Are you worried about air purifiers giving off radiation?
Air purifiers are famous for improving indoor air quality.
But some people are concerned about the potential radiation from these devices. And with so much information (and misinformation) online, it’s no surprise that you might have questions about whether air purifiers are safe.
In this article, I will dig into the question: “Do Air Purifiers Give Off Radiation?”
Not only that, but I’ll give you the lowdown on the different types of radiation that might be emitted, the potential risks, and how you can reduce any exposure.
So please stick with me until the end; you’ll better understand the connection between air purifiers and radiation.
Then you can decide whether using one in your home is the way to go.
Do Air Purifiers Give Off Radiation?
Air purifiers give off a bit of electromagnetic radiation (EMF) from their electric motor. A study published in 2002 proved there is no need to panic because the levels are considered safe for humans. Air purifiers are very safe and don’t emit more radiation than a cell phone.
On the other hand, if you’re using an ionic air purifier, it works a bit differently. Instead of radiation, it makes charged ions that help clean the air. And don’t worry; this method is also totally safe for long-term use.
The first thing to remember is that virtually everything we encounter throughout our lives releases radiation.
The thing is, not everything that radiates from an object is dangerous.
The fact of the matter is HEPA air purifiers are used day and night by millions of happy customers, and they are a safe and effective way to clean the air.
Even with millions of users using their air purifiers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is no evidence of purifier owners dropping dead from radiation poisoning.
Therefore, the easy answer is everything electrical emits radiation, including air purifiers. But not all “radiation” is the harmful type.
What is EMF Radiation, And Is It Dangerous?
Air purifiers emit no harmful radiation, only a low-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF). Electric fields are created whenever electrical currents flow.
Although an electric field will continue to exist even when the current is not flowing.
Likewise, magnetic fields occur whenever electrical current flows, with its strength fluctuating based on the amount of electric power consumed.
However, even though the magnetic field will vary, the electrical field will remain constant. Though electromagnetic fields are invisible, they are always present in the environment.
Electric fields are produced via a build-up of electrical charges in the atmosphere, usually during a thunderstorm.
The Earth has a natural magnetic field, evident to anyone who has used a compass and watched it point to “magnetic north.”
The planet’s natural magnetic field is used for navigation by fish and birds.
There are also several human-made sources of low-frequency electromagnetic fields, including the electricity emitted via the power sockets in your home, as well as TV and radio antennas, mobile phones, and the like.
A few studies have shown that low-frequency EMF may have long-term negative health consequences.
But for the most part, EMF radiation has been found to have a neutral effect on health, except in very high doses. You are quite safe if you don’t live directly beneath high-tension electrical wires.
How Do Air Purifiers Release EMF Radiation?
Air purifiers radiate EMF as a function of their running via electrical current.
Virtually anything that plugs into the wall releases EMF as a function of electrons working and moving.
However, the low-frequency EMF exposure from small appliances like air purifiers is much smaller than other things we use daily, like cell phones and radio and TV towers, and high-frequency microwave exposure.
In fact, there is no scientific evidence that exposure to trim levels of EMF radiation from small appliances like air purifiers is harmful to health.
Not to mention, millions of families who use air purifiers to clean up the air in their homes reap the benefits of having one. (1.)
Types Of EMF Radiation Emitted By Air Purifiers
|Types of EMF Radiation||Frequency||Examples||Potential Harm to Humans|
|Non-ionizing EMFs||Less than 10 electronvolts||Laptops, cell phones, microwaves, air purifiers, Bluetooth devices, power lines, electric blankets, medical equipment||Thought to be harmless|
|Ionizing EMFs||ELF-EMFs have frequencies of up to 300 Hz, and radiofrequency EMFs range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz||X-rays, gamma rays||Can damage DNA or cells|
Is EMF From Air Purifiers Potentially Harmful?
It’s not possible to claim all EMF radiation is entirely safe.
But the low level of low-frequency EMF emitted by small appliances is not harmful, according to scientists.
At extremely high levels, EMF, especially that of the high-frequency variety, can be quite hazardous to the health of those who live around it.
However, that type of exposure is generally limited in scope.
Besides, high-frequency EMF tends to be shielded from the public.
So you’re not walking around the community and slowly frying due to this exposure.
Also Read: Can you leave an air purifier on all night?
For example, your microwave oven is potentially very dangerous, except that manufacturers must shield the high-frequency EMF to keep it inside the microwave.
And not where it could harm you or your kids and other loved ones. (1.) (2.)
Are The Stories About Radiation From Air Purifiers True?
The easy answer to that question is “no.”
However, there is more to it. The conspiracy theories suggesting that “radiation” comes from small appliances like air purifiers don’t specify the type of “radiation” they mean.
They are meant to scare people by evoking an image of families glowing in the dark or melting their faces off.
However, there is a difference between electromagnetic radiation and what is called “ionizing radiation,” like x-rays, which can lead to serious medical problems if overexposed to them.
Ever since the discovery and the development of x-ray systems, which are often used for medical diagnoses, there has been a continual effort to limit exposure to x-rays, and it has largely been successful.
However, not every form of “radiation” is like x-rays.
Consider The Stories to Be “Errors of Omission”
It is not the case that the stories about air purifiers emitting “radiation” are outright lies. In some cases, air purifiers do produce hazardous emissions, but they produce no harmful radiation.
