The Pros and Cons of Using an Air Ionizer in Broward County, FL

Clean air is essential for our health, the environment, and agriculture. Fort Lauderdale and the South Florida region generally have good air quality, but there are ways to make the air we breathe even healthier. Laboratory tests were conducted with particulate air and gas samples in a large semi-furnished chamber and in a field test with an ionizing device installed in an air treatment unit that serviced an occupied office building. The Air Resources Management Division of Florida promotes the health of communities and a thriving economy by fairly and responsibly regulating Florida's air resources, including representatives from Broward County.

Air pollutants or air toxins come from six sources found in the United States: particulate matter, tropospheric ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. The Clean Air Act of 1990 is the most recent version of the law to clean up air pollution. The health impacts of air ionizers are largely unknown, although a small number of recent studies are cause for concern. Unlike air filtration (in which air passes through a filter to remove contaminants from the air), very little research has been done on the effectiveness and side effects of additive methods of cleaning the air, such as ionizing devices.

If you see a smoking car or truck, you can quickly and easily report it through the Broward County Smoking Vehicle Program. In another recent study, air ionizers used in school classrooms reduced particle concentrations and produced some improvements in the respiratory health of children aged 11 to 14 years. However, ionizers had an adverse effect on heart rate variability (a measure of cardiovascular health), meaning that any benefit to the lungs came at a cost to the heart. The market for air purifiers is booming, but a new study has found that some air cleaning technologies marketed for COVID-19 may be ineffective and have unintended health consequences.

One of the most popular types of air purifiers on the market today are ion generating systems, including “bipolar ionization” devices, which electrically charge particles so that they are deposited in the air more quickly. They are usually marketed to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. So what are the pros and cons of using an air ionizer in Broward County? On one hand, they can reduce particle concentrations and improve respiratory health in children. On the other hand, they can have an adverse effect on heart rate variability.

Additionally, there is not enough research to determine their effectiveness or potential side effects. Ultimately, it is up to individuals to decide whether or not they want to use an air ionizer in their home or business.