Can an air purifier help you breathe better?

Air pollution can cause a variety of maladies that can affect many different parts of the body, from the lungs to the heart. When we breathe polluted air at home or at work, we are breathing toxins. These toxins, containing irritating chemical compositions, can cause changes in our blood chemistry that can cause serious illness1. That being said, can an air purifier help us in our desire to breathe better and improve our health? Read on to learn more.

A man sitting cross-legged in a room with his eyes closed

What is air pollution?

On 15 November 2022, the Earth officially reached a population of 8 billion. As the Earth’s population continues to grow, with more than half of the world’s population without access to clean technologies or fuel, the number of vehicles on the road spitting out dirty emissions will equally rise. This means that so, too, will the demand from industry to create polluting products. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that 9 out of 10 people on Earth now breathe polluted air, the results of which kill 7 million people per year2

The WHO defines air pollution as ‘contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere’2. Air pollution is when one or more contaminants are present in the air that can be deleterious to our health.

Sources of air pollution are various and omnipresent in our everyday lives. Fuel burned in homes for heat or cooking (especially natural gas and wood), emissions from motor vehicles, industrial activities, wildfires, incineration of agricultural waste, and pesticide use all contribute substantially to indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Certain air pollutants and particles are only found indoors in homes or at the workplace. Some may include polluted particles emitted by construction materials used to build your residence (causing what is known as ‘Sick Building Syndrome’), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released by new furniture (including formaldehyde, a human carcinogen), and cleaning products, air fresheners, or candles, to name a few.

The air pollutants and particles that pose the most danger to human and animal health include fine particle pollution (also known as ‘particulate matter’ or PM), carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and ozone.

A map showing PM2.5 exposure throughout Europe

Source: Associations between exposure to PM2.5, mortality, and GDP per capita4

How does air pollution affect our health?

According to WHO statistics, indoor and outdoor airborne pollution are responsible for 7 million premature deaths annually on a global scale. Indoor air pollution alone led to 3.2 million deaths in 2020, 237,000 of which were children under the age of 53.

Air pollution pathways

Polluted air enters the body through the respiratory tract when they are inhaled. This is why the lungs are typically affected first and foremost, leading to respiratory disease and a higher risk of contracting asthma and triggering asthma attacks in asthmatics.

Due to their small size, airborne pollution particles can then quickly enter into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the rest of the body, impacting the heart and brain among other organs. Their circulation in the body leads to systemic inflammation and carcinogenicity. Exposure in both the short- and long-term can cause negative health effects. The elderly, children, and pregnant women are at the highest risk of diseases caused by air pollution. Sociodemographic, genetics, and comorbidities also affect one’s vulnerability.

Some of the diseases that are most commonly linked to exposure to airborne pollution include lung cancer, pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studies have also shown a connection to increased risk of issues during pregnancy, including low birth weight, and other cancers and neurological diseases3.

PM2.5's effects on health

Source 4

Asthma and respiratory diseases

A 2022 scientific review compiled information gathered from scientific studies in the past five years on the effects of air pollution on asthma incidence. A pregnant woman who is exposed to air pollution, especially PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and O3, leads to increased risk of her child developing asthma in the future. Certain factors determine the degree of risk including:

  • Sex of the unborn child (males are most at risk)
  • During which trimester the exposure occurred (risk seems to be the highest during the second trimester)

According to the review, late-onset asthma as a result of air pollution exposure is also a problem, even in those with no history of asthma or respiratory disease. Hospitalisations are most common between the ages of 6 and 18. For individuals above the age of 50, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to air pollution is more common. In fact, the review found that adults who had previously been diagnosed with asthma when they were younger are three times more likely to develop asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS)5.


Allergies and allergic reactions when the body mistakenly identifies an incoming substance as dangerous, initiating an immune response. Common household allergens include dust and dust mites, pollen, pet hair and dander, and mould and its spores.

Studies have shown that exposure to air pollution is leading to an increased incidence of allergies and allergic symptoms. PM, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide have been most heavily linked to an increase in these disorders by ‘affecting the balance between antioxidant pathways and airway inflammation’6.

Research supports evidence that particulate matter exposure is associated with an age-related decrease in lung function in children and young adults starting at 11-years-old. Ozone reduces lung function and causes cough and shortness of breath, amongst other respiratory symptoms. Nitrogen dioxide leads to varying respiratory symptoms as well including wheezing, shortness of breath, and cough, especially in children. In both adults and children, exposure to these pollutants and particles results in increased respiratory morbidity and mortality6.

