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Produced by the NASA Center for Aerospace Information (CASI) 


NASA TM 75086 


Andras Varga 

(NAS A-TM-75086) RES E ABC H EEPCBT ON THE N78-19752 


(National Aeronautics and Space Unclas 

Administration) 37 p HC A03/MF A01 CSCL 06P G3/52 08643 

Translation of: "Forschungsbericht iiber die 
physiologische Wirkung von Luftionen und deren 
Bedeutung als Umweltfaktoren" , Elektro-Biokli- 
matische Forschungsstelle des Hygiene-Instituts , 
der Universitat Heidelberg, 1972, pp. 1-28. 


1 . R#po*t N»> 

2. Go«i'n. *- • Atciin t*o No. 


T itlo o*d Svbtitlo 

Research Report or. ti.- "• w! 

•> - - ’ 


ffects of Air I :.o a, ; thel 

r oignificanc 


Avfh«r( •) 

Andras Varga 


P*rto"*' nj O'joni io*'Cn o^d Add'*** 


Box 5456 

Santa Barbara, CA 93108 


Sponsoring Agoney Noki ond Addrosa 

• | 

National Aeronautics and Space 


Washington, D.C. 20546 


3. R«np-«nt ■ Cc’oloj No. 

5. Report Do*o 

p h r» u £t r* 

6. P or forming Or gom to*i on Cod* 

8. P or forming O'gomiofion Ropo'f No 

10. Work Unit No 

II. C 0 r i f r o C t or G r 0 n f No 

13 . Typo of Report ond Period Coxore^ 


15. Swpplementor y Note* 

Translation of "Forschungsbericht Uber die physiologische 

Wirkung von Luftionen und deren Bedeutung als Umwelt faktore 
Elektro-Bioklimatische Forscnungsstel le des Hygiene-Insti- 
tuts, der Universitat Heidelberg, 1972, pp. 1-28. 

16. Absfroct 

The series of experiments performed have shown that .small air 
ions generated artificially using radioactive materials oroduc* 

physiological effects in all test subjects, which are iescribed 
in this reDort. 

These results show that the air ions must be considered as 
important climatic factors in the production of comfortable 
and healthy room climates. 

17 . Key Words (Selected by Author(i)) 

18. Distribution Stofomont 

Unclassified - Unlimited 


20. $•< vmIjt Clossif. (of fMa pago) 

21* H«. of P ogos 



»• \*e >:•? 

Table of Contents 

I . Introduction 

II. Chronologic table of research progress in the field 
of the biological significance of air ions 

III. Survey of the physics of air ions 

1. Factors which ionize the air 

a. Natural occurrence in the open air 

b. Natural occurrence in closed rooms 

c. Artificial origin 

2. Structure of air ions 

3 . Measurement of air ions 

IV. Potential physiological action of air ions 

1. Principle of the potential effect 

2. Ions as climatic factors 

3. Physiologic data on the human oxygen consumption 

4. Some research results on the action of air ions 

V. Experimental conditions (Methodology) 

1. Climatic conditions 

2. Biological conditions 

a. Age 

b . Sex 

c. Occupation 

d. Physical constitution 

e. Duration of the sitting 

VI. Effect of air ions on physiological data for humans 

1 . Oxygen uptake 

2. Reaction time for optical signals 

3. Changes in pulse rate 

4. Blood pressure 

5. Skin resistance 




VIII. Summary 



Year Researcher Reference Methodology and Results 

1930 Tschijewski 24 Treated lung patients with ionized 

air and got good curative effects . 
In rats, under the effect of 
negative ions, there appeared 
an increase in movement and sexual 

1931 Des sauer 4 Pure unipolar air was generated 

for the first time. The artificial 
ionization was 1,000 to 10,000 
times stronger than natural 
ionization. Negative ions showed 
favorable effects with high blood 
pressure, rheumatism, headaches, 
general fatigue; ability to 
concentrate was increased; 
states of excitement diminished. 

1933 Raiewsky 21 Published review on the entire 

field of artificial ionization for 
biological purposes . Negative 
ions show favorable and clearly 
curative effects in hypertonics , 
sinus problems, asthma, migraine, 
fatigue conditions , and others . 

1935 Edstrom 24 Inhalation of negatively charged 

air causes reduction of the blood 
pressure. With positively charged 
air there is a feeling of warmth 
and the skin temperature rises 
due to the change in blood circulation 
in the skin. 


