Do Air Purifiers Give Off Harmful Radiation?

Efficient filtration keeps the air inside your house fresh and pollutant free and keeps you healthy and upbeat. But a lot of sources online claim that air purifiers are secretly harming you severely with toxic radiation. But do air purifiers give off harmful radiation?

Well, air purifiers emitting harmful radiation is mostly a myth. Air purifiers do emit radiation of some sort, but that’s not nearly as dangerous as various articles on the internet claim. The radiation of purifiers can be detrimental on a very diminutive scale, but there are ways to keep yourself safe from that too.

In this article, I’ve attempted to bust the myth of harmful radiation of purifiers with the help of facts and science. Stick to the end to understand what sort of radiation purifiers emit, how it affects you, and what you should do against it.

What Sort of Radiation Do Purifiers Emit?   

Fake news spreading articles on the internet claim that purifiers emit radiation that harms our skin and other organs. Some even say that such radiation can eventually result in diseases like cancer.

But do air purifiers emit radiation of such a detrimental level? The good news is – they don’t. Air purifiers emit EMF radiation of low frequency only. Know that EMF radiations can actually be deleterious, but at higher frequencies only.

The higher the frequency, the more menacing these EMF radiations are. But the funny thing is that the harmful ‘radiation’ mentioned by most unreliable articles actually indicates nuclear radiation.

Air purifiers don’t emit any sort of nuclear radiation. Also, there is no reliable data that proves that the radiation emitted from purifiers can cause major diseases like cancer or any other. 

What Actually EMF Radiation Is

The EMF in EMF radiation stands for the electromagnetic field. Electric fields and magnetic fields are actually areas of energy, and radiation indicates the process of spreading energy via rays or waveguides.

An electric field can emerge from any source of voltage. In simple terms, any point that can produce electricity will have voltage and an electric field. You can imagine voltage as a force of pressure from a water pump.

Just as the pressure from a pump can supply water, a voltage can enable a supply of electrons. And electricity is simply the movement of electrons.

A magnetic field emerges simply from a magnet. Surprisingly, a wire conducting electricity has magnetic properties and can create a magnetic field around it. These two fields, electric and magnetic, together create an electromagnetic field.

So, basically, any appliance or machine that uses electricity to run itself will generate electromagnetic field radiation. Even the wiring of a house generates EMF radiation of some degree.

How Harmful Are EMF Radiations?     

To be honest, EMF fields are everywhere, and there is no escaping them. EMF fields are constantly being produced, even by nature itself. But they’re invisible to the human eyes, and their frequency is often too small to have any impact on humans.

Basically, the higher the frequency of the radiation, the stronger the field is. In other words, it contains more energy. EMF radiations with higher frequencies can ionize particles they penetrate.

The high-frequency EMF radiations that are ionizing are mainly gamma rays, X-rays, and UV rays. These radiations can directly damage your DNA and cells due to their ionizing nature.

Radiations with frequencies lower than UV rays don’t have ionizing nature and can’t directly damage the DNA or cell. These mid-low level radiations include visible range, infrared, microwave, radio wave, and electrostatic field.

The electrostatic field is generated when the current is direct rather than alternating. This kind of radiation contains a very small amount of energy. The amount of energy in radiation is important as EMF radiation can induce voltage and current circulation in the human body.

And the more energy in the radiation, the higher the voltage and current will be. A high amount of current will produce heat and cause problems in various functions of the body.

Fortunately, the electromagnetic field from most appliances, including purifiers, generates a very small amount of current circulation.

How Is EMF Radiation Produced in Purifiers?

As we stated earlier, any appliance that is run on electricity will generate emf radiation. But the radiation generated simply from electricity is not harmful to the human body.

Another source of radiation in an air purifier is its AC motor. AC motor gets powered by the alternating current to rotate the purifier fan or blower. This fan sucks air in to filter it and then discharges purified air from the other side.

The EMF radiation emitted from the motor of a good-quality purifier is significantly low and causes no harm to the human body. Some purifiers might generate slightly higher energy radiation if the motor isn’t efficient. But still, it’s not any more harmful than the radiation from your cell phone or router.

