Understanding Bipolar Ionization in a COVID-19 Environment

Bipolar ionization has been claimed to potentially mitigate or reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses throughout a space.

Bipolar ionization works by introducing positive and negative ions into the air. The ionization causes production of clusters of hydroxyl (OH) radicals, which are formed on the surface of microbes, removing hydrogen from the microbes’ cell walls, thereby inactivating potentially infectious particles. If not properly specified and installed, it may cause negative health effects.

To better understand this technology, we reviewed the most frequently asked questions with our COVID-19 Task Force, which includes chairman of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ COVID-19 Task Force Dr. William Bahnfleth; esteemed infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Kaiser; and engineers from Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group. Our Task Force answers questions about in-space installations, portable units, microbes, adverse effects of ionizers, indoor air quality, and more.

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