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How to reduce annoying Static Electricity (and distinguish it from real electricity)

How to reduce annoying Static Electricity (and distinguish it from real electricity)

Static electricity is just plain rude!  Although it can seem like someone has electrified your doorknob to play a trick on you, most likely your own body is just ridding itself of built-up static electricity.

Why and how does one accumulate that much electricity, anyway?

This topic warrants a small science lesson, so bear with us! As you walk around your house, friction will cause electrons to transfer between surfaces.  Friction on floors (especially carpet), friction between your clothing, and friction between your clothing and body will all cause transfer of electrons, usually resulting in you becoming positively charged (we tend to lose electrons).  Any kind of imbalance in electrons between two objects is basically voltage potential, so the potential continues to build until you touch something that is grounded (a metal appliance, doorknob, or another person) and BAM!  The potential dissipates immediately in the form of a spark or shock.  This means that the missing electrons are suddenly transferred back to you in a moment’s time.  Static electricity shocks are on the average 3000 volts–but very little “amps”, so although they don’t feel good, they usually do not harm you.

You may notice that static shocks in the wintertime occur more frequently or with more power.  What’s up with that?  It’s due to dry winter air.  Warmer air has more capacity to hold water vapor, which when it touches our skin can transfer electrons painlessly so voltage potential never builds up.  However, cold air has less capacity to hold water vapor, so it tends to be dry and more insulating.  That is not good for our sinuses and skin, as well as the nasty static shocks.  

If you’re concerned that it’s not actually static that is causing the shock, there are ways to tell the difference between static and real electricity.  First of all, does the object that shocked you do so every time you touch it?  Static is not constant, meaning that once the shock occurs, it takes some friction to build up the voltage potential again.  Touching the same doorknob a few seconds after a shock usually does not elicit another shock, indicating that it’s static.  Electricity, on the other hand, will cause your hand to “tingle” again every time you touch it (so don’t do this repeatedly until you can find the power source and shut it off!)  The “tingle” is actually the alternating current that powers all the appliances in the house, and it feels different from static.  You can also use a voltmeter to measure the potential between the "ground" of an electrical socket (the little round hole at the bottom of each outlet) and the doorknob. If it's real electricity, you should see about 120 volts (using the 200VAC setting) constantly (although an intermittent ground may flicker up and down). It’s not possible to measure static electricity using an ordinary voltmeter.Here are some weird and dangerous ways that real electricity can make its way to your doorknob or other metal:

  • One person found that the extension cord running under his door (which is a no-no anyway) had gotten a nick in the insulation from the door rubbing on it.  He unplugged it and there were no further shocks.
  • When doors are installed, normally there's at least one longer screw in each hinge in order to get more holding power into the door frame.  There's a chance the screw could have run into a wire, either behind the trim or in the wall (sometimes people hide wires behind trim instead of properly routing them inside the wall)
  • If there's a moisture problem in the wall, any fault in the wiring can be transmitted a longer distance to the doorknob.

Faulty wiring in the wall of a house is a serious safety issue, and even more so faulty wiring or ground problems in an RV or travel trailer.  Because these homes on wheels are insulated by rubber tires, the major way of grounding them is through the ground prong of the electrical cable.  If there is a break in the ground system and hot wires touch the frame, the potential of electrocution is very real.  In a word, if you suspect your RV has faulty wiring or ground problems, disconnect it from power and ask a knowledgeable person or electrician to examine it as soon as possible!

So, getting back to our static problem, how can you reduce the frequency and severity of these shocks?  Here are the easiest ways:

  • Check the humidity in your home and if it’s less than 50%, try adding a humidifier.  Even a kettle of water on an electric hotplate set on low (make sure to check frequently that it has plenty of water and turn it off when you leave the room) can help to alleviate static, as well as sooth your respiratory system and skin.  Adding a cinnamon stick or a few fresh herbs can add a light, pleasant scent, too!
  • Using bipolar ionizers like the Germ Defender, Upgraded Air Angel Mobile or Whole Home Polar Ionizer in your home eliminates static buildup.  Did you know that these use the same type of technology used in electronics cleanrooms to eliminate static charge?  The ions float throughout rooms in your home and help to equalize the charge wherever they touch a solid surface.  
  • Wear more natural fibers (but not silk or wool), as fibers like cotton and linen tend to build up less static charge than synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester.  Silk and wool, while they are natural, do build up static charge because they tend to insulate better than they conduct electricity.
  • Go barefoot when you can.  The practice of grounding or earthing not only avoids static shocks but also provides evidence of other health benefits.  
  • Synthetic hairbrush bristles may generate more friction and static than natural bristles such as boar’s bristles, so you may opt to change your brush.
  • Moisturize your skin and hair with lotions or conditioners to help “conduct” charges into the air.
  • Touch metal surfaces such as doorknobs with another metal first, like a key, so that the charge is not sent directly into your fingers. 

Winter doesn’t have to be so SHOCKING…now that you know where all this extra energy comes from!

Photo by Ilona Panych on Unsplash

Indoor Mold Summary White Paper

Indoor Mold Summary White Paper

What is indoor Mold and how does it affect us? 

