Techniques have been devised for studying quantitatively the effects of air ions on microorganisms suspended in small drops. In smog-contaminated atmospheres moderate concentrations of positive and negative air ions exerted a protective effect on staphylococci by delaying the drop in pH customarily observed and by diminishing the rate of evaporation. In clean air higher concentrations of positive and negative air ions accelerated the rate of death of staphylococci apparently by direct action on the cells and by increasing the rate of evaporation.

Air ion action in these experiments did not involve cell agglutination or direct radiation from the radioactive isotopes employed.

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