1936 Schmid 

1941 Krister and 
Bar the 1 

1952 Schulz 

1955 Bisa 

1955 Kornblueh 

1957 Krueger 

24 Most comprehensive publication on 
the results of the biological 
actions of air electricity, with 
consideration of artificial 
ionization over the last 200 years. 

16 Electro-aerosol therapy using the 
Barthel-Kttster ball nozzle. 

Treatment of asthma, bronchitis, 
heart and circulatory disturbances, 
rheumatism, migraine. 

25 Sudden jumps in the electricity of 
the open air cause, on certain 
days, a considerable increase in 
accident figures as well as a rise 
in asthma cases, heart problems, 
rheumatic pains, and others. 

2 Therapy with electro-aerosols 

by means of volume inhalation. 
Different reactions of the patients 
to positive and negative ions depend 
on the initial vegetative state of 
the persons. Demonstrates effect 
of the electro-aerosols on the 
autonomic system using the flicker 
fusion frequency. 

12 Treatment of hay fever and bronchial 

asthma with electro-aerosols. Also 
found significant ion effect on 
the brain alpha frequency. 

14, Treated droplets of bacterial 

15 suspensions with negative and 

positive ions and found that the 
death rate of the cells in pure 
air is significantly increased. 


Studies on the activity of the 
bronchial ciliary epithelium of 
mice, rabbits and monkeys showed 
that the activity increased by 
about 200 beats /minute under the 
influence of negative ions, 
while under the influence of 
positive ions it decreased by 400 
beats /minute or stopped completely. 
The flow of mucus also decreased. 
Negative ions also produce slowing 
of the respiratory rate, while 
positive ions have the opposite 
effect. Krueger explains the 
action as being due to the fact that 
the negative ions , which were 
identified as being negatively 
charged oxygen, act on several 
intracellular respiratory enzymes. 

Athletic students were treated with 
artificially generated negative 
ions. Their physical capabilities 
increased considerably. The 
metabolism of the vitamins B^, B 2 , 
niacin, and C, which had been 
increased in the athletes, became 

Test subjects were treated with 
artificially produced ions of both 
polarities and the simple reaction 
time and the optical moment were 
measured. The reaction time was 
lengthened or shortened by an 
average of 7 %, and the polarity 
of the ions had no effect. The 
optical moment was not affected. 



1962 Eichraeier 

5 to Test subjects were treated with 
a small, artificially generated 
atmospheric ions, and showed 
statistically significant changes 
in the respiratory rate (12%), 
the alpha frequency ( 2 %) and the 
pulse rate (4%). 

1962 Wehner 27 Treatment of asthmatics, bronchitics, 

and emphysematics with electro- 
aerosols. Improvement of breathing, 
sleep, and general feeling, as 
well as an increase in vital 

1965 Bachmann 1 Rats were treated with positive 

and negative ions. Both types of 
ions gave stimulation of the heart 
rate and respiratory rate. 

1968 Varga 26 Test subjects were treated with 

negative and positive ions. With 
both types of ions there was a 
decrease in the heart rate; i. e., 
a 'calming effect'. 

III. Survey of the physics of air ions. 

In nature, the same amounts of positive and negative 
electricity exist — atoms and molecules in the neutral state 
have the same amounts of positive and negative electricity. 

This equilibrium can be distorted either by splitting off or 
by adding on one or more elemental charges. Atoms and molecules 
which have lost their electrical neutrality in this way are 
called jons . Small and large ions (clusters) form from the 
accumulation of air molecules. These not only play a part 
in the electrical processes in the atmosphere, but are also 
one of the most important climatic factors in our environment. 


Energy must be applied to bring material into the ionized 
state. This is the so-called ionization energy. 

1) Factors which ionize the air 

Air ions can arise naturally in the open atmosphere and 
in closed rooms. But they can also be generated artificially. 

a) Natural occurrence in the open air 

due to radioactive materials in the atmosphere 

- due to radioactive radiation from the ground 
due to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun 

- due to cosmic radiation 

due to gas discharges in the atmosphere, from 
frictional electricity (lightning) . 

b) Natural occurrence in closed rooms 

due to cosmic radiation, which penetrates even 
into living quarters 

due to radioactive radiations from our environment: 

ground, objects, building stones 

from silent gas discharges caused by frictional 


- from glowing bodies for illumination and heating 

- from open flames, etc. 

c) Artificial occurrence 

For practical purposes, air ions are produced in two ways: 

by corona discharges from a spherical, ring, or pointed 
electrode or a thin wire, to which a high voltage is 
applied, into the air. 