A man sneezing with his hand out

Lung cancer and heart disease

Cases of lung cancer amongst non-smokers are becoming more and more common. In fact, studies have found that each 10 μg/m(3) increase in particulate matter present in the air causes a 6% increase in cardiopulmonary mortality, an 8% increase in lung cancer mortality, and a 4% increase in all-cause mortality7.

Although research is still in the preliminary stages, scientists believe that air pollution causes lung cancer in never-smokers due to the triggering of a chemical alarm called interleukin-1-beta. When PM2.5 enters the body through the lungs, it releases interleukin-1-beta. This alarm causes inflammation in the body, activating cells that are normally left dormant until old age in order to repair the damage caused by PM2.5. This includes cells that are potentially cancerous8.

Fine particle pollution is also responsible for impairing blood vessel function and artery calcification. Amongst the 3.2 million deaths caused by indoor air pollution as reported by the WHO, one-third of those deaths are attributed to ischaemic heart disease (32%).

What is an air purifier and how can they help?

An air purifier is a portable device that uses an internal fan to pull in air from a specific room, uses various filtration technologies inside the device to treat the air. It then removes unwanted particles before circulating the purified air back into the room. This process is then repeated several times an hour depending upon the air quality in your space. Pollutant- and particle-free air helps you breathe and sleep better.

Eoleaf’s proprietary multi-layer filtration system

When combatting airborne pollutants, it is important to invest in a device with certain filtration technologies. Firstly, ensure that your prospective air purifier contains a HEPA-certified filter. ‘HEPA’, or ‘high-efficiency particulate air’, is a filter capable of filtering at least 99.97% of particles of a size greater than or equal to a diameter of 0.01 µm in a single pass. All filters that fulfil this criteria receive this designation. HEPA is a European certification overseen by European standards EN 1822 and EN ISO 29463. These filters have been used for decades in various industries including laboratories and cleanrooms.

Although they are one of the most advanced technologies available on today’s air purification market, HEPA filters do have their limitations. For example, they cannot remove airborne VOCs on their own. This is why we have developed our proprietary filters containing 8 different filtration technologies that fill in the gaps. An activated carbon filter, for example, is one of the oldest forms of air and water filtration and for good reason! Activated carbon filters remove VOCs and fight against unpleasant odours. To find out more about what each of our technologies do, read more here.

A HEPA filter can remove bacteria, viruses, pollution such as dust and smoke, mould spores, VOCs, and more from the air9. All Eoleaf air purifiers contain HEPA filters in addition to 7 other air filtration technologies, such as activated carbon filters, which help fight unpleasant odours. Our technologies are as follows:

Relieves allergy and asthma symptoms

Improving indoor air quality removes airborne triggers of asthma attacks and allergy symptoms, helping you breathe and sleep better. A high-quality air purifier removes tiny airborne particles from the air that may lead to allergies and asthma attacks such as pet dander and pollen. Other common triggers may include dust and dust mites, smoke, and mould spores.

Use an air purifier to protect yourself and your loved ones

Studies show that airborne pollution is one of the most important factors leading to chronic disease1. It is fundamental to take steps to protect your air quality at home and the places you spend the most time (such as the workplace). Investing in a high-quality air purifier for air filtration, like those available at Eoleaf, helps you breathe and sleep better and greatly reduces your risk of contracting an air pollution-related illness. Put your health first by installing an Eoleaf air purifier in your home today.



1 Cleveland Clinic. (2021, October 21). Can air purifiers improve your lung and heart health? Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

2 World Health Organization. (2022). How air pollution is destroying our health. World Health Organization. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

3 World Health Organization. (2022). Air quality and health. World Health Organization. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

4 Ηow air pollution affects our health. European Environment Agency. (2018). 

5 Bronte-Moreno, O., González-Barcala, F.-J., Muñoz-Gall, X., Pueyo-Bastida, A., Ramos-González, J., & Urrutia-Landa, I. (2022). Impact of air pollution on asthma: A scoping review. Open Respiratory Archives, 5(2), 100229. doi:10.1016/j.opresp.2022.100229

6 Takizawa H. Impact of air pollution on allergic diseases. Korean J Intern Med. 2011 Sep;26(3):262-73. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2011.26.3.262. Epub 2011 Sep 13. PMID: 22016586; PMCID: PMC3192198.

7 Pope III, C. A., Burnett, R. T., Thun, M. J., Calle, E. E., Krewski, D., Ito, K., & Thurston, G. D. (2002). Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to Fine Particulate Air Pollution. JAMA, 287(9), 1132–1141.

8 Gallagher, J. (2022, September 10). Cancer rules rewritten by air-pollution discovery. BBC News. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from

9 Engel, P., Barnes, C. (2022, September 20). Do air purifiers really work? CHOICE. Retrieved November 23, 2022, from 

Eoleaf's range of air purifiers

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