Negative Ions and Their Affect on Human Health

Negative Ions
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Negative Ions

For most people, anything associated with the word negative is automatically bad. However, when it comes to negative ions, things become complicated. Negative ions can be beneficial for mental and physical health.

What are Negative Ions and How are they made?

According to HealthLine, “negative ions are molecules floating in the air or atmosphere that have been charged with electricity.” These ions can be found in nature. For instance, have you ever felt a sudden burst of energy after a thunderstorm? That is because these ions have been released into the atmosphere. Some researchers believe that they can have major benefits for mental health. Though most studies were too small to collect substantial data.

Does negative ionization have positive effects on human health?

As stated before there has not been any substantial evidence to prove that negative ionization can affect human health. Nonetheless, several studies have been conducted. Including one conducted between 1957 and 2012. The study found negative ionization had no effect on general mental health. When people with depression were exposed to negative ions for long periods of time, there was a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.

Another review about ionization found that while exposure to these ions may not improve general health, exposure to them does have perks. Exposure to ionization includes better sleep patterns and moods, and reduced stress levels. On the other hand, the study did not find evidence of reduced serotonin levels, lower blood pressure, or better breathing. Keep in mind that all of these studies have been done in small groups and in a controlled environment.

Despite this, some people are still taking part in ionization therapy. Though researchers say if you want to feel better, go outside and embrace nature.

What are the risks of Negative Ions?

In addition to not having substantial data. There are a number of risks to being exposed to large amounts of negative ions at high concentrations. One of them being respiratory irritation. For people with asthma, being exposed to these ions can lead to a build-up of particles in their respiratory system. Which can either worsen asthma or increase the risk of lung disease?

Another potential risk is the buildup of electricity. High concentrations of these particles can lead to electrical charges being released into the air. This can cause dangerous levels of ions to buildup in a person’s home.

Negative (Anions) vs Positive ions (Cations)

Personally taking a walk through a park sounds better than being exposed to ions. However, some people just prefer to try unorthodox methods. Due to this, it is important to consider all the information.

Anions and Cations are created together. Both anions and cations, however, go through different processes. For Anions, during cloudy days, they produce quicker and tend to attach to moist air. This leaves a large concentration of cations floating in the air. Which in simple terms, can make one feel icky. This is why a lot of people tend to complain about joint pain when it rains. Ironically, too much exposure to positive particles is what makes you feel sick, not the negative ones.

In order to feel better, a higher concentration of negative ions must be released. Though some people resort to buying overpriced salt lamps, the best way to find negative ions is to go outside. When it is raining, go outside. Go to the beach or lakefront. Or simply just take a walk. Not only is it good for health reasons, but it also can make you feel better.

The point is to make yourself feel better. The more natural ways seem safer. If a person does decide to use a salt lamp, do so in a safe manner. Though spending nearly $20 on a lamp that probably will not work, seems excessive. Just saying, for the same price, you could probably buy something from McDonald’s (which might be worth more). Ultimately though, the decision is up to the individual.

Opinion by Reginae Echols

Edited by Sheena Robertson


WebMD: Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes

Healthline: The Effect of Negative Ions

Science Alert: What Are Negative Ions And Why Are There So Many Studies on Their ‘Health Benefits’?

Top Image Courtesy of ChrisA1995’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License

Featured Image Courtesy of iamcopphis’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License


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