This type of ion generation is not selective. That is, 
it produces ozone along with the normal air ions . Ozone 
gives an odor and is toxic over a certain concentration. 

- by radioactive particles. At normal pressure, these 

have a range on the order of a few centimeters in 

air. In tissue, they have a range on the order of 

a few micrometers . Radioactive materials of low 

3 210 

energy, such as tritium (H p), polonium (Po a), 


and krypton (Kr £,y) serve as sources. A radioactivity 
of 45 - 50 mC is necessary to produce an ionic density 
in air of about 10^ to 10 ions/cm^. 

This type of ion generator has proved good. One can 
produce unipolar or bipolar ions with it. The radiations 
are not a danger for humans because they are rapidly stopped 
in the air. 

Figure 1. Ion generator with radioactive ionization. 

2) Structure of the air ions 

The air ions produced with different types of ionization 
are formed in two ways : 

a. Either a neutral molecule is struck by a high-energy 

particle and split into a positive and a negative part, or 

origin alpage k 


b. An electron or a charged particle deposits on a 
neutral molecule. 

The following monomolecular ions and their combinations 
can be identified in ionized air with a mass spectrometer [13]: 

Negative ions 
0 , O 2 

NO", NO 3 

The ions were determined shortly after ionization, 
because the picture changes later as the ions recombine, 
enter into chemical combinations, or form molecular droplets 
and thus lose their charges. 

For this reason, the calculation of the ion concentration 
in the air at a certain distance from the ion generator 
proves to be a difficult problem with strict prerequisites. 

It is simplest, therefore, to measure the ion concentration 
at a particular location. 

3) Measurement of the air ions 

The measurement of air ions does not appear very complex 
in principle; but one must consider some problems in the 
technological view. The measurements are easiest using a 
cylindrical capacitor, with which the electrical current 
due to impacts of the electrical charges on the metal 
electrodes is tapped off, amplified, and recorded. The 
principle of the circuit can be seen in Figure 2. 

Positive ions 
° + , 0 + 0 + 

N + , N+, N 3 , N l 
N0 + , N 2 0 + 

H 2 0+ 






R I U* 


• J10 


* 1 >Va« 

*-<* * i 

<S o 

The procedure of measurement is as follows: An elect 

driven blower sucks the air through the space between the 
capacitor electrodes. By means of the potential (U) appli 
to the electrodes, the ions of the corresponding polarity 
are attracted out of the flowing air, and produce an elec 
current. This current, in turn, produces a potential (Ux) 
at a high resistance. After amplification (V), the poten 
is read as ion density from an indicator. 


IV. Potential physiological action of air ions 

1. Principle of the potential effect 

The life process is an extremely complex process in which 
physical and chemical phenomena are closely interwoven, 
manifesting themselves as the biological process. The latest 
ecologic information allows the assumption that electrical 
factors also had an effect in the origin of life. The 
environmental milieu of the organism shows quite definite 
electrical properties, and metabolic processes are linked 
with ion exchange within the body. 

For the living organism, changes in these internal and 
external electrical details mean a change in the life process. 
It must either adapt to the change, i. e., provide an 
additional energy expenditure for the adaptation, or, 
because of the long-term stresses of the distorted internal 
equilibrium, sicken or even die. Such changes in equilibrium 
are always linked with energy. The carriers of this energy 
may be chemical (material, such as ions) or physical (of 
wave nature, such as fields, radiations). To summarize 
briefly, one can say: 

A biological stimulus can be exerted if and only if 
the stimulating energy is converted into electrochemical 
energy so that the electrokinetic state of the biological 
boundary surfaces are changed. 

This is true both for the micro region and the macro 


region. An energy density on the order of a few pWs/cm 
is sufficient for this process, as is known from technological 
information transmission systems. For information transfer 
between biological systems and their environment, an energy 
density of only a few pWs/cm may be sufficient. 


In our case, the treatment of humans with air ions, 
the energy carriers are the gas ions from the air, which are 
neutralized in the respiratory tract as a result of chemical 
reactions. That is, they either lose their charge or take 
up a countercharge, so that a stimulating effect is exerted. 

