Can an air purifier help with asthma? Experts weigh in.
Asthma sufferers are always interested in finding new ways to remove the particles in the air that aggravate their condition, and air purifiers certainly seem like a good solution to the problem and are often recommended by doctors. However, many studies by the EPA, Indoor Air Research facilities at major universities, and the American Lung Association have shown that this is not necessarily the case, although many air purification products advertise that they are effective in reducing asthma causing airborne contaminants. While this is true to a degree, studies show that residential air purification units -- especially portable ones -- have a limited effect.
New England Journal of Medicine - adding an air purifier helped air quality but didn't totally alleviate asthma symptoms due to allergens & asthma triggers still located on surfaces and not in the air
Environmental Protection Agency - air purifiers reduced particles in the air considerably but did not filter allergy and asthma triggering particles smaller than .3 microns
WebMD - HEPA filter based air purifiers helped clean the air but effect on asthma symptoms limited
Bottom line - Air purifiers can help clear the air considerably of many (not all) asthma inducing particles and irritants but are only a partial solution for asthma sufferers. Surfaces that contain irritants need to be cleaned regularly and sources of irritants should be removed wherever possible.
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