Blueair Air Purifiers Use Ionizers: A Potential Health Danger?

Blueair air purifiers such as the Blueair Blue Pure 211 and 411 models are some of the most popular air purifiers on the market. There is talk about whether Blueair air purifiers use ionizers and produce ozone. It’s a quest that many users online have asked, just like this user on Quora:

The Blueair website avoids answering the question directly, instead saying that “Blueair air purifiers use a combination of mechanical and electrostatic filtration”. They call this technology “HEPASilent”, and distinguish it from ionizers by claiming that ionizers release ions into the room, whereas the Blueair technology doesn’t do this.

However, on Best Buy, Blueair Support has stated that their air purifiers do in fact “have small Ionizers in them which cannot be turned off”.

So, what’s the truth? Do Blueair purifiers contain ionizers? Or do they use some other type of non-ionizer technology? And do Blueair purifiers produce ozone? We’ll speak with data.

Do Blueair Blue Pure 211 and 411 Air Purifiers Use Ionizers?

In short: yes, all Blueair purifiers use ionizers, not just the Blueair Blue Pure 211 and 411 models. In Blueair’s illustration of how the HEPASilent Technology works, they explain how particles receive an electrostatic charge (or get ionized) in an ‘ion chamber’.

We took apart a Blueair 203 purifier to take a look at this ‘ion chamber’.

Blueair air purifiers use ionizers

It turns out, it’s just an ionizer called an “anion generator” inside the purifier!

Blueair air purifiers use ionizers

Here’s a look at the brush side of the ionizer, which emits the ions into the air.

Blueair air purifiers use ionizers

How can we be sure it’s an ionizer and not something else? We found a lot of dust stuck to the Blueair metal shell. What’s happening here is that the particles in the air are getting ionized, and then sticking to the nearest surface – in this case, the metal sheet and not the HEPA filter itself.

This is exactly what happens with ionizers emitting particles into a room, except particles get stuck to surfaces in the room:

Learn more: What are ionizers and how do they work »

Why Do Blueair Purifiers Use Ionizers?

Numerous 3rd party tests have found that the ionizers used inside Blueair purifiers can increase the CADR of the purifier by approximately 20-50%. This is a significant increase in the cleaning rate of an air purifier. Blueair claims that by using their ionizer ‘HEPASilent’ technology, they can use lower-grade filters that achieve higher CADR numbers, but at lower noise and power levels. This is exactly the same technique Smart Air uses in our Sqair air purifier, just without the ionizer part.

Despite this, ionizers may be considered dangerous and have been found to produce ozone.

Do Blueair Air Purifiers Release Ozone?

Yes, our tests showed Blueair purifiers have dangerous ozone levels close to the air purifier. Other tests show ions escaping the Blueair 203 into the outside air, which can be dangerous.

Blueair air purifiers emit ozone

Bottom Line: All Blueair Purifiers Use Ionizers

Blueair purifiers do use ionizers, including the popular Blueair Blue Pure 211 and 411 models. While Blueair may call it ‘electrostatic filtration’, the purifier we tested did have an ionizer installed inside the purifier.

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