2. Ions as climatic factors 

The ion concentration in the atmosphere does not depend 
only on the weather situation, but also on the location, 
time of day, and season. The ion density varies between 
a few hundred up to a few tens of thousands of ions per 
cubic centimeter of air. The polarity is usually positive, 
but can also be negative. For instance, the biologically 
active small and medium-sized ions are normally more frequent 
during the day and with good visibility, while they are 
less frequent at night and on hazy days. As an example, an 
increased ion density can be observed after rain or snow, 
and especially after showers and thunderstorms. 

Air ions are also present in living spaces. Their density 
depends on many factors, but primarily on the electrical 
properties of the surrounding surfaces, such as the floor, 
walls, ceilings, openings, the objects in the room, the 
type of heating, and r.he air movement in the room. In order 
to clarify the order of magnitude of the ion density, we 
take our office as an example. It has dimensions of 5 x 5 x 3.2 
meters. It is furnished with plastic flooring having a negative 
charge which produces a field strength of 20 V/cm in the immediate 
vicinity of the surface; a window 1.7 x 3 meters, and two 
doors 2.2 x 1 meter. The furniture includes two varnished 
tables, two book shelves, also varnished, a writing desk,’ 
a chair, and a large central heating register. On 8 November 
1971, with damp autumn weather, covered skies, and an 
outside air temperature of +10 °C and a relative air humidity 
of 57%, the ion density with a gamma count rate averaging 






1.34/min/cm was: 

in the open air: 

in the room: 


( 780 positive ions/cm 
1.310 negative ions /cm 3 

410 positive ions /cm 


690 negative ions /cm 

The measurements show that ions are always present to 
more or less extent in our breathing air. 

The air ions may be classified into three ion groups 
on the basis of their physical properties: 

radius r (cm) 
elemental charges 


mobility, k 

lifetime, t 

per cm^ 




6 • 10" 8 

(1 - 5) • 10" 7 

10" 6 - 10" 5 

+ 1 

0 or + 1 

0 to + 10 


10" 1 - 10" 2 


10~ 2 - 10“ 4 

30-300 sec 

minutes -hours 

days -weeks 

100 - 1,000 

(1-10) • 10 3 

i (1-100) • 10 3 

(according to Muhleisen) 

Gas analyses in the lungs have shown that the medium- si zed 
ions are the most biologically active. These ions are dis- 
tributed as follows in the respiratory tract: 

retained in the lungs 

mouth, throat, larynx 

' exhaled, about 





Detailed investigations [21] have shown that: 

a. Penetration into the depths of the lungs is proportional 
to the weight of the ions (lower mobility) and the 
depth of respiration. 

b. The charge brought into the lungs is collected to 
a greater extent the lighter the ions are (higher 
mobility) ; that is , the larger the number of 
contacts with the tissue, the longer the 
respiratory air is retained in the lungs . 

3. Physiological data on the human oxygen consumption 

The atmospheric air, the oxygen content of which is 
essential for our life, is made up of the following components 
[ 20 ]: 


ca. 787c 


" 21% 

Noble and 

other gases 

» 1% 

The human air consumption can be calculated from 
the number of inspirations per minute, which are [20]: 

for men 16 inspirations /minute 

for women 18-22 " " " 

for children 
( 10 years ) 
for children 
(1 year) 

20 - 25 » 

44 " 





If we take a man for example, then we have 

16 inspirations /minute with 0.5 liter per inspiration 
a respiratory minute volume of 8 liters /minute, or 
480 liters /hour or 12 m per day. 

The individual organs have the following percentage 
participation in the oxygen consumption of the body [22] : 

> voo» u 


abdominal viscera 










other organs 


It is enlightening that in bodily oxygen deficiency 
the functions of the individual organs can no longer be 
carried out optimally. 

4. Some research results on the action of air ions 

In the course of the last 200 years, air ions have 
often been used in therapy by physicians, especially for 
diseases of the respiratory tract. Many results appear 
doubtful because of their nonreproducibility; but some 
more recent reports deserve attention; for instance: 

a. Investigations b}' Prof. Stras burger , Dr. Happel and 
Lecturer Lampert on treatment with negative ions. 

Improvement in cases of: high blood pressure 

sinus complaints 
fatigue states 

Persons sensitive to weather and climate show the 
best reactions to this treatment. 

b. Investigations by Dr. Schulz. 

Treatment with negative aerosols. 

Improvement in cases of: asthma 


heart and circulatory 


rheumatic diseases 
whooping cough 

Investigations by Dr. Ing. Eichmeier 

Treatment with atmospheric small ions of both polarities. 

