Ionic air purifiers are used to combat airborne contaminants that are invisible to the human eye. They use useful reactive agents that are also invisible to users. Then how is a user supposed to know if the cleaner is doing what it says it is or is just burning electricity? A good starting point would be a properly conducted review. A quality check must begin with a focus on user safety. Safety, which can be further broken down into 2 separate categories, was covered extensively in this author’s 2 articles on EzineArticles.com.
A review of the ionic air purifier must also include 2 other equally critical criteria:
(1) Efficacy Test – The detergent technology, based on solid scientific theory, must be proven to work in a laboratory;
(2) Efficiency Test – The cleaning technology tested in the laboratory must be successfully translated into a device that reproduces the same laboratory results in the user’s home, school or workplace environment. Such demanding tests require significant resources, well beyond those of the normal user. The effectiveness test must fall under the responsibility of a laboratory and even then a GLP-certified laboratory.
GLP stands for Good Laboratory Practice and is a set of principles formulated by the OECD to ensure the generation of high quality and reliable test data. The efficiency test is even more difficult to perform with consistency and objectivity because it must be performed at the users’ locations. Notwithstanding these obstacles, a review of the ionic air purifier must include a proper assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the ionic air purifier. Suitable tests include most, if not all of the following characteristics:
(1) A controlled experiment
This involves rigorous testing of an unproven statement known as a hypothesis;
A clear, succinct iteration of the science behind the technology;
Control Test – The effects of an operating ionic Medical Air Purifier in a room must be compared to the effects of not having an air purifier;
Replication – the experiment must be capable of being peer-reviewed, preferably by an independent third party from an authority;
Replication – the experiment must show the same results at different times if the conditions are identical;
Replication – different cleaners of the same model must give very similar or identical test results;
(2) Randomized Double-Blind Test Standard – This is the highest standard of medical-clinical testing in which both the researcher and the test subject do not know whether they are in the actual experiment (where the ionic air purifier works) or in the control experiment (if the Cleaner not working);
(3) A suitable test location – where all known variable factors that can affect the performance of a cleaner can be controlled, e.g. Room size, temperature, humidity, inclusion or exclusion of ambient or outside air;
(4) Accurate measurements and records – the effectiveness of a cleaner can vary over time and distance, air flow rates, consistency of instrumentation, etc;
(5) Appropriate specialized gauges (pictures are available on The Ionic Air Purifier Blog) are often needed, such as:
microbiological air sampler
positive & negative ion detector
(6) Appropriate analytical tools and skills Medical Grade Air Purifier – these are required to accurately measure and document test results before and after the experiment, e.g. Analysis of mold cultures before and after ionic air purification;
(7) The integrity of the test staff is crucial so that the test results are professionally documented and reliable. If essentially all of the above procedures have been performed on an air purifier by a GLP-certified laboratory, the results of the effectiveness and effectiveness tests provide very reliable inputs for a review of the ionic air purifier. It is the mission of this blog to obtain such test data from as many air purifiers as possible with the aim of producing reliable and objective reviews of ionic air purifiers for the benefit of all users.