Electricity in the air

Electricity in the air

In our atmosphere there are quite strong electric fields. In normal conditions the ground is charged negatively, the clouds layer - positively. Normally the field is orientated from bottom to top. But it happens that the direction changes. Generally the difference of potentials is 100 volt per meter, sometimes during storms, snowstorms, dust storms it reaches 1000 volt per meter. Great changes of electric potential directly connected to meteorological events. They cause rains, snows, and fogs. Thunderstorm is one of the most impressive meteorological events, connected to atmosphere electricity. And there is no end to prestorm pathologic symptoms known to doctors. 

In 1960 the doctor Jardel published his interesting dissertation about the influence of electric potential changes on patients. During two years he observed people in Besanson resort and defined that the main part of exacerbations nearly always coincided with sharp and long vibrations of the Earth electric potential. In days of such perturbations Jardel noticed increase of migraines, insomnia, asthma attacks and etc. 

What does it happen in organisms of people? Biologists believe that too much quantity of electrical particles in the organism breaks the exchanging processes. The air that we breathe contains charged particles - ions. Ions are atoms or molecules, which took away or added electrons. Negative ions are atoms or molecules, which got an electron, and positive ones - lost an electron.

Content of both ions in the air changes depending on the season, purity of atmosphere and mainly on the meteorological conditions. These particles penetrate the whole atmosphere; they are always in continuous motion where sometimes predominate positive particles, sometimes - negative ones.

As a rule, only positive ions badly influence on the health of a man. Their domination in the air arouses unpleasant feelings. Not long ago T.Winsor and Dj.Bakett (USA) proved the harmfulness of positive ions predomination. They made an experiment: during 20 minutes volunteers breathed the air that contained 32 million of positive ions per cubical centimeter. At the end of the experiment everybody felt giddiness, heavy breathing, there were symptoms of nose mucous membrane irritation, they had a hoarse voice. 

As the result of car exit gases, smog and dust accumulation positive and negative ions combine with microparticles in so called "heavy ions". French physician discovered them. Such ions collect on the ground and can be called "ions-killers". 

To all appearance catastrophes in Donor, London depended both on air toxicity and on the quantity of heavy ions. Light ions are one of the newly discovered means of man's health protection form the harmful influence of air pollution. On the last congress in Chicago scientists came to the conclusion: "There are all grounds to suppose that in the nearest future we will be able to regulate the quantity of ions just as we regulate the temperature and humidity nowadays". 

The article was edited and expanded, "Science and life", magazine. (1972)