Negative air ions as a source of superoxide

Naum I. Goldstein, Roman N. Goldstein, Mark N. Merzlyak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The physico-chemical characteristics and possible formation mechanisms of negative air ions are considered. It was found that the products of oxygen and nitrogen negative ionization reduce ferricytochrome c and nitroblue tetrazolium, and that these reactions were inhibited by superoxide dismutase. The interaction of negatively ionized oxygen with water led to hydrogen peroxide accumulation, which was inhibited by tetranitromethane or catalase. Nitrogen ionization under these conditions caused the formation of the hydrated electron eaq- and the superoxide anion O2-. The data obtained indicate that the biological activity of negative air ions may be dependent on superoxide. The generation of reactive oxygen ions in the gas phase and also at a gas/water interface is described. A scheme for superoxide production under oxygen and nitrogen ionization is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Formation mechanisms
  • Negative air ions
  • Superoxide anion

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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