Overgrowth of mold in the home can produce high levels of mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs), causing illness.  

While there is much more for the scientific community to explore, thankfully there is a growing focus on mold in our environment with a significant amount of new research being conducted on these topics.  

What are mold, mycotoxins and mVOCs?

Mold includes various types of fungus that grow on damp or decaying organic matter.  Mold can grow outdoors or indoors; it only needs moisture and a carbon source. 1  Outdoors, moisture from the ground and decaying leaves or wood provide the perfect habitat for mold.  Indoors, moisture from the air (excess humidity) or from a leaking pipe or roof will saturate a substrate such as wood, cardboard or even dust, and provide the moisture and carbon food for mold to grow. It produces particulate pollution (physical spores that replicate and spread) as well as various chemical byproducts. 

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites, which are organic compounds that are produced by various organisms that are not directly involved in the growth, development, or reproduction of the organism but are essential in the ecological and other activities (contrasted with primary metabolites, which are directly involved with these activities).2  These are chemicals that are specifically toxic to humans, which scientists believe the mold produces to cause plant disease, defend the mold from other microbes, or simply when the mold is stressed. 

Mold can cause two broad types of disease, mycoses and mycotoxicoses.

(1) Human mycoses3:

  • Are caused by growth of the fungi on or in our bodies, which can be treated with antifungals.  (Mycotoxins produced while the mold is in the body cause a secondary reaction).

  • are mainly caused by opportunistic fungi, which produce illness by taking advantage of debilitated or immunocompromised hosts 

  • are frequently acquired via inhalation of mold spores from an environmental reservoir or by unusual growth of a commensal species that is normally resident on human skin or the gastrointestinal tract

  • portal of entry can be through the pulmonary tract or direct contact with the skin

  • are largely diseases of the developed world, usually occurring in patients whose immune systems have been compromised by advanced medical treatment.

(2) In contrast, mycotoxicoses: 

  • Are caused by dietary, respiratory, dermal, and other exposures to the mycotoxins, causing “poisoning by natural means” similar to the pathologies caused by exposure to pesticides or heavy metal residues.3

  • Can be successfully treated by regimens of mycotoxin antigens, sauna, oxygen therapy, and nutrient..4

  • Are common in underdeveloped nations due lack of resources to harvest and store foods properly.3 However, it is hypothesized that mycotoxicoses in the Western World are mainly due to inhalation of mycotoxins from mold growing in indoor environments (our inference from mold experts). 

As a company focused mainly on air quality, HypoAir has focused on mycotoxins that cause illness due to inhalation (which are mainly mycotoxicoses), as a result of mold growing indoors and releasing conidia (entire spores or fragments of mold or its spores) that contain mycotoxins.  In samples collected from water-damaged indoor environments in Sweden in 20075, here are the main mycotoxins found:

  • Trichodermol and Verrucarol are trichothecenes. Trichothecenes are a very large family of chemically related mycotoxins produced by various species of Fusarium, Myrothecium, Trichoderma, Trichothecium, Cephalosporium, Verticimonosporium, and Stachybotrys molds. Trichothecenes inhibit protein synthesis in human and animal cells. 6,7

  • Sterigmatocystin is also generated by Aspergillus molds.  It is structurally and biologically related to aflatoxins and is regarded as a precursor of aflatoxin B1 (see below). Therefore, the acute toxicity and carcinogenic properties of this mycotoxin are similar to those presented by aflatoxins, although less potent, and Sterigmatocystin has been recognized as a group 2B carcinogen.8

  • Satratoxins G and H are produced by the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum.  Neurotoxicity and inflammation within the nose and brain are potential adverse health effects of exposure to satratoxins and Stachybotrys in the indoor air of water-damaged buildings.9

  • Gliotoxin is produced by the common indoor mold genus Aspergillus and is immunosuppressive (it can dampen the body's ability to ward off disease and infection). To do this it impairs the activation of T-cells and induces cell death in monocytes, a type of white blood cell.10

  • Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is one of the most potent carcinogens in foods, and it was postulated to account for the prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in high exposure areas. 11

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are gasses and can be anthropogenic (produced by human activity) or biogenic (produced by living organisms, but more specifically plants and animals).   A subclass of biogenic VOCs is microbial VOCs (mVOCs), which are gasses produced by bacteria or fungi.  Indoors, mVOCs diffuse through and sometimes accumulate in the air.  Some mVOCs are responsible for that “musty” odor that is the telltale sign of mold growth (such as geosmin and 1-octen-3-ol), but others can be odorless. Compounds with eight carbon atoms, such as 1-octen-3-ol, 3-octanol and 3-octanone are among the most common fungal VOCs, and among fifteen of the most prevalent mVOCs in water-damaged buildings (thse are 2-methyl-1-propanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-2-butanol, 2-pentanol, 3-octanol, 1-octen-3-ol, 2-octen-3-ol , 3-methylfuran, 2-hexanone, 2-heptanone, 3-octanone, 2-methylisoborneol, 2-isopropyl-3-methoxy-pyrazine, geosmin, and dimethyl disulphide).12  Although these mVOCs have not been tested for carcinogenicity, DNA damage was detected for all fifteen of the common mVOCs. 13  Low concentrations of the vapor form of several C-8 compounds including 1-octen-3-ol are toxic to larvae and adult fruit flies.  Moreover, 1-octen-3-ol (octenol for short and also called mushroom alcohol) selectively affects dopaminergic neurons in adult Drosophila (fruit fly) brain and induces Parkinson’s-like behavioral alterations in a fly model for this disease.14,15  Volatile phase 1-octen-3-ol was 80 times more toxic than the volatile phase of toluene in stem cells studies.16  Unfortunately, due to studies mostly conducted on the liquid phase of octenol, the FDA has approved it for use in foods and perfumes, and the EPA has approved it for use in insect lures. The problem with the vapor phase octenol is, like other VOCs, concentrations can build up in enclosed spaces like basements, attics, and even whole homes if they are not ventilated.