Result: change in respiratory rate 12% 

change in the alpha rate 2.2% 

change in the pulse rate 4.4% 

Investigations by Prof. Kornblueh 
Treatment with electro-aerosols 

Improvement in cases of; hay fever 

bronchial asthma 
Effect on the alpha frequency of the brain. 

Investigations by Dr. Ing. Rheinstein 
Treatment with artificial atmospheric ions of both 
polarities . 

Result: Shortening of the reaction time. 

Polarity plays no part. 

Investigations by Dipl. -Ing. Varga 
Treatment with positive and negative ions 

Result: Reduction in the heart rate by 3.6% for 

positive ions and by 3% for negative ions; 
i. e., a calming effect. 


V. Experimental. Conditions 

1. Climatic conditions 

In order to eliminate undesired irritant factors from 
the environment, to the extent possible, and to hold others 
at a constant value, the physiological studies were done in 
a portable climatic chamber. The chamber is double-walled 
and is made of galvanized steel plate (Faraday cage). It is 
provided with a set of adjustable climatic variables, which 
were set to the following values during the entire series of 
experiments : 

fresh air in Lake 
room temperature 
relative humidity 
noise level 
Light intensity 
ion density 

20 m 3 /hr 



45 phon 

350 Lux (at head level) 

3 • 10 3 ions /cm 3 (at the 
mouth of the subject) 

As can be seen from the working diagram (Figure 5), 
our working point is in the normal range of the metal chamber. 

2. Biological conditions. 

A total of 30 test subjects, who had no information 
about the nature of the experiments, were treated. They 
are distributed according to 

a. Age 18-20 years 2 subjects 

20-22 " 3 »' 

22-26 " 4 " 

26-30 " 6 " 

30-35 " 6 '» 

35-45 » 4 « 

45-55 " 3 " 

55-6S " 2 " 





J 100 



9 % 



■~TjT :;F 

c jj- O j{ 

in" Knrr 1 



1 ! 













| ! • ; 

* . 

; § s> i -g 

. 1 -y -h ’rH | ' Standard range : 

! - • /$ w *H J- , ^ 

i iCiJ 3 co gj . i , . , . . , . 

' . i i vS i hi . * • I ■ i ■ ! ! 1 i 

X 40 -1 i 

oj » --A 
> 1 
■H •=»•-• - 
■U * 

03 ■= • 


oj o t 

-to .» -:o -io 


0 10 JO 30 40 60 to 70 flO 9 tTC 

Test room temperature * •— 

Figure 5. Working range for the climate chamber used in the 
experiments. Values common for living spaces were 
selected (T - 22 °C and relative humidity - 55%) 

b. Sex Male 18 subjects 

Female 12 subjects 

Both sexes are almost symmetrically represented in all 
the age classes listed. 

c. Occupation 

Students 19 subjects 

Office workers 3 11 




d. Physical constitution 

All the test subjects were healthy, according to their 
own statements. Their body weights were between the extremes 
of 55 kg and 94 kg. 

e. Duration of the sitting and methodology. 

The duration of one experiment (sitting) was 1 hour. 

This time was divided into a 20 minute treatment period (P) 
preceded and followed by 20 minute control periods (K]_, K2). 

4 » 

2 " 

2 " 


The physiological values were recorded every 5 minutes. 

At the end of each test period, blood was taken for a gas 
analysis. All the measurement and recording instruments were 
outside the chamber, and were connected to the test subject by 
shielded leads. The ion source was 1.10 m from the subject’s 
mouth. The subject sat in a comfortable seat with arm rests 
and wore a nose clip to ensure that he breathed only through 
his mouth. There was a suspicion that the different nasal openings 
might exert a filtering effect, so that they would thus influence 
the action of the air ions. Later control tests showed, however, 
that this suspicion was unfounded, as only a very slight 
difference appeared between nose and mouth breathing. 

VI. Effect of air ions on physiological data for humans. 

1. Oxygen uptake. 

As the table on page 909 shows, oxygen can occur both as 
a positive and a negative ion. Thus, the ion polarity cannot 
affect the oxygen uptake. 

In this series of tests, it appeared that there are two 
groups of test subjects: 

a. those which show increased oxygen content in the blood, and 

b. those in which inhalation of air ions showed no changes 
(smokers ) . 

