definition of anion

The term we are analyzing is part of the theory of the atom. An anion is also known as a negative ion and is an atom or a molecule that has an extra charge of one or more negative electrons. A positive ion or cation is an atom that has lost one or more electrons due to the impact of an energetic force.

The role of anions in the theory of the atom

Atoms are the basic elements that make up matter and are made up of subatomic particles, which are neutrons, protons, and electrons. Neutrons have no electrical charge, protons have a positive charge, and electrons have a negative charge. Neutrons and protons make up the atomic nucleus and electrons are found around the nucleus. In this surrounding area or orbital area it is likely to find an electron. Thus, when the atom loses electrons, it becomes a positive ion or cation and, conversely, when the atom gains electrons in its orbital motion, it becomes a negative ion or anion.

Positive and negative ions in relation to health

Both positive and negative ions are part of the air and therefore this produces a balanced or unbalanced atmosphere. If there is an excess of positive ions, the quality of the air is negatively affected. Conversely, if the anions are high there are benefits for the body.

Positive ions are harmful to humans, as they increase pressure and acidity in the blood, weaken bones and impair all metabolic functions. On the contrary, negative ions or anions produce very positive effects. In this sense, places near the sea or natural mountain areas are a source of negative ions, which have a wide variety of effects on health: the respiratory system improves, stress is eliminated and the mind is more relaxed, there is an improvement in digestive function, positive hormonal changes, among other benefits.

In fact, when people who live in large cities spend a day in the countryside or on the beach they have a feeling of physical well-being and this is because the atmosphere is loaded with anions.

It must be taken into account that negative ions in the atmosphere are produced as a result of electric discharges from lightning or by photosynthesis in plants, two circumstances that normally occur in the natural environment and not in closed spaces.

Photos: Fotolia - BillionPhotos / Sergey Nivens