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Q.01 - Can negative ion generation be affected by temperature and humidity?
Yes, it is affected. Negative ions are less likely to be generated as humidity rises because water, which ionizes the air, decreases. The ideal relative humidity for negative ion generation is said to be 40-60%. Theoritically, negative ions decrease as temperature rises, but practically this is not always the case.
Q.04 - What are the differences between static electricity and negative ions?
Static electricity is electricity at rest as the name suggests. It accumulates on insulators* such as plastics and remains there until it is discharged. Ions floating in the air can freely move.
You are more likely to get an electric shock when the air is dry because your body is more likely to be charged when humidity is low. This phenomenon is less likely to occur under high humidity because electricity flows away through water droplets in the air.
*Materials which do not allow electric current to flow
Q.08 - Does an air ion continue to exist forever once it is generated?
No, it does not. Small ions are said to have life expectancies of about 20-30 seconds. This varies depending on the mobility and diffusion coefficient.
Q.10 - Why do negative ions decrease as humidity rises?
Ions are absorbed by a cluster of water droplets to exist in the air. The more there are tiny water droplets, the more negative ions are generated. Negative ions decrease when humidity is high because water droplets combine with each other and decrease.
Q.14 - Can negative ion density be affected by human presence?
Both negative and positive ion densities decrease by human presence. This is because humans absorb ions.
Q.19 - Negative ion density is indicated in (pcs/cm3), (ions/cc) or (pcs/cc). Is there any difference?
There is no difference. They all show the number of negative ions contained per unit volume, which is the negative ion density.
Q.25 - I heard gamma rays generate the same amount of negative and positive ions. Does this mean there is no point because the ions are cancelled out?
Negative ions are not all cancelled out even if the same amount of negative and positive ions are generated. If you have an ion counter, you can observe that some are not neutralized and exist independently.
You can enjoy negative ion effects even if you absorb the same amount of negative and positive ions. This is because negative ion generators which employ the old corona method produce positive effects on the human body while generating positive ions.
However, it is ideal if positive ions are not generated because they neutralize negative ions to lower the negative ion count.
Q.27 - Do negative ions with longer life spans have more positive effects on the human body?
Ions with longer life spans have less positive effects on the human body than those with shorter life spans. Negative ions, which have long life spans, are large ions and they have large masses. Negative ions that have long life spans are large ions as they have large masses. They are less likely to spread, be neutralized by positive ions or absorbed by tiny particles because they move slowly due to their large masses.
This means they have longer life spans than smaller ions do. Large ions are said to have less positive effects on the human body.
Thus, the longer the life span is, the less it has positive effects.
Q.32 - Positive ions can increase as negative ions increase. Does this result in less negative ion effects as they cancel out each other?
Positive ions tend to increase as negative ions increase. They cancel out each other under some physical conditions. Thus, it is ideal if positive ions are not generated.
However, negative ions are not completely neutralized. Both ions can exist independently and be observed without being neutralized.
Effects on the human body produced by positive and negative ions, which exist independently, can be found in literature published in the past. (Effects by typical negative ion generators which employ the corona discharge method) This suggests negative ions work if the ion count exceeds that of the positive counterpart.
There is very little information on relations between the negative/positive ion ratio, which is so called the ion balance, and the effects on the human body. It will be elucidated by further research.
Negative ions have shorter life spans than positive ions because they are more likely to spread or be neutralized/absorbed by other substances due to their larger mobilities (velocities per 1 V/cm or 1 V/m).
Q.33 - What is the difference between negative ions and ozone?
The differences are as follows.
Negative ions are negatively charged, while ozone is electronically neutral.
Effects on the human body
It is said that negative ions produce positive effects on the human body. Ozone is a gas which has a high ability to oxidize other substances. Highly concentrated ozone is harmful and it can even cause death. The safety standard is set by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which is 0.1ppm or less in working areas.
The ozone layer located in the stratosphere contains highly concentrated ozone. Ozone works to prevent an excessive dose of UV radiation from reaching the earth's surface as it is harmful. The deodorant and sterilization effects of ozone are utilized in the medical, environmental and other industries. Negative ions purify the air and produce positive effects on the human body and are used for home appliances such as air purifiers/conditioners and hair dryers, and various industrial products as well.
Ozone generated with negative ions
Negative ion generators which employ the corona or other discharging methods generate ozone when electricity is discharged. You may have smelled ozone (simulating odor) when lightning occurs because ozone is generated in the atmosphere.
Q.35 - What does the Japan Association of Ion Research and Application do?
This NPO conducts ion related research and provides information to the public. Their service includes ion measurement, issuing certificates to manufacturers of ion related products, organizing symposiums/lectures and publishing newspapers/bulletins.
This organization was established in order to maintain and improve health conditions of the citizens and to improve productivity and safety of the food, agricultural and other industries through research of functional ions and providing ion related information.
The JISB9929 Standard for measurement method of airbone ion density was deliberated and established by the JIS committee. An ion counter, which they developed, was used to establish this standard. In Japan, this is the only official standard for air ion measurement.
[Japan Association of Ion Research and Application]
http://www.japan-ion.jp/index.htm (Japanese only)
Q.39 - Is there an official standard for negative ions?
There is a JIS standard as shown below.
JISB9929 Standard for measurement method of airbone ion density
In Japan, this is the only official standard for measurement of air ions as of Jun 2010.
Here is the table of contents.
[Table of contents]
2 Normative reference
3 Terms and definitions
4 Types and classification of measuring methods of airborne ion
4.1 Measuring method and classification of airborne ion density
4.2 Measuring method and classification relating to the evaluation of amount generated by the ion generator
5 Measuring method of airborne ion
5.1 Measuring method of airborne ion density
5.2 Measuring method relating to evaluation of the generated amount by the ion generator
6 Preparation of report
Annex 1 (informative) Airborne ion density measuring device
Annex 2 (informative) Method for evaluation of the removal effect of electricity fan ionizer with the charged plate monitor
Annex 3 (informative) Method for generation of airborne ion
Annex 4 (informative) A relationship between life span of ions and aerosol concentration
Annex 5 (informative) A laminar flow test method within a condenser at a time of designing
Japanese Standards Association
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Universal Plan Co., Ltd.
107 Tachikawa-Lumiere, 3-5-1, Ichiban-cho, Tachikawa-city,
Tokyo, 190-0033, Japan
Phone: +81-42-848-5311 Fax: +81-42-848-5148
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