If you have been looking around at the various best air purifiers on the market, you have no doubt encountered personal air purifiers. Do personal air purifiers work? Read on to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Personal air purifiers, otherwise known as wearable air purifiers, are typically worn around the neck.
  • These air purifiers use ionic technology and release negatively charged ions into the air that bond with airborne particles to bring them down to the ground.
  • There are some dangers inherent to using a wearable air purifier, as they tend to create ozone as a byproduct of use.

What is a Personal Air Purifier?

When you see the term personal air purifier, it is typically referring to a wearable air purifier. Occasionally, a smaller-than-average air purifier design will be advertised as being a personal air purifier, but that is rare.

Insider Tip

When you see the term personal air purifier, it is typically referring to a wearable air purifier.

Wearable air purifiers are worn around the neck and work to purify the air immediately surrounding your person. They work differently than homebound air purifiers, as they do not feature any dedicated air filters. Instead, they tend to use ionization technology more in line with a standard ionic air purifier. In other words, these wearable purifiers release negatively charged ions into the air which attach to potentially harmful particles and drag them down to the ground.

Do Personal Air Purifiers Work?

They do work, but it will depend on the power of the unit itself and just how much air they are being asked to purify. So you will get a better result with wearing one of these units while indoors as compared to when outdoors. If you are interested in how effective Electromagnetic Air Purifiers are and if they can be washed and recycled, read our article.

Warnings Regarding Personal Air Purifiers

Though these units do work to purify the air immediately surrounding the wearer, they do come with some slight risks.

Ozone Generation

As a general rule, ionic air purifiers create ozone as a byproduct of use. This is no different when it comes to wearable or personal air purifiers. You can expect the creation of ozone as you go about your day. Breathing in a lot of ozone over a long period of time can be bad for your overall health and can worsen the symptoms of a variety of respiratory illnesses. Additionally, ozone can cause its own symptoms, such as coughing. Also the PM2.5 particles can easily be breathed causing respiratory ailments, you can read more to understand better how the PM2.5 air purifier works.

Warning

Breathing in a lot of ozone over a long period of time can be bad for your overall health and can worsen the symptoms of a variety of respiratory illnesses.

Negative Reactions With Personal Care Products

There have been some studies linking the ozone created by these wearable air purifiers to the creation of a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Researchers think that the ozone particles created by these portable purifiers interact with the chemicals found with personal care products, such as face lotion, makeup, and the like. VOCs can be seriously harmful to breathe in so it could be a good idea to limit personal care products while using a wearable air purifier.

F.A.Q.

What filters do wearable air purifiers use?

Wearable air purifiers do not use filters at all. Typically, they use an ionic generator to purify the air. They push out negatively charged ions into the atmosphere, which bond with potentially harmful airborne particles.


What are air purifiers supposed to filter out and do they actually do it?

Air purifiers are supposed to filter out allergens, odor-producing particles, bacteria, virus particles, germs, and a variety of volatile organic compounds. They do actually work, though your mileage may vary depending on the make and model.


I’ve heard about ozone coming from air purifiers. Should I be worried?

Ozone can be created with the regular use of ionic air purifiers and ozone generators. You should be cautious, but not outright worried.



STAT: 3 of the 4 wearable ionizers tested removed less than 10% of particles 20 cm away from it. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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