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Question I have an air purifier which generates negative ions. The problem with this unit is [that] whenever I touch its front (metal part) it gives me a small current. Please suggest to me various alternatives to solve this problem. - Anonymous, Bangkok, Thailand
Answer The air purifier you described uses a high-voltage corona discharge to emit ions. The part in the front which gives you a current when making contact. The metal part may be either the emitter or a biased plate. If the plate is not grounded, you will receive a "shock" or current flow. The high voltage emitting pin will also give you an electrical shock. Suggestions to solve this problem: Don't touch the metal part. Check your circuit and make sure the case is grounded to the power ground. Put an insulating (mesh) in front of the metal parts to isolate the human from the metal (you will need to check for proper performance). Relocate the device out of reach of human touch and place a warning sign. Check the polarity of the power ground. Try reversing the leads. Make sure the unit is properly grounded. Check with the manufacturer.
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