Image source: (17) 

How do mycotoxins and mVOCs overlap?

Mycotoxins are only found in solid or liquid form, while mVOCs are gaseous.  However, mycotoxins and many mVOCs are both toxic products of mold.  Therefore, overlap exists in the toxic category, but the science community doesn’t think that mVOCs should be called mycotoxins.   Why?

  1. The condition of secondary metabolites: mycotoxins are all secondary metabolites, encoded by clustered genes that are easy to detect in genomic data. Only some fungal volatiles (e.g., the terpenoids) are secondary metabolites. 18 

  2. There already are other classes of toxic metabolites made by fungi that are not called mycotoxins. Terms like “antibiotic,” (compounds toxic to bacteria), “mushroom poison” (compounds made by mushrooms) and “phytotoxin” (compounds toxic to plants, or confusingly, made by plants19) are used to label certain other categories of fungal products with toxigenic properties. 18 

  3. Since many of the VOCs that have been studied are breakdown products of fatty acids, mediated by lipoxygenases, or are made by simple biotransformation steps from amino acids, we are not certain whether the VOCs we detect in profiles from growing fungi are the direct products of fungal metabolism or are merely incidental breakdown products.18

For these reasons, one article proposes the name “volatoxin” for those mycotoxins which are volatiles.18  Whatever they are officially named, mVOCs have the potential to be harmful to humans, especially if they are allowed to accumulate in a closed space.

Mold Naturally found outside vs trapped indoors

Mycotoxins and mVOCs found outside are normally diluted due to the abundant circulation of fresh air around and through them.  It is entirely different indoors.  Just as CO2 can build up from exhalation of inhabitants in a closed space, mVOCs from mold can also become concentrated in closed atmospheres, and mycotoxins become airborne whenever mold is disturbed, even from the airflow created when a window or door is opened.  

Where are these high concentrations found?  Spaces like the following are ripe for “biohazard” conditions concerning mVOCs and mycotoxins: 

  • Damp basements

  • Enclosed crawl spaces

  • Attics with leaky roofs or otherwise high ambient humidity

  • Backyard sheds

  • Non-climatized storage units

  • Vacation homes that are closed up without air conditioning or ventilation

  • Homes damaged by natural disasters or neglect, that are abandoned

  • Commercial buildings that have not been occupied or climatized in some time

The combination of lack of ventilation (for dilution) and excess humidity and darkness makes these spaces the perfect environment to grow mold and all of the toxins it emits.

How does Polar Ionization affect mycotoxins and mVOCs?

Our Polar Ionization uses Carbon Brush style Needlepoint Ionization to split the normal water vapor (H2O) in the air into millions of positive Hydrogen ions and negative Oxygen ions, without the production of ozone.  These natural ions are in proper balance and are stable enough that they can last a minute or longer as they travel in the airflows of an HVAC system or room giving them sufficient time to interact with air and surface contaminants in large buildings. Ions are any molecule or atom where the number of electrons does not equal the number of protons. These ions are very effective against a wide range of particulate, biological and chemical contaminants.  

Due to their type and stability they:

  • can provide purification for large areas with reasonable upfront costs and no ongoing replacement parts 

  • can react with both airborne and surface based contaminants opening up many new applications for safe active sanitization of occupied spaces.

  • Remove static electricity, and as such are able to travel much further than negative ions.  

  • Due to their balanced nature, they do not create unwanted ozone unlike devices that produce negative only ionization

Ability of Polar Ionization to protect against Mycotoxins and Mold Related Particulates

Mycotoxins can be transmitted through ingesting contaminated food, or they can become airborne, attached to spores of mold (conidia) or fragments of conidia.  According to a 2005 study 20, mycotoxins from Stachybotrys Chartarum (specifically trichothecene mycotoxins) were found on intact spores, which are larger (about 5 microns in diameter) as well as fragments of mold and other smaller particles (1.2 microns and below). These mycotoxins are known to react primarily with mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, leading to irritating erythema, inflammation, and pain. 20  In an earlier study, Trichothecene mycotoxins were found on Stachybotrys atra conidia of 5 micron diameter on average, indicating that these mycotoxins are easily respirable.21

The term PM2.5 is often used to refer to particulates 2.5 microns and less in diameter. For reference, a human hair is around 50-100 microns (μm) in diameter.  The human body has many natural defenses against large particulates like these.  In general, we consider extremely small PM2.5 contaminants to be far more dangerous and difficult to remove than larger particulates. Even smaller, 0.3 microns are considered the Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS) due to their difficulty to capture.  A HEPA filter's efficiency rating is specifically tested at 0.3 microns (not larger or smaller particles) because it is addressing a variant of the filter's minimum efficiency. 

