Illustration: Kieran Blakey

The Nuance

Do You Really Need an Air Purifier?

What they can and can’t do, and why some air purifiers may come with risks

Published in
5 min readMar 12, 2020


DDuring the back half of the 19th century — a time when tuberculosis was widespread in smog-choked cities across the United States and Europe — fresh air was thought to be a potent elixir for diseases of the mind and body. This was the…



Markham Heid

I’m a frequent contributor at TIME, the New York Times, and other media orgs. I write mostly about health and science. I like long walks and the Grateful Dead.