Disclaimer: The information contained in this article only deals with atmospheric traces of radiation particles which can happen if there is an accident at a nuclear plant or an event (such as a bomb) thousands of miles away. The dispersal of particles can travel thousands of miles and contaminate your breathing air.
The information is not relevant or applicable if there is an accident or event in close proximity to where you are. In an event such as this, an air purifier will be of limited use.
Radioactive particles can be tiny, but they pack a significant punch. If you've ever seen the inside of a nuclear power plant or known someone who works with radioactive materials in a lab, you know about radiation detectors.
These devices help us understand how much radiation is around us at any given moment—even when we can't see it. They're used in environments where even small amounts of radiation can cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment.
Fortunately for us all, air purifiers also use technology to filter out certain types of airborne particles. This means that if you live near a nuclear power plant or have friends who work with radioactive materials on a regular basis, you could benefit from having an air purifier in the home.
What are Radioactive Particles?
These are radioactive materials dispersed near your home or workplace in the form of particulates, dust, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases. While not common in every part of the world, there are certain areas prone to radioactive particles that can land on the food we eat and exist in the air we breathe.
Radioactive particles are smaller than the diameter of human hair and can be inhaled or ingested. They can also be found in any area and in all seasons. These small, but powerful entities pose a significant risk to human health if they're not properly handled.
The good news is that there are many ways to detect radiation particles and keep yourself safe from their potentially harmful effects. The most common method is to use an air filter with active carbon filters built into it. These filters will filter out any pollen, dust, or other debris that may contain radioactive material on its surface as well as inside itself.
How Common is Radiation in the Air?
There are many examples of nuclear power plants being threatened or melting down due to human error. The most prominent would probably be 5 Mile Island in the U.S., Chernobyl in Ukraine, and Fukushima in Japan.
While these are rare instances, there is also the threat of conflict and wars in one area of the world, affecting places on the completely other side of the globe. Jet streams and severe weather fluctuation can spread radioactive particles to places without direct connection to a nuclear power plant.
How to Prepare Your Home for Radioactive Particles in the Air
With a bit of preparation and forethought, you can avoid many of the common symptoms of radioactive particles in the air. This includes:
- Take off your shoes before entering your home
- Wash your hands before eating
- Wear a mask if you need to go outside for any reason—even just to walk the dog or get the mail
- Stay inside as much as possible, especially when it’s windy outside (which is when radioactive particles are most likely to be blown around)
- Close all windows and doors
- Cease non-essential travel
- Use a HEPA-certified filter from a reputable source
The Power of HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA air purifiers are the most effective type of air purifier. They use a special filter that collects and removes particles from the air. These filters have incredibly high efficiency for removing particles, as evidenced by their ability to remove 99.97% of particles in size ranges as small as 0.3 microns (0.3 millionths of a meter) down to 0.01 microns (0.01 millionths).
In fact, HEPA filters are so effective at removing particles that they are considered one of the standards used by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) when testing new drugs and vaccines. They are often implemented in medical situations where a single containment can mean the difference between life and death.
Unless you know that your home is sealed and radiation-proof, an air purifier would be a great addition to your emergency preparedness kit. The best way to capture these microscopic particles is with the help of a high-quality, reliable air purifier. To take advantage of these benefits, look for an air purifier designed specifically for use in homes and other residential buildings.
Recommended air purifier would be the Airpura I700 containing 100 square feet of HEPA for maximum mitigation of radioactive particles.
Watch the Clean Air Podcast
Ukraine/Russia war: What happens if nuclear power plants are damaged in Ukraine? Could you be threatened by radioactive air pollution?
Dr. Yevgen Nazarenko, research associate at McGill University specializing in Nanotechnology Safety, Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution, Aerosol Science discusses how to protect yourself from this threat.