Polar Ionization removes particulates from the air primarily through making them group together making them larger, heavier, and often with a negative or positive charge.   Those same larger, heavier, and charged particles can not stay airborne for long and are relatively easy to trap in a mechanical filter or easily vacuumed up from the ground after they settled.   Polar Ionization can quickly remove well over 95% of airborne particulates (including spores) without any physical mechanical filtration whatsoever (HEPA).  Due to its mode of action, it can also improve the filter rating of any mechanical filter used in the same space by several levels.  The use of mechanical filtration in addition to Polar Ionization is often unnecessary, however it can improve the speed of removal of particulates especially with those with high sensitivities.  At HypoAir we are quick to recommend redundancies in air purification where the needs of the occupants require faster removal of particulates and when finances allow. 

Numerous case studies conducted by independent labs show how mold spore counts (and thus by inference, mycotoxins carried on the mold spores)  were dramatically reduced in the air of closed environments by employing HypoAir’s Polar Ionization without additional filters.22 

Ability of Polar Ionization to break down mVOCs

The Polar Ions are also effective at breaking down VOCs & odors at a molecular level, specifically gasses with electron volt potential below 11. This is by design as the power output is capped at 12.07eV in order to prevent the formation of ozone since oxygen has an electron volt potential of 12. Formaldehyde (CH2O) for example has 10.88 as its electron volt potential and can be dismantled down into harmless carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O).  Similarly Ammonia (NH3) with an electron volt potential of 10.07 is broken down into harmless nitrogen (N2) and water vapor (H2O) (nitrogen naturally makes up about 78% of earth’s atmosphere).   Due to the method of production and stability of the ions, no ozone is produced in this process and the theoretical issue of incomplete oxidation or unintended byproducts is addressed with net VOC reduction.  One example showing proof of these breakdown reactions was obtained by measurement before and after installation of a bi-polar ionization device in the HVAC system of Houston Methodist Hospital, which reduced Total VOCs (TVOCs) to acceptable levels with activation of the device after many months of poor air quality complaints and failure of carbon filters to adequately clean the polluted air intake.23

The following are electron volt potentials of some of the most common mVOCs in water-damaged buildings24:  

Common mVOCs

Electron Volt Potentials











dimethyl disulphide


Additional efficacy against more complex chemical compounds and high concentrations of odors can be found with our products that combine Polar Ionization with Activated Carbon, AHPCO and/or our TotalClean i2 spray.

Ability of Polar Ionization to Neutralize Biological Contaminants on Surfaces and in the Air

Polar Ionization has been well tested in our products and in other devices that produce the same type of ions to neutralize certain bacteria, mold, and viruses in the air and on surfaces.  Polar Ionization & Mold Spores in particular have been tested many times, including a 99.50% kill rate tested by GCA over a 24 hour period. 25 The Polar Ions are effective at disrupting these biological contaminants by breaking down their surface proteins which results in inactivation or lysis.  The efficacy of Polar ionization on viral (Feline Coronavirus, Coxsackie Virus, Polio Virus, SARS Coronavirus) and other biological threats (TB, MRSA, VRE, C. Diff) has been proven for years by a wide range of independent studies with more information, sources, and studies found on hypoair.com.

For more info about our proprietary products and technologies, please visit www.hypoair.com


  1. Indoor Environmental Quality: What is Mold? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/whatismold.html

  2. Sapkota, A. (18 January 2022). Primary vs Secondary Metabolites- Definition, 12 Differences, Examples. Retrieved from https://microbenotes.com/primary-vs-secondary-metabolites/

  3. Bennett, J. W., Klich,  M. (2003). Mycotoxins. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 16(3), 497–516.  https://doi.org/10.1128%2FCMR.16.3.497-516.2003

  4. Rea, W.J. (2018). A Large Case-series of Successful Treatment of Patients Exposed to Mold and Mycotoxin. Clinical Therapeutics, 40(6), 889-893. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.05.003

  5. Bloom, E., Nyman, E., Must, A., Pehrson, C., Larsson,  L. (2009).  Mycotoxins produced by molds in water-damaged indoor environments.  Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 6(11), 671–678. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15459620903252053

  6. Trichodermol (T3D3717). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.t3db.ca/toxins/T3D3717

  7. Verrucarol (T3D3723). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.t3db.ca/toxins/T3D3723

  8. Vieira, T., Cunha, S., Casal, S. (2015). 25.3.3 Sterigmatocystin. In V.R. Preedy (Ed.), Coffee in Health and Disease Prevention (pp. 225-233). Elsevier Inc.

