Feeling Anxious? An Air Purifier Can Help

The world can feel overwhelming sometimes. Wars, severe weather, illnesses…. So much is out of our control. But, there is one area of your life where you can take direct action. Adjusting your indoor air quality can improve both your anxiety and your overall health.

What pollutants are we breathing in?

Climate change, wildfires, human activity, and industrial and automotive pollution have all contributed to lowering air quality around the world. With every breath we take, we are pulling chemicals and particulate matter into our body.

There are many pollutants that can have an adverse effect on our body including ozone, radon, and even pollen. But, perhaps the most dangerous component of air pollution is fine and ultrafine particulate matter. 

What is particulate matter?

Particulate matter are microscopic particles that are present in air everywhere. Particulate matter is classified according to size, with the smallest being the most dangerous. 

PM 10 (particulate matter) are inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller. 

PM2.5, also known as fine particles, are those that are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. PM2.5 are about 30 times smaller than a human hair. 

Ultrafine Particles (UFP) are particulate matter that are less than .1 microns in diameter. 

Exposure to any particulate matter can cause health issues, but fine and ultrafine particles are the most damaging to our bodies.

What is Particulate Matter composed of?

While the specific particulate matter in each area may vary, the two major sources of pollution are nature and human activity. 

Natural sources include: 

windblown dust, dirt and sand, volcanic smoke, and burning materials.

Man-Made sources include: 

various forms of combustion, such as from gas-powered transportation, industrial businesses, biomass burning (the burning of plant matter or coal for heating, cooking, and energy), and farming.

How do these pollutants affect our bodies?

The tiny size of fine and ultrafine particle matter makes them easily inhalable and capable of penetrating deep into your respiratory system, and even into your bloodstream.

Short-term exposure to particulate matter can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, along with coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. Long term exposure to PM2.5 can cause permanent respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and heart disease. PM2.5 particles also elevate the likelihood of premature birth and infant mortality.

Inhaling fine particulate matter is so dangerous, in fact, that a recent study called PM 2.5 “the largest environmental risk factor worldwide,” responsible for many more deaths than alcohol use, physical inactivity or high sodium intake. 

What about our mental health?

Not only does particulate matter take a devastating toll on our bodies, it can also do a lot of damage to our mental health. Research shows that some pollutants can damage brain structure and neural connections, leading to an increased risk of mental health issues.

Anxiety, depression, and even psychotic episodes have all been shown to be triggered by an increase in air pollution. 

What this means is that monitoring indoor air could be a useful tool in regulating your mental health. 

How can an air purifier help?

There are several different types of air purifiers and each one claims to be able to rid indoor air of pollutants. But, the truth is that many of those purifiers are not very effective and can even release additional pollutants into your home air that can do more damage to your health.

Your best bet to safely remove both particulate matter and harmful chemicals in your air is to use an air purifier with a combination of True HEPA and activated carbon filters. 


HEPA filters are made up of interlaced fiberglass or plastic fibers that are twisted into a maze designed to take particles out of air circulation. 

While many air purifiers use the word “HEPA” in their name, only those labeled as “True HEPA” have been tested to ensure that they are able to trap 99.95 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns. 

That .3 micron size is important because scientists have determined that particles of that size evade air filters more than larger or smaller particles. 

The particles are trapped in different ways according to their size. Fine particulate matter are small and light enough that they bounce off larger particles in the air in random patterns, causing them to get caught in the HEPA fibers.

Activated Carbon Filters

While the effects of volatile organic compounds on mental health is still being studied, exposure to these chemicals have already been shown to have an impact on your overall health. That’s why it’s so important to find a purifier that combines both HEPA and activated carbon filters.

Activated charcoal filters use extremely hot charcoal to trap pollutants. When the temperature of the charcoal is raised, the elements and compounds that were bound with the carbon atoms are removed and all the binding sites for carbon become “free” for binding, which means that odors and volatile organic compounds get removed from circulation. 

The purifier that is right for you…

The right purifier will both remove pollutants that can damage your mental health and give you the peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to ensure your family is breathing clean, healthy air.

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