Reality Check on Air Purifiers!

by May 30, 2018 0 comments

Authored By: Shuvendu Mazumdar, National Manager, Sharp Air Purifiers

Air pollution is a silent and invisible killer. We don’t really realize the damage it causes to us since it impacts us slowly. It’s high time we accept air pollution as a major health issue. Indoors air is considered to be at least two to five times more polluted and dangerous than the air outside.

With the accelerated pace of modernization, we have contaminated our environment and now that we have realized that we are digging up our own grave, now it’s time to act! Few technological advancements have created the possibility of taking control of Indoor Air Pollution, the most prominent being Air Purifiers.

While few are still sceptical about its results, prominent organizations like TERI has moved one step further and tested Air Purifiers in real environments for its efficacy and effectiveness. Although, when consumers are still deciding what to expect out of any purifier here is the reality check on what an Air Purifier can do.

Major brands claim to have delivered Air Purifiers which are best in class and are efficient in handling indoor pollutants with efficacy but due to lack of any standard regulatory measure, it becomes difficult to identify whose technology or process creates an impact.

Moreover, since the technology is also nascent to the Indian market, brands have diverted from its main agenda of providing an impeccable air purification solution and have started treating Air Purifiers as gizmos with addition of ambiguous features like sensors, wi-fi etc. which claim to have not serious effect on the performance of Air Purifier but just an eyewash for the consumers.

Consumers should opt for Air Purifiers which are holistic in approach when it comes to identifying pollutants indoor and be able to transfer its benefits as per below-identified pointers: –

  1. The number of visits to the doctors.
  2. Medication requirements.
  3. Absenteeism from school and work.
  4. Quality of sleep. Has it improved?
  5. Level of freshness and general vitality. And general temperament.

While the