  9. Islam, Z., Harkema, J.R., Pestka, J.J. (2006). Satratoxin G from the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum evokes olfactory sensory neuron loss and inflammation in the murine nose and brain. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(7), 1099-1107. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.8854

  10. Gliotoxin. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://healthmatters.io/understand-blood-test-results/gliotoxin

  11. Ferk, F., Speer, K., Mišík, M., Nersesyan, A., Knasmüller, S. (2015). Chapter 66 - Protective Effects of Coffee Against Induction of DNA Damage and Cancer by Aflatoxin B1. In V.R. Preedy (Ed.), Coffee in Health and Disease Prevention (pp. 587-596). Elsevier Inc.

  12. Korpi, A., Järnberg, J., Pasanen, A-L. (2009).  Microbial volatile organic compounds.  Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 39(2), 39-193. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408440802291497 

  13. Kreja, L., Seidel,  H-J. (2002). Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of some microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) with the comet assay, the micronucleus assay and the HPRT gene mutation assay.  Mutation Research, 513(1-2), pp. 143-150.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s1383-5718(01)00306-0

  14. Inamdar, A.A., Masurekar, P., Bennett, J.W. (2010).  Neurotoxicity of fungal volatile organic compounds in Drosophila melanogaster. Toxicological Sciences, 117, pp. 418–426. https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfq222

  15. Inamdar, A.A., Hossain, M.M., Bernstein, A.I., Miller, G.W., Richardson, J.R.,  Bennett, J.W. (2013). The fungal derived semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol disrupts dopamine packaging and causes neurodegeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 110, 19561–19566. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1318830110

  16. Inamdar, A.A., Moore, J.C., Cohen, R.I., Bennett, J.W. (2012).  A model to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the fungal volatile organic compound 1-octen-3-o1 in human embryonic stem cells. Mycopathologia, 173, 13–20.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11046-011-9457-z

  17. Morse, R., Acker, D. (22 February 2017). Indoor Air Quality And Mold Prevention Of The Building Envelope. Retrieved from https://www.wbdg.org/resources/indoor-air-quality-and-mold-prevention-building-envelope

  18.  Bennett, J.W., Inamdar, A.A., (2015). Are Some Fungal Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Mycotoxins? Toxins (Basel), 7(9), 3785–3804. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Ftoxins7093785

  19.  A.Graniti (1972). “The evolution of the toxic concept in plant pathology.” In: Wood R.K., Ballio A., Graniti A., editors. Phytotoxins in Plant Diseases (pp. 1–18). Academic Press.

  20. Brasel, T. L., Douglas, D. R., Wilson, S. C., Straus, D. C. (2005).  Detection of Airborne Stachybotrys chartarum Macrocyclic Trichothecene Mycotoxins on Particulates Smaller than Conidia.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 71(1),  114–122.  https://doi.org/10.1128%2FAEM.71.1.114-122.2005

  21. Sorenson, W. G., Frazer, D.G., Jarvis, B.B., Simpson, J., Robinson,  V.A. (1987). Trichothecene Mycotoxins in Aerosolized Conidia of Stachybotrys atra. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 53(6), 1370-1375. https://doi.org/10.1128%2Faem.53.6.1370-1375.1987

  22. Milburn, D. Case Studies, Mold Focus_Part 1. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1RSgZYhSq0M_-fzlPUP1Q8z2btVuDi8so/edit#slide=id.p1

  23. Schurk, D. Houston Methodist Hospital Test Study Results Needle Point Bi-Polar Air Ionization for VOC Remediation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.victordistcontrols.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Methodist_Hospital_VOC_Remediation_Project_Test_Results_2014.pdf

  24. Electron Volt (eV) Potential Chart for Industrial Gases: UNDERSTANDING eV POTENTIAL PAPER. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://egeda.be/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Electron-Volt-potential-chart.pdf

  25. Waddell, C. GPS Reports on Pathogen Testing,(n.d.) Retrieved from https://gpsair.com/uploads/customer-resources/Service-Logic/White-Paper-GPS-Reports-on-Pathogen-Testing-03-2020.pdf

Photo by Josh Eckstein on Unsplash

Do HypoAir products kill the “good” bacteria as well as “bad” bacteria?

Do HypoAir products kill the “good” bacteria as well as “bad” bacteria?

Short answer: yes, some good bacteria are killed, but let us explain a little about the nature of bacteria, and how this technology affects them!

Since HypoAir’s bipolar ionization is made for the home, we are talking about “good” bacteria for humans, found on exposed home surfaces, the skin, and upper respiratory tract, because this type of ionization does not penetrate to interior surfaces.

So the answer is: yes, bipolar ionization does kill some “good” bacteria, but the type of bacteria, on which surfaces, at what humidity, at what concentration of ions, and so on, are highly variable!   We find that the biological and air quality contaminants found in homes are typically in high unhealthy concentrations, which are typically not found in the outside air.   We want to reintroduce natural counterbalances to suppress the spread and growth of these biologicals indoors, to make them more similar to what's found in nature.  However, our technologies are not going to sterilize the environment; they're just designed to cut concentrations and reduce illness in families.  In 20-30 years, technologies like ours could become very cost effective and installed throughout a home to have a nearly sterilizing effect in our indoor environments.  We don't want that!  At that point, the intentional reintroduction of a positive biome would be advisable.  If you are concerned that the use of bipolar kills too many good bacteria, you may want to investigate probiotics for the air to replace those good bacteria on surfaces, and use gentle cleansers and soap for your skin, dispensed from containers that don’t promote the growth of bacteria.  And, consider the fact that pets (and dogs especially) vary the nature of your home’s microbiota a lot too!  

