Ions in Our Cities
When man upsets the ion balance he does so totally and permanently. Pollution, for instance is not seasonal. Besides which, man builds cities and covers the land with asphalt and concrete. That prevents the normal generation of ions, so there would be fewer ions in an urban area. But then man creates pollution and that makes things worse. Negative ions are more active than positive ions, scientists describe them as "zig-zagging around at great speed" and more readily attach themselves to submicroscopic particles of pollution. These newly charged particles cluster together and eventually fall to the ground as dust. Thus the bigger the city the lower the total ion count, and the greater the pollution the greater the imbalance in the ratio leaving a predonderance of the more harmful positive ions. Buildings with air conditioning and hot air central heating systems suck in this already unbalanced air and make things worse.
Today an estimated 60% of the population in North America spends about 80% of it's time in cities and urban areas where the total ion count and balance is hopelessly and perhaps permanently depleted and destroyed. Not until the past century was mankind required to adapt to a totally man made environment with polluted urban areas and sealed centrally heated and cooled buildings in which most men and women spend most of their time. Over open country air contains around 6,000 particles of pollen, perhaps dust per mililiter of air. In the industrial cities of North America and Eruope the particle count soars to several million particles per mililiter. And particles of dust destroy negative ions which attach themselves to them.
Measurements reported by scientists show that at main intersections in Leningrad, Paris, Zurich, Munich, Dublin and Sydney the ion count is reduced to an average of between 50 and 200 at midday. Scientists in Zurich and in Munich took an ion count in the downtown areas at noon one sunny day and found only 20 ions per cubic centimeter.
Indoors the situation is made worse by the action of air ducts in trapping further ions, principally negative ones and by the effects of people breathing in a confined space. Smoking provides a further source of condensation nuclei. The net effect is that large numbers of city workers spend their days breathing air with typically just 200 to 300 positive ions and 150 negative ions per cubic centimeter as compared with between 1,000 and 2,000 of each in clean country air.
The driver of a car is in a similar condition. The steadily increasing city traffic presents an increasing number of stresses in addition to often raising the carbon dioxide and exhaust gas content of the atmosphere over the permissable lever. To make a bad thing worse, meterological influence is often also present in the invasion of warm air masses producing a prevalence of positive ions. If this influence is superimposed on the adverse conditions of the rush hours, the accident hazard will increase abruptly. Budapest traffic police statistics proved that when the warm southerly air was present, the average accident rate increased from 1.6 an hour to 2.6. The tests also demonstrated that even at mid morning on a winters day the positive ion densities in built up areas reached what any ion scientist would describe as alarming proportions.
There is overwhelming evidence to prove conclusively that in the past half century man has, with some good intent and considerable ignorance, meddled with the environment so much that the ion balance has been distorted and in places destroyed, so that the minds and bodies of almost all city and urban residents and workers are to some extent affected, You can't ride a bus, drive a car, or even buy a new suit or dress made of synthetics without being in one way or another a victim of the ion effect. The staggering reader response to that story in the Ottawa Journal in Canada shows that we are all conscious that something is amiss with our living and working environments.
Clearly there are both long term and short term solutions to the way we are currently damaging ourselves through ion depletion and positive ion poisoning. In buildings, ionizers able to generate "healthy" levels of ions can be installed. People are as we have seen already using ionizers effectively in many parts of the world and they are healthier and happier because of them. There is the evidence of a quarter century of research throughout the world that proves one thing conclusively: There is no harmful consequences from the artificial generation of negative ions except perhaps, that they may keep you alert and awake for longer than you need be. There is no apparent reason why we should not straighten out the ion imbalance in offices, apartments, schools, houses, factories, and other places where we live and work by using negative ion generators.
Excerpts from "The Ion Effect" by Fred Soyka