Air Purifier: A Need or A Want?

Air purifier

By recent studies it has been estimated that more than 80% of the people living in urban parts of the world that monitor air pollution are experiencing problems due to exposure to the air quality levels that exceed the limits set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Overall all regions of the world are affected by the rising air pollution but the population in low-income cities is the most impacted. About 98% of cities in low- and middle income countries, with no relation to the development index, give place to more than 100,000 inhabitants do not get the air quality as per the WHO guidelines. As the quality of air in urban regions declines the risk of heart stroke and disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis increases for the people who live in these areas.

According to a study carried out by the World Health Organisation of 1600 cities across the world, the air quality of the capital of India is the worst of any major city in the world. It is estimated that air pollution in India kills about 1.5 million people every year due to the various diseases caused by poor quality air. About 2.2 million children in Delhi have been affected by irreversible lung damage. Poor quality of air can cause sore throat, early fatigue, reduced lung capacity, headaches, cough and early deaths.

It is obvious to understand that the air pollution is not only outdoors but the same air is indoors. In urban areas, which are more polluted worldwide, the lifestyle of people is such that they stay indoors most of the time. First, they stay in their houses and then travel to work and thereafter stay inside their office complexes for several hours. It is important to know that taking measures while travelling out to save yourself from the highly contaminated air is not enough. Indoor pollutant levels may be up to two to five times higher than that outdoors and at some places even 100 times higher. People are growing aware and have started taking measures to save themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution. One of the most common and effective measure for the people is to buy an air purifier.

An air purifier’s role is to remove contaminants in the air present in the room. They are also used in industries to remove impurities such as carbon dioxide from air. With the help of more research and advanced technology air purifiers can be made capable enough to capture bacteria, viruses and even DNA damaging particles. There are different types of air filters including those that can be cleaned manually using water or vacuum cleaner and those that need to be replaced every few years or months.

Not all roses, there are negatives of this technology as well. There are hazardous gaseous by-products, high noise level, electrical consumption and quite high frequency of the need of filter replacement. There are plenty of myths when it comes to the utility of air purifiers. Many people buy the product falling prey to such myths. The purifiers do not eliminate the need to dust the surroundings. As contradictory to the common notion, they are not dust catchers as good as vacuum cleaners. Why would both the products exist in that case? Next is that they work well at any speed. Effective use of air purifiers is at high fan speeds. People keep the speed minimum in order to keep the noise caused due to the movement of the fan. Sometimes people even slip into unimaginable comfort zones where they believe that air purifiers remove the entire odour from the surrounding areas. In reality the air purifiers can only remove only those odours that have an appreciable quantity of high grade carbon in them. Also, the product does not remove tobacco smoke as against another common notion. It removes the particles that are left floating in the air after people smoke. Only the purifiers specially designed to be able to do this task can remove smoke.

The primary role of an air purifier is to remove impurities from the air, though it can not eliminate the impurities entirely. It provides clean air and hence is a great solution for proactively minimising the risk and exposure to indoor air pollution.

About a decade ago who would have thought or even imagined for the need of an air purifier? Sadly enough our world has come to such an extreme that the sales of this product are going up. It has become a need lately. Ponder.

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