Getting back to bacteria, here’s a short refresher from an article about bacteria, endotoxins and exotoxins:  bacteria can be classed into two different groups: “Gram-negative” or “Gram-positive”.  These classes are based on a test developed by scientist Christian Gram in 1884, which differentiates the bacteria using a purple stain.   According to webmd.com, bacteria either have a hard, outer shell, or a thick, mesh-like membrane called peptidoglycan.  The hard outer shell will resist the purple stain, and show up as a red color.  These are called “gram negative” because the purple stain did not show.  Bacteria with the peptidoglycan absorb the purple stain much more easily and are called “gram positive”.  The stain also tells many more characteristics about the bacteria and the way it interacts with bipolar ions.

Bipolar technology is also called cold atmospheric-pressure plasma (CAP), or non-thermal plasma (NTP).  In a study which analyzed how plasma affected bacteria in soil, it turned out that the non-treated soil consisted of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria from different phyla (a level of classification).  After treatment with plasma, however, the gram-negative bacteria were mainly eradicated, and only the major phyla of Firmicutes (gram-positive) were left.  Presumably this has to do with the structure of the bacteria.

The authors cited two previous studies on treatment of E. Coli (gram-negative) and S. Aureus (gram-positive) with cold plasma.  In the first study, the treated Gram-positive bacteria was mainly inactivated by intracellular damage, while the Gram-negative bacteria expired mainly by cell leakage.  The second study showed that plasma treatment led to damage of the bacterial cell wall of both E. coli and S. aureus and a decrease in the total concentrations of nucleic acid and cellular protein. However, S. aureus (gram positive) was less susceptible to plasma exposure in comparison to E. coli (gram-negative).

The sum of these three studies seem to indicate that gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria are affected by plasma differently, and chances of survival of bacteria after treatment with cold plasma is higher if a bacteria is gram-positive, having more of the mesh-like membrane (peptidoglycan).  One can see from the diagrams below that these peptidoglycan layers are relatively thick on the gram-positive type, which may account for its resistance to plasma.  Depending on the relative humidity of the air, plasma can form varying quantities of reactive oxygen species such as hydroxide ions (OH-), hydroxyl radicals (•OH), atomic oxygen (O), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and singlet oxygen (1O2).   Ozone (O3) is another ROS formed by plasma generators, however we’ve excluded it from HypoAir ionizers by limiting the input energy.  These ROS are reported to damage the bacterial structure and functions.  In addition, the multiple reactive nitrogen species (RNS), including nitric oxide (NO), peroxinitrites (ONOO−), nitrites (NO2−), and nitrates (NO3−), can play a major role in the plasma’s biocidal process by altering the cell wall components, the functions and the structure of the phospholipid bilayer, the structure of nucleic acids and cellular proteins, gene expressions, and protein synthesis. (Effects of Atmospheric Plasma Corona Discharges on Soil Bacteria Viability)

Image source: Difference between gram-positive and gram-negative cell wall

However, there are factors other than gram-type that affect bacterial eradication via plasma technology, such as pH, humidity, and the surface on which the bacteria were placed during plasma exposure.  Specifically, 

  • Lower pH can translate to higher kill rates.  A reduction of 4.9 log was observed when Bacillus cereus was treated at pH 5, while a reduction of only 2.1 log was observed at pH 7.  Interestingly, the same study showed that “No appreciable differences between gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens were observed, although the spore-forming B. cereus was more resistant to plasma than non-spore-formers.” (Spores in bacteria are not the same as mold spores; only one bacteria makes one spore). 
  • Humidity was also reported as an important parameter; increasing the relative humidity was correlated to efficiency in plasma inactivation of Aspergillus niger, which was explained by the generation of more hydroxyl radicals. However, the same study showed that “In contrast, B. subtilis showed slightly poorer inactivation at high gas humidity.”
  • Regarding the surface on which the bacteria were placed during plasma treatment, higher eradication was observed when microorganisms were loaded on a filter compared to a fruit surface, because the microbes could “migrate” to the interior of the fruit.  Therefore, if the bacteria could migrate into a moist surface, it was more likely to survive. (Cold Atmospheric Plasma Disinfection of Cut Fruit Surfaces Contaminated with Migrating Microorganisms)  Wow, bacteria can migrate! 

Now that we know that there are a lot of variables in your home that affect the mortality of bacteria, how likely is it that “good” bacteria on skin, your upper respiratory system, and home surfaces will be killed?

First of all, let’s look at what types of bacteria these are.  Staphylococcus epidermidis (phylum Firmicutes, gram-positive)  is a part of the skin microbiota (aka skin flora) and another type of good bacteria is Roseomonas mucosa (phylum pseudomona dota, gram-negative), which is naturally present on the skin and contributes to an overall healthy skin microbiome. (Dermatologists Break Down the Difference Between Good and Bad Bacteria)  In addition, the optimal pH value of skin on most of our face and body lies between 4.7 and 5.75, which is mildly acidic. (Understanding skin – Skin’s pH)  According to the studies above, it’s not known whether good bacteria on healthy skin survive plasma treatment, because although healthy skin is normally mildly acidic (which promotes their death by ions), moist skin favors preservation of good bacteria. Therefore, no matter what relative humidity is in your home, it’s a good idea to keep your skin hydrated!  