How to Lessen the Exposure to Air Purifier Radiation

Scientists have found no proof of radiation from purifiers being a severe cause of health hazards. If you are still fussy or concerned about that, there are a few ways to reduce the amount of exposure to air purifier radiation. Let’s take a look.

  • Keep It at a Distance

The strength of an electromagnetic field depends on the source voltage, current density, and distance from the source. The higher the voltage and current, the higher the energy of the field will be.

But the far away the source of the field will be from a point, the weaker the field energy will be at that point. That’s why you should keep your purifier in a casual side of a room where you don’t go that often.

Just a small distance attenuates the radiation by a lot, as the field itself is quite weak. So, if you’re not sure about your purifier but don’t want to get a new one right away, just keep it at a safe distance.

  • Buy A Low-radiation Purifier

For your radiation concern, there are purifiers in the market specifically designed to keep the radiation at the minimum level. For instance, there are purifiers that utilize a DC motor to rotate the blower.

These purifiers might lack a bit in the rate of air they can circulate, but they emit only electrostatic radiation. And this type of radiation isn’t harmful to us at all. 

Are All Emissions from Purifiers Completely Safe

So, is your air purifier safe or harmful? The EMF radiation from purifiers might not be hazardous, but that doesn’t mean no purifier emits anything harmful.

Air Purifiers Safe for Your Health.

If you want my opinion when buying a purifier, I’ll always encourage you to buy a purifier with a certified HEPA filter installed. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and these filters are weaved extremely narrowly so that they can capture 99% of pollutants and allergens from the air. 

While purifiers which use a filtration system consisting of HEPA and other filters are safe, ionizer purifiers and electrostatic purifiers are absolutely not. Ionizers use charged ions to make pollutants heavier, and heavy particles will get separated from the air by falling into the ground.

While, in theory, this method sounds perfect, in reality, the ions can cause many sorts of unintentional chemical reactions with different pollutants and molecules in the air. The resultant chemicals of these reactions, in most cases, are unknown and could be something very toxic.

Among many kinds of chemicals, ionizers often produce a great amount of ozone gas and formaldehyde in the air. Both of these chemicals are toxic, and long-time exposure to these toxins can be very injurious to health.

Various research attempts and field tests have also found that ionizers lead to an increase in some volatile organic compounds or short VOCs like acetone, ethanol, toluene, and others.

Most of these VOCs generated are oxygenated. These substances are found mostly in paints, aerosol sprays, and pesticides. Long-time exposure to these chemicals can cause various ailments and irritations.

Minor problems like irritation in the nose, eyes, and throat, headaches, and nausea, alongside major threats like damage to kidneys and liver, can be caused by these toxic chemicals.

So, when buying a purifier, go for one with effective layers of filters. Ionizer purifiers are not a safe choice because most of them aren’t refined enough to prevent toxic emissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can HEPA air purifiers make you sick?

HEPA filter purifiers are completely safe and effective. Some controversy recently has arisen, which claims that HEPA filters shed tiny bits of fiber in the air. Inhaling these bits is considered to be detrimental to health.

Fortunately, recent studies have proven that HEPA filters don’t shed any fiber bits in the air and are completely safe.

In reality, the harmful ones come with poor-quality filters that are not effective at all. So, before buying a filter, make sure the product comes with an authentic HEPA filter.

2. What are the disadvantages of air purifiers?

When using the purifier, the windows must remain closed. This might increase the room temperature.

Also, a purifier requires a lot of maintenance and taking care. If proper care is not taken, the machine can even degrade air quality instead of improving it. Removing pet hair from air isn’t every purifier’s job; you’ll need special ones for that.

Another issue is that purifiers require a good amount of dedicated space. Without a proper space allocation, the purifier might actually do more harm than good. You should also know which way does air filter go.   

Conclusion

Most of the stuff you hear about purifiers emitting harmful radiation is absolutely fictitious. They don’t emit any more harmful radiation than most electronic appliances around you.

But even without the radiation, purifiers can impose harmful effects if not taken care of properly. Also, stay away from sham advertising when buying one. 

Hopefully, you got no confusion left about doing air purifiers give off harmful radiation or not.

Last Updated on February 16, 2023

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Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

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