This difference showed no dependence on age and sex. It 
proved, however, that without exception, smokers were in 
Group b, as no change in their blood oxygen content could be 
detected by gas analysis. The cause of this phenomenon is 
probably that dilute ions were already present in the tobacco 
smoke inhaled by the smokers : 


3 o 

in cigarette smoke: - about 2.9 • 10 ions /cm 

in cigar smoke: + " 5.6 . 10^ ” ” 

in pipe smoke: - M 1.9 • 10^ n " 

so that the mucous membrane in the respiratory organs has become 
insensitive due to such continuous irritation. 

It did not prove advisable to take averages for the entire 
number of test subjects, as the results specific for each 
test subject would be confused in this manner. For clarification, 
we compare the results from two typical test subjects, one 
smcker and one non-smoker: 

fO; [a» H«J 

| K ! P 



j ♦lonen 


p02 [oa Hff] 

Test subject: M. Ch. , 

non-smoker (average 
of 30 measurements) 

Test subject: H. Sch. , 

smoker (average of 
30 measurements 


If we average all the results for Group a and for Group b, 
we get the following values: 

Group a 

Group b 

Groups a and 

10.7% with + ions 

8 . 2% with - ions 

2.1% with -I- ions 

1.6% with - ions 

6.4% with + ions 

4.9% with - ions 

average of 18 subjects 

average of 12 subjects 

average of 30 subjects 

On inhalation of + ions the blood has a somewhat higher 
oxygen content than with - ions; but as the tendency is the 
same, we may assume that the polarity plays no decisive role. 

If one also considers the results which we published in the 
"Review of Science and Technology", No. 5/1968, page 151, which 
are reproduced in Figure 6, it is only by means of the present 
results that it is possible to interpret the result found then. 
That is that the heart rate decreases on inhalation of air ions. 
Now it is understandable that less blood need be pumped through 
the body to provide the same amount of oxygen if the oxygen 
content of the blood has risen. Therefore, the heart rate must 
decrease, assuming that the stroke volume remains constant. 

Is should yet be noted that, during the oxygen increase under 
the influence of ionized air, the content of carbon dioxide (CC^) 
decreases correspondingly. This is a proof that the gas exchange 
in the respiratory process in increased. More useful gas (C^) is 
taken up and more metabolic product (CC^) is excreted. The pH 
value alsr changes with the O2 content in about the same manner. 
That is, the hydrogen ion concentration is somewhat reduced at 
high oxygen content of the blood, in spite of the great buffer 
capacity of the blood. 

M Mi 5 


Time in minutes 

Figure 6. Pulse rate changes in humans under the influence 
of air ions (average of 24 persons in 177 
measurements ) . 

Here is a typical example: 


P c° 2 

p0 2 


K, (20’) 

55,50 mniHe 

71,50 EmHg 


P (20') 

50, OS " 

61 , 05 " 


K 2 (20*) 

54,80 " 

77,50 " 


Test subject E. H. under the influence of negative ions. 


Practically the same results are obtained on treatment with 
positive ions. 

2. Reaction time for optical signals 

A test was made of how a person reacts to an optical 
signal on inhalation of ionized air, whether the inhaled 
air ions can affect the human ability for attention and 
concentration. The reaction time was measured; i. e. , the 
time which passes between the perception of the optical signal 
and the performance of the muscle motion (pressing a button). 

Under normal conditions it is between 100 and 300 ms in man. 

The reaction time is affected by many factors, such as 
the time of day, the day of the week, season, weather, the 
psychic and physical state of the test subject, and many others. 

Of these factors, we could take into consideration only the 
time of day and the day of the week, as the others were beyond 
our power. The experimental system appeared as follows: 

The operating person, who was outside the chamber, pressed 
the ’Start' button, starting an electronic clock and simultaneously 
lighting a red light in the climatic chamber. The test subject 
was required to extinguish the light as quickly as possible 
by pressing a button. This also stopped the electronic clock 
simultaneously. The time which passed is a measure of the 
reaction time of the test subject. 

The results show that three different 'reaction groups' 
appeared among the test subjects under the influence of air 
ions : 

- v?ith reduced reaction time 

- with no change 

with extended reaction time. 



Reaction Time 

Positive Ions 

Negative Ions 


in % 



in % 




















no change 













i 1 





, 1 


The percentages shown are group averages for the given number of 
test subjects, each of whom was tested 30 times. 