Some air purifiers use short-wave ultraviolet (UV) light to clean up the air, which can be harmful under some circumstances.
Some others use electrostatic plates to snag dust and other particles out of the air.
However, none emit radiation in the way they insinuate. Both systems can potentially generate ozone, which is very hazardous in high concentrations.
While ozone serves as a protective layer in the upper atmosphere, closer to the ground, It becomes a pollutant and a greenhouse gas.
Do Air Purifiers Work?
This is probably the most critical question to ask. After all, if they don’t work, there is no point in buying one.
So it doesn’t matter what they emit into the home, right?
Well, the good news is most air purifiers do work. They do remove particles, like allergens, from the air.
That said, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won’t endorse any of the claims made by air purifier manufacturers regarding their efficiency. And whether or not they make the air around the consumer healthier.
However, the EPA does warn the public about the dangers of ozone-producing air purifiers on its website.
In fact, they warn about “ozone generators” that are “sold as air purifiers.”They also warn consumers regarding the hazards of buying the “wrong” air purifier.
The Bottom Line-Can Air Purifiers Be Harmful?
There are many reasons to investigate air purifiers before you buy one.
Several factors need to be considered before you purchase one and take it home, including the following:
- Purifier efficiency
- Airflow rate and;
- Particulate matter load.
The EPA also explains how these factors work together on their website on “indoor air quality.”
Essentially, they advise consumers to look for an air purifier that will not just remove nasty stuff from the air. But it also possesses the efficiency to cycle through all the air you live in.
Read: Are air purifiers a waste of money? Click to Check out this guide.
How Air Purifiers Differ: The Removers vs. The Destroyers
Mechanical filters, like HEPA air purifiers, are called “Removers”.
This is because they physically capture the particles from the air and trap them for disposal.
That is why HEPA air purifiers are considered superior to others.
In the “Remover” category, electronic air purifiers are considered less effective because they trap charged particles using electrostatic plates.
However, as noted previously, their methods also create ozone, which is a pollutant and not desirable as a replacement.
Gas-phased air purifiers use filters containing activated carbon filters to remove gaseous pollutants from the air.
Do “Destroyers” Clear The Air?
Ultraviolet (UV) air purifiers are considered in the “destroyers” category because they destroy pollutants.
However, they are also considered quite dangerous because they produce ozone.
Granted, the ozone they create is at concentrations far below EPA standards, but since the goal is to clear the air, is it wise to spew more gunk into the same air you just cleaned?
Lastly, while air purifiers do not release radiation into the air, some can pollute the air to clean it.
Therefore, it makes sense to do your homework and buy an air purifier that cleans the air without polluting it simultaneously, doesn’t it?
If you want to create a healthier room, does buying an air purifier that works against that goal make sense?
Your best bet is a HEPA air purifier, and there are plenty to choose from. Find one that gets the smoke and other stuff out of the air and doesn’t give something back.
Air Purifier Radiation FAQ
How Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Are Produced And What They Do
EMFs are like invisible forces of electric and magnetic fields generated by nature and humans using electricity. While some EMFs can be harmful and fall under ionizing radiation, others are not.
They can cause direct damage to our DNA or cells. When we use electricity, we create magnetic fields as electric current flows, and the stronger the current, the stronger the magnetic field. But even when we’re not using electricity, electric fields still exist all around us.
Are There Different Types Of Air Purifiers That Emit Radiation?
Yes, various kinds of air purifiers release radiation. Ionization-based air purifiers make negative ions that stick to airborne particles, which then drop to the ground. But this process may also generate a small quantity of ozone, which can be harmful when present in high levels.
While other air purifiers use ultraviolet (UV) light to kill bacteria and viruses, but this method can also emit low radiation levels. Nonetheless, it’s essential to note that the amount of radiation released by air purifiers is usually deemed to be very low and not harmful to people’s health.
What Are the Best Ways To Minimize Radiation Exposure From Air Purifiers?
Here are some ways to minimize radiation exposure from air purifiers:
- Choose air purifiers that don’t use ionization technology or UV light. Look for ones that use activated carbon or HEPA filters to clean the air.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid using the air purifier in small or poorly ventilated spaces if you choose one that uses ionization technology or UV light.
- Choose an air purifier with a lower radiation emission if you use it in a small room.
- Place the air purifier in a location where you’re not near it for extended periods. For instance, you can put it in a corner or on a shelf instead of directly on a desk or table where you spend time.
- Use the air purifier only when necessary. If the air quality is already good in your home or office, you may not need to use it as frequently.
Levoit Air Purifier Radiation Do They Produce It?
Levoit air purifiers don’t emit radiation. They use a fan to filter air mechanically through a 3-stage filtration system that includes a pre-filter, True HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter. While some air purifiers can emit tiny amounts of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, Levoit’s model has low and ozone-free EMF levels.
Looking For Air Purifier Guides?
I hope this post was helpful and answered the question, “Do Air Purifiers Give Off Radiation?”
If you’re looking for more air purifier resources, consider checking out our other posts on air purifiers.
- Best Air Purifiers For Pet Urine Odor
- Best Air Purifiers For Bird Owners
- Best Hepa Air Purifiers For Asbestos
- Best Air Purifiers For Eczema
Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.