Ionic air purifiers, such as the Ionic Breeze Quadra, emit a stream of negatively charged ions that electrify dust, dander and other airborne debris, attracting the particles to positively charged collection plates inside the machines. The Quadra works without a motor or other moving parts and does not use filters.
The manufacturer of the Ionic Breeze Quadra reports the appliance offers relief from hay fever, asthma, bronchitis and various respiratory diseases. However, a number of allergists and immunologists contend the machines are not effective.
In 2002 and 2003, Consumer Reports tested several ionic air purifiers, including an Ionic Breeze model, regarding their performance in removing dust and other debris from the air in an indoor environment and found that they did not reduce airborne particles in any measurable ways. The magazine conducted further tests in response to complaints from the manufacturer and found again that the Ionic Breeze models were ineffective.
Most ionic air purifiers, including the Quadra, release varying amounts of ozone, which is potentially harmful, depending on the volume. A 2006 University of California Davis study indicated the Quadra releases 2.2 milligrams of ozone per hour, which is about the same amount emitted by a perpetually turned on photocopier.