Typical examples of the reaction times for individual test 
subjects are presented below: 



for positive ions 

for negative ions 

\ K 


P ! A 



A 5* 

V. H. 


l 189 | -7 

; -3 > 6 

198 ! 




5. Ch. 

203 1 

203 ' +3 


210 J 



♦J .2 

C. H. 


195 1 1 











207 4 1 


+-O t 48 




♦ 8 


It appears clearly from the table of typical examples that 
there is no uniform picture. This is probably because of the 
multitude of factors which play a part here, and which are 
related to the psychic and physical details for the particular 
persons. For that reason, it appears advisable to determine 
first for each person how they react to the inhalation of air 
ions before deciding on an ionized climate. 




3. Changes in pulse rate 

The peripheral pulse rate is taken from the finger of the 
test subject, and the "R peaks" counted electronically. 

It could clearly be recognized that this physiological valve 
is related to the oxygen content of the blood. A marked 
reduction in pulse rate could be detected in just those test 
subjects whose blood showed increased oxygen content, as 
can be seen in the following table. 




Negative Ions 

in % 

by % 


(subjects ) 

in % 

by % 



63 1 

4.2 i 




No effect 

















These values are averages for the corresponding number of 
test subjects in the group. For the action of negative ions, 
only 17 instead of 19 reductions were recorded, as two persons 
apparently showed no reduction. Two typical examples are 
shown in the following figure . 


 mi t e /m i nu t e 

These typical examples show that in no groups does 
the ion polarity influence the pulse frequency 



4. Blood pressure 

The blood pressure was measured electronically without 
penetration by the Korottkoff noise principle, the noise 
being detected by a special sound chamber. 

Significant changes in blood pressure under the influence 
of air ions could be observed only with those test subjects 
which had high blood pressure. The blood pressure measurements 
under the influence of air ions gave three groups of test 
subjects : 

- distinct reduction of blood pressure 6 subjects ^20%) 

- slight reduction of blood pressure 18 subjects (60%) 

no change in blood pressure 6 subjects (20%) 

(or the values were within the 
range of variation) 

A typical example of each group follows : 

First Group 
Subject !3J. H. 
(22 years) 

K-^ = 150/84 mm Hg 
P = 138/84 mm Hg 
!<2 = 144/84 mm Hg 

Amplitude 66 mm Hg 
Amplitude 54 mm Hg 
Amplitude 60 mm Hg 

Second Group 
Subject A. W. 
(66 years) 

K-^ = 142/90 mm Hg 
P = 138/90 mm Hg 
K .2 = 140/90 mm Hg 

Amplitude 52 mm Hg 
Amplitude 48 mm Hg 
Amplitude 50 mm Hg 

Third Group 
Subject V. G. 
(21 years) 

K-^ = 118/81 mm Hg 

P = 118/82 mm Hg 

K ? = 118/81 mm Hg ] 

1 ^ I 

Amplitude 37 mm Hg 
Amplitude 36 mm Hg 
Amplitude 37 mm Hg 

Under the influence of positive ions, one gets the same 
picture, but with somewhat smaller amplitudes for the particular 
test subjects. 

2 8 

5. Skin resistance 

The galvanic skin resistance represents a measure of the 
peripheral blood flow. The more blood there is in the skin 
capillaries, the lower the galvanic skin resistance is. 

The galvanic skin resistance is measured with special 
unpolarized gelatin electrodes and a high- sensitivity measuring 
bridge. A current of 40 pA flows in the circuit during the 
measurement. With our electrode surface, this gives a current 
density of 12.7 pA/cm , which is insignificant from the 
electrolytic viewpoint. 

The following 'segments’ were measured: 

Hand - Hand (H-^ 

- H r >, 

Foot - Foot (F^ - F r ), 

Hand - Foot (H^ 

- F X ), 

(H r - F r ), 


crossed Hand - 


( H 1 - F r ) 

and (H r - F^). 

in a total of six circuits. 

The action of air ions gave the following averages in kOhm 
for all 30 test subjects: 

V H 1 

V F i 

H r -F r 

H r F i 


H r- F l 

K ± (20") 
P (20" ) 
K 2 (20") 





















. i 


jincreas ed 


increas e< 

Increas e< 

i 1 





Under the action of positive ions, an increase could be measured 
one time and a reduction another time in one and the same subject. 
As the range of variation is so great, there is no predictive 
ability in this case. 

