation like radio wave, microwave, infrared emitted from your cellphone, watch, television, Wi-Fi router, or household appliances. However, these emit non-ionizing radiation, which has little or no known effects on your health. Similarly, air purifiers emit very low frequency non-ionizing radiation in the form of Electro Magnetic Field (EMF).

The magnetic and electrostatic fields generated by the flow of electrical current in a conductor and devices are referred to as electromagnetic field radiation (EMF). To put it simply, whenever electricity is involved, an Electro Magnetic Field is generated. These fields are radiated as a result of the electron flow. For example, EMF is emitted from the electrical motor that powers the unit when switching on the air purifier.

Is The Radiation Emitted By Air Purifiers Harmful?

As mentioned above, low frequency radiation isn’t much of a big deal compared to high frequency radiation. Since radiation emission from air purifiers is very low (non-ionizing radiation), you can say that it is safe in general.

Related reading: Do Hepa Filters Have Fiberglass?

Final Thoughts

According to a research done by the University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), breathing in polluted air can reduce your life expectancy by almost 1.8 years. This is why a clean breathing environment is very crucial and air purifiers can provide you the benefit.

The answer to the frequently asked question ‘do air purifiers give off radiation?’ is YES. It does emit radiation but to a certain level where human health is not affected.

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