Concerning the upper-respiratory tract, potential keystone microbiota are Dolosigranulum and Corynebacterium species (both gram-positive), as they have been strongly associated with respiratory health and the exclusion of potential pathogens, most notably Streptococcus pneumoniae, in several epidemiological and mechanistic studies. (The microbiota of the respiratory tract: gatekeeper to respiratory health)  Regarding pH, airway surface liquid pH in normal airways ranges in vivo between 5.6 and 6.7 in the nasal mucosa, and is around 7.0 in bronchia.  (Airway Surface Liquid pH Regulation in Airway Epithelium Current Understandings and Gaps in Knowledge) Therefore it’s mildly acidic in the upper regions, and tending toward neutral pH in the lower regions.  Being gram-positive favors survival, as does being in mucous, but being on a mildly acidic surface favors eradication of these good bacteria.  Again, keeping your mucous membranes moist via water intake and plain saline sprays is a good idea!

Finally, most of the ions that are emitted by bipolar devices will contact surfaces in our homes.  What kind of good bacteria live on surfaces?  Forty homes in North Carolina were sampled for a study in August 2011.  Standard places like cutting boards, kitchen counters, door handles, toilet seats and pillowcases were sampled.  The bacterial families with the highest relative abundances across all of the collected samples were the Streptococcaceae (8.9%) (gram-positive), Corynebacteriaceae (5.6%) (gram-positive), and Lactobacillaceae (5.1%) (gram-positive).  Since these are all gram-positive, their survival would also depend upon the acidity and nature of the surface.  Keeping the humidity in the home in the sweet range of 40-60% will favor the production of more bacteria-killing hydroxyl radicals, and cleaning regularly is important.  Wet, dusty or cluttered surfaces will actually promote good bacteria survival, but they also promote bad bacteria survival too, so to play it safe, it’s best to keep surfaces clean!  

5 Benefits Of Bipolar Ionization Technology In Households

5 Benefits Of Bipolar Ionization Technology In Households

Stеp into a world whеrе thе air swirls with frеshnеss and vitality, thanks to thе еxtraordinary technology of Bipolar Ionization. As this innovativе forcе takеs cеntеr stagе, it quietly improves the air quality of housеholds worldwidе, similar to how a quiet hand dryer transforms the mundane task of drying your hands. Unsееn yеt rеmarkably potеnt, Bipolar Ionization elevates indoor air quality, vanquishes lurking pathogеns, embraces energy efficiency, and seamlessly melds with thе future’s smart homеs. Are you ready to unlock thе sеcrеts behind a breath of fresh air like never bеforе, whеrе charged ions purify your surroundings and rеvive your sеnsеs? Lеt Bipolar Ionization technology reveal a world of possibilitiеs within your vеry own abodе.

1: A Brеath of Frеsh Air: Enhancing Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality plays a vital role in maintaining our health and wеll-bеing. With Bipolar Ionization technology, households can now еxpеriеncе a breath of fresh air like never bеforе.

Thе process involves thе rеlеаsе of ions (charged particles) that activеly sееk out and nеutralizе harmful pollutants, allеrgеns, and pathogеns prеsеnt in thе air.

1.1 Purifying thе Air Wе Brеathе

Thе ions еmittеd by Bipolar Ionization technology act as microscopic air purifiеrs, targеting dust particlеs, pollеn, pеt dandеr, and othеr airbornе irritants.  By effectively eliminating thеsе allergens, households crеatе a hеalthiеr living еnvironmеnt, rеducing thе risk of allergies and respiratory illnesses.

1.2 Battling Against Airbornе Pathogеns

One of thе kеy еmеrging usеs of Bipolar Ionization technology is its role in combating airbornе pathogеns. Thе ions disrupt thе molеcular structurе of virusеs and bactеria, rеndеring thеm harmlеss. As a result, this technology provides an addеd layеr of protеction against infectious diseases, making it particularly relevant during flu seasons or times of increased health concerns.

1.3 A Rеfrеshing Ambiancе

Bеyond its health benefits, Bipolar Ionization technology also contributes to a morе plеasant ambiancе. The еlimination of odors from cooking, smoking, or other household activities results in a space that fееls frеshеr and inviting. Familiеs can еnjoy a homе еnvironmеnt that not only promotes hеalth but also fostеrs a sеnsе of comfort and rеlaxation. 

2: Silеnt Guardians: Rеducing Pathogеns and Gеrms

In an agе where sanitation is paramount, Bipolar Ionization technology еmеrgеs as a silеnt guardian, diligеntly safеguarding housеholds against harmful pathogеns and gеrms.