VII. Discussion 

The importance of these research results is primarily 
in the fact that they demonstrate that the oxygen content of 
the blood is increased on inhalation of ionized air. 

Respiration is of vital importance for humans, but only 
a percentage of the oxygen is taken up from the inhaled air 
and the remainder is exhaled again. If the air is ionized, 
in comparison, we can absorb more oxygen. This represents a 
gain for the human body, which can be manifested in various 
ways, as each person is different, and in addition the 
particular physical and psychic state of the person must be 

Air ions are not only static charges. Rather, with their 
flowing charges they form an e T actric current which can exert 
a stimulus in biological media. That is, this energy can 
excite a reaction in certain persons and in certain sites of 
the organism. For this reason, the electrical conductivity 
of the air, the ion density of our environment, is not 
without significance, so that the increasing pollution of 
the air must be viewed doubtfully. 

The fact that the oxygen content of the blood is raised 
on inhalation of ionized air justifies our assumption that 
this is the reason for the decrease in pulse rate, as the 
body is supplied with the necessary oxygen by less blood. 

This phenomenon also agrees well with the observed reduction 
of blood pressure in hypertonics. 



The consumption of irritants, such as tobacco, can 
disturb the normal reaction of the body to oxygen ions so 
that there is no resulting increased oxygen uptake by the 
respiratory organs. The body (mucous membrane) is 
prestimulated, so that the stimulus threshold for the 
air ions is obscured. The blood gas analyses in this work have 
shown that smokers without exception show no increase of blood 
oxygen on inhalation of ionized air. 

These research results have provided valuable information 
for air conditioning technology. Architects should not ignore 
the air ion content in their plans for dwelling and residence 
areas and conference and working rooms . Along with the air 
humidity, they form the basis for a comfortable room climate, 
one of the prerequisites for human health and well-being. 

It should also be mentioned in this connection that the 
air is usually dry in the centrally heated rooms which are most 
common today. This leads to an irritation of the mucous 
membranes which in this manner become particularly sensitive and 
susceptible to infection. In the winter, body adaptation is 
made more difficult by the sudden change from overheated rooms 
to the cold, wet outside air, greatly increasing the 
susceptibility to colds. For a healthy room atmosphere in 
dwellings and residences, the relative humidity should, 
therefore, be at least 40%. The technological capabilities 
exist today for a better supply of the body with oxygen through 
the influence of air ions and the provision of optimal room 


VIII. Summary 

The series of experiments performed have shown that small 
air ions generated artificially using radioactive materials 
produce the following physiological effects in all test subjects, 
with a few exceptions : 

Oxygen partial pressure in the blood increased up to 11% 

Pulse rate reduced up to 4.2% 

Blood pressure in hypertonics reduced by up to 8% 

Reaction time to optical stimulus reduced by up to 6.5% 

or extended by 3.7% 

Skin resistance changes could not be detected in 
these studies. 

These values are averages from 30 test subjects of various 
occupations, ages, and sexes. The reactions were almost the 
same for treatment with positive and negative ions. That means 
that the polarity plays no part in the physiological range. 

These results show that the air ions must be considered 
as important climatic factors in the production of comfortable 
and healthy room climates . 


IX. Bibliography 

(translated titles) 

2 The electro -aerosols 

4 Ten years of research at the physical-medical interface 

5 The bioclimatic effect of artificially generated small 
atmospheric ions on the human respirogram, electrocardiogram 
and electroencephalogram 

6 Properties and biological effects of small atmospheric ions 

7 Action of atmospheric ions on biorhythms in humans 

8 Mobility spectra of natural atmospheric ions in the small 
and medium-sized ion region 

9 On the biological- therapeutic importance of artificial air ions 

10 Natural and artificial ionization and their medical application 

13 Physical and biological effects of "small ions" produced in 

the air 

16 Recent results of studies on the. action of artificially 
ionized air on higher organisms . 

17 On variations of atmospheric ions and their biological effect 

18 Air ionization as a factor in health 

21 Air ions and their biological application 

22 Human physiology 

23 The effect of artificially generated atmospheric ions on 
the simple reaction time and the optical moment 

24 Biological effects of air electricity, with consideration 
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therapy, of direct electrostatic charging therapy according 
to Takata, and their biological effect on the vegetative 
nervous system, with consideration of the vegetonogram . 

26 Effect of air ions on the heart rate 

This work was financially supported by the Fa. Gaggenau Iron Works. 


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