DIY Portable Personel Air Purifier

I have recently noticed an increase in the number of times that the topic of “How to limit exposure during unavoidable events?” is coming up in conversations and online, thus prompting me to revisit a D.I.Y. project that I built to allow me to attend/participate in my daughters wedding in 2009.

DIY Portable Personel Air Purifier

For this project, you will need a few hardware items plus a few different types of fasteners and a fan grill of some kind. I have provided a list of the hardware items along with Amazon links for both Canada and U.S.A. below, I literally put mine together with Duct Tape and Mechanics Wire plus a pair of Elastic Straps originally designed to keep your pant leg out of your bike chain.


P.C.I. Slot Fan.

Battery Holders

Activated Charcoal Filter Bag


Most of this is obvious from the included photos.

For the power side of this project, we are wiring the 2 battery blocks in series. connect the black wire from one to the red wire on the other. Clip the connector off the wires for the P.C.I. fan and connect them to the corresponding wires from the battery blocks. I recommend you install batteries and make sure that the fan is drawing air in the flat side and out the top before finalizing your connections. On/Off is provided by adding or removing the final battery.

You will need to find or make something to keep the filter bag from touching (and stopping) the fan.

Fasten it all together and drop it into a purse, camera bag, etc. Use as needed to direct a stream of filtered air directly at your face.

Air Purifiers Explained

For those of us who suffer from an Environmental Illness with triggers in the Multiple Chemical Sensitivities category as well as those who have Mold Sensitivities, Allergies and any other reactions to Air Born Contaminants, The correct choice of Air Purifier is imperative to our well being.

There are currently 5 different technologies used in modern Air Purifiers, 3 that should be combined for best results, 1 that will neither help nor harm your condition and 1 that is only used when the area is vacant.

  • Hepa Filters
  • Activated Charcoal, Carbon, Graphite
  • Ultra Violet Light
  • Electrostatic
  • Ozone Generators

Hepa Filters

Hepa Filters sometimes referred to as True Hepa Filters are the most effective mechanical filters available. Room air is forced through a Hepa Filter which traps even the smallest particles of Dust, Pollen, Pet Dander, Dust Mites and Smoke.

Activated Charcoal, Carbon, Graphite

Activated Charcoal, Carbon or Graphite Filter layers trap Organic Chemicals. V.O.C. Chemicals including Fragrance, Formaldehyde, Paints and Thinners and Petroleum Distillates are a few examples of the Chemicals removed by this filter medium.

Please Note: The amount of V.O.C. reduction per hour is dependant on the amount of Activated Charcoal, Carbon or Graphite contained in the filter.

Ultra Violet Light

Ultra Violet Light is nature’s sterilizer. U.V. Light from the sun sterilizes outdoor Air and Water. It is also the spectrum of sunlight that is responsible for sunburn. In short Ultra Violet Light provides Sterilization via Light Radiation. In an Air Purifier air passes through a U.V. Light chamber instantly killing Mold Spores, Germs, Viruses and Micro-Organisms.


Electrostatic Filters are plates that generate a charge opposite to the natural static charge carried by particles in the air, The issue being that only about 30% of particles in the air are carrying a static charge. Electrostatic Filters provide little to no benefit for us.

Room Sterilizers i.e. Ozone Generators and Hydrogen Peroxide Vaporizers

Ozone Generators produce Ozone, Hydrogen Peroxide Vaporizers produce an H2O2 fog both types circulate a sterilizer in the room, both are effective sterilizers and are also effective in removing stubborn odors. The issue with using these units as air purifiers is that these sterilizers change air PH (acidity) and are therefore extremely irritating while in use and until the treated area has been aired out. Hydrogen Peroxide Vaporization is known to have a lower negative impact on the environment but being a newer technology has been more expensive.


For Maximum benefit chose an Air Purifier that incorporates Hepa Filtration, Activated Charcoal, Carbon or Graphite for Chemical removal and Ultra Violet Light sterilization.

General Purpose 3 in 1 Air Purifiers: These units do incorporate the top 3 technologies but are limited in the amount of V.O.C.’s removed due to the small amount of Activated Charcoal contained in the unit.


Visiting With Environmental Illness Sufferers

Visiting with friends and relatives who suffer from an Environmental Illness, either in your home or their’s requires some forethought and preparation.

“Environmental Illness is the result of long-term exposure to air born toxins combined with shortfalls in nutrition resulting in a body that has fallen behind in the Detox, Repair or Replacement of Damaged Cells. As such Environmental Illness sufferers can no longer tolerate any exposure to air born toxins.”

Personal Preparation

Assuming that most non-Environmental Illness sufferers have not adopted Environmental Illness safe Laundry, Cleaning and Personal Care practices, successfully visiting with someone who does suffer from an Environmental Illness would require the following.

  • Clothing that has been laundered using fragranced laundry detergent and/or fabric softener must be hung where it can off-gas for at least 6 hours prior to your visit. Clothing that has been laundered using products containing scent boosters or scent extenders can not be worn.
  • Personal Care Products including Soap, Shampoo, Hair Styling Products, Deodorant, etc. should be used at least 8 hrs before your visit.

In Your Home

Entertaining an Environmental Illness sufferer in your home requires the creation of a safe region within your home as far in advance as possible. This region should be distanced from or isolated from the Kitchen if at all possible. Use of Herbs and Spices during cooking and the use of dish soap and dishwasher chemicals release air born toxins.

  • Refrain from using all Household Cleaning, Personal Care and Air Freshener products in your home for at least 6 hrs prior to their arrival.
  • Remove all Household Cleaning, Personal Care and Air Freshener products from this region of your home.
  • If they will be remaining overnight, air out bedding the same as clothing or suggest that they bring their own.
  • Use of an Air Purifier that incorporates Activated Charcoal or Activated Carbon will further reduce air born toxins in your home.

Tips For Environmental Illness Sufferers When Visiting Others

Nobody understands better than us how hard it is to identify everything that makes us sick, I have purchased countless products over the years that should have been safe. When visiting others there are things that you can do to improve your chances of a successful visit.

  • Communicate details of your illness, both in advance and during your visit. Make it clear that you appreciate their effort to make their home safe and that if there is something that forces you to cut the visit short, you are willing to try again later.
  • Bring safe products with you. Even if your hosts have attempted to find an apparently Green, All Natural hand soap to leave by the sink, chances are that you won’t be able to use it.
  • Consider sending ahead some Laundry Soap that you use that they can use on Clothing, Bedding, Etc. that will be used or worn during your visit.
  • Consider bringing a portable Air Purifier that can be used to filter out toxins in your area of a room or set up in a separate room to provide you with a safe room should the need arise. I find that the “GermGuardian AC4020 3-in-1 Portable Air Purifier” fits into almost any suitcase. You can find a list of GermGuardian Air Purifiers for every size of room Here.
  • Just recently I have started using “Gas and Pollutant Reducing Nasal Filters” by Woody Knows anywhere where I can not be certain of a safe environment. You can find them Here.
  • It helps to keep in mind that as you do everything you can to minimize your contact with air born toxins and continue to provide your body with the tools it needs to make the necessary repairs, Visiting, Social Interaction and returning to normal life will become easier.

It is my hope that this information will encourage many to reconnect over the upcoming holiday season.

Merry Christmas, Dan