What are Negative and Positive Ions?

What are Positively Charged IonsIons are all around you right now and, whether you are aware of them or not, there is a good chance they are affecting the way you feel and quite possibly your health as well.

So what is an ion? An ion is a molecule that has lost or gained an electron through various atmospheric forces or environmental influences.

There are both positive and negative ions but, as we shall see, the definitions of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ are misleading in terms of their health effects.

What Are Positive Ions?

Positive ions are usually carbon dioxide molecules that have been stripped of an electron. Also known as positively charged ions, they have been demonstrated to have a negative effect on your body when you are exposed to them in excess.

This is particularly the case with your lungs and respiratory tract but your immune system can also be affected. This is because positive ions are so small they can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream from the air you breathe.

An excess of positively charged ions in your environment is believed to contribute to tiredness and a lack of energy, tension, anxiety and irritability. Positive ions in the air have even been investigated as a contributing factor for asthma and depression.

In nature, positive ions are commonly formed by high winds, dust, humidity and pollution and are at their highest levels just before an electrical storm. This has been hypothesized as why so many people feel so uneasy before a storm and why respiratory problems are commonly reported at this time as well.

If you’ve ever spent a lot of time walking beside a busy road or inside a laundromat you will have experienced the tiring effects of a highly positively charged environment. Unfortunately, our modern-day homes and workplaces have also become chronic generators of potentially harmful positive ions.

Office air-conditioning systems, fluorescent lights and electrical and computer equipment are all potent positive ion generators, with printers and photocopiers being especially bad.

In your home, fluorescent lighting and electrical equipment such as televisions and clothes dryers are big outputers of positive ions, as are the fibers in carpets, curtains and upholstery. Women’s hair dryers are a particularly strong source as well.

Worse still, as many homes are often well sealed from the air outside, there’s little chance for fresh air and its negative ions coming in with high enough levels to counteract this positive ion damage.

Additionally, unless you live in the country, opening your window may not be that beneficial anyway. Large towns and city environments generally have far more positive ions and far less negative ions in the air when compared to country environments.

What Are Negative Ions?

Negatively charged ions are the opposite of positive ions and they have directly the opposite effect on your health, mood and energy levels.

Negative ions are created when a molecule gains a negatively charged electron. Due to this nature, they are statically attracted to airborne particles like dust, mold and other pollutants and potential allergens.

By attaching to these pollutants and allergens they give them a negative charge and, rather than drifting in the air, they are grounded and fall to the floor or nearest surface. Even bacteria and viruses circling in a room can be cleared by negatively charged ions attaching to them and removing them from the air.

In the natural world, negative ions are in abundance, particularly in forests, at the beach and most intensely near waterfalls. This is a good part of the reason why you usually feel so great in these places and find it difficult to be tired or depressed.

The most powerful demonstration of the energizing and refreshing effects of negatively charged ions can be tasted in the air after a thunderstorm. What if you could bring this effect home with you?

You can with a powerful negative ionizer like one of these highly recommended models. These are special negative ion generating devices that utilize the way lightning is generated on a much smaller scale.

Using them can help swing the balance of positive and negative ions in your home or office back towards a more health promoting ratio. Many people are surprised by just how good they feel with more negatively charged rather than positively charged ions circulating in their living space.

There’s more on what ions are, how they affect you and the many negative ions benefits for your health here, as well as how negative ion generators work to make such a difference to the air you breathe.

Some people are also interested in Himalayan salt lamps, whether they can help counteract positive ions and if they do really generate negative ions. Learn more about natural salt lamps and their health benefits here.

I hope this page has helped to clear up the difference between positively charged ions and negatively charged ions and why it’s beneficial to have less positive ions and much more negative ions where you work and live.

Photo 1: paul bica