2.1 A Powеrful Sanitization Solution

The sanitization capabilities of Bipolar Ionization technology arе formidable. Thе ions efficiently neutralize bactеria and virusеs, including those rеsponsiblе for common illnеssеs. As a result, familiеs can еnjoy a clеanеr living spacе and a rеducеd risk of еxposurе to harmful gеrms. 

2.2 Lеss Sick Days, Morе Quality Timе

As technology reduces the frequency of illnesses, housеholds experience fewer sick days and medical еxpеnsеs. Parents can rest еasy, knowing their children are less likely to fall ill frequently, allowing for morе quality timе spеnt togеthеr.

2.3 Safеguarding Vulnеrablе Mеmbеrs

For housеholds with еldеrly family mеmbеrs or individuals with compromisеd immunе systеms, Bipolar Ionization technology provides an еxtra layеr of protеction. Thе sanitizing powеr of ions еnsurеs a safer and healthier living еnvironmеnt for еvеryonе, rеgardlеss of thеir hеalth status. 

3: Eco-Friеndly Approach: Reducing Dependency on Harsh Chеmicals

Embracing a more sustainablе and еco-conscious lifestyle bеcomеs еffortlеss with Bipolar Ionization—thе technology’s natural and chemical-free approach to clеaning and sanitization promotеs еnvironmеntal rеsponsibility.

3.1 Embracing Sustainability

By eliminating thе nееd for many chemical cleaners and disinfеctants, Bipolar Ionization technology contributes to a grееnеr and clеanеr planеt. Reducing chemical usage translates to a decreased environmental impact and a commitment to preserving natural resources.

3.2 Protеcting Indoor Air Quality

Traditional cleaning products oftеn rеlеаsе volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into thе air, which compromise indoor air quality. Bipolar Ionization technology еliminatеs this concеrn, еnsuring that housеholds maintain a clеan and safе living space without the negative еffеcts of VOCs. 

3.3 A Win-Win for Health and Environmеnt

Thе еco-friеndly approach of Bipolar Ionization technology crеatеs a win-win scеnario for both your health and thе еnvironmеnt. Families can еnjoy a hеalthiеr homе еnvironmеnt whilе also contributing to a sustainablе futurе for gеnеrations to comе.

4: Enеrgy-Efficiеnt Living: Lowеring Elеctricity Consumption

Enеrgy еfficiеncy is a crucial aspect of modern living, and Bipolar Ionization technology provеs to be an unexpected champion in this arеna. Its minimal еlеctricity consumption makes it an еconomical and еnvironmеntally conscious choice for housеholds.  Check out our article on how running a Whole Home Ionizer 24/7 costs less than $10 per month!

4.1 Minimizing Enеrgy Usagе

Bipolar Ionization technology opеratеs on a low-еnеrgy modеl, rеquiring only a fraction of thе electricity consumеd by convеntional air purification and sanitization systеms. This rеducеd еnеrgy usagе translates to lower electricity bills and a morе budgеt-friеndly living. 

4.2 Contributing to Climatе Goals

With thе increasing emphasis on combating climatе changе and rеducing carbon footprints, adopting energy-efficient tеchnologiеs bеcomеs paramount. Bipolar Ionization technology aligns pеrfеctly with thеsе goals, allowing housеholds to participate in thе global effort to mitigatе еnvironmеntal impact activеly.

4.3 Eco-Friеndly Living at its Bеst

The energy efficiency of Bipolar Ionization Technology complements its eco-friendly approach.  By rеducing еlеctricity consumption and promoting sustainability, housеholds can take significant stridеs towards achiеving a grееnеr lifestyle.

5: Low Maintenance and Convenience

Just as Smart homе intеgration frees up time and attention for the homeowner in order to enjoy time with family and friends, Bipolar Ionization technology frees up time spent attending to and maintaining air quality.

5.1 No need to replace filters or parts

Unlike other air purification systems, Bipolar Ionization units do not have consumable parts like filters, which can be an expensive and time-consuming task to replace regularly. 

5.2 Cleaning is not necessary 

The generation of ions happens 24/7 and doesn’t require cleaning of the unit, unlike many other appliances!  

Bipolar Ionization technology is not just an еmеrging trеnd; it is a transformativе forcе in modern housеholds. From еnhancing indoor air quality to combating harmful pathogеns, rеducing rеliancе on harsh chemicals, lowеring еlеctricity consumption, and enabling freedom from maintenance schedules, its benefits know no bounds.

So, as you еmbark on this еnlightеning odyssеy with us, rеmеmbеr thе incredible bеnеfits that Bipolar Ionization brings to your homе:

• A brеath of frеsh air, purifying and rеvitalizing your living space.

• Silеnt guardians, protеcting your lovеd onеs from harmful pathogеns. 

• An еco-friеndly approach, rеducing your impact on thе еnvironmеnt. 

• Enеrgy еfficiеncy, making your household more sustainablе and cost-effective.

• Low maintenance systems that free up homeowners to enjoy more time at home.

Expеriеncе the joy of a home that еmbracеs innovation, hеalth, and wеll-bеing. Lеt Bipolar Ionization technology revolutionize your modеrn living as part of a futurе that prioritizеs еfficiеncy, sustainability, and thе wеll-bеing of your family.

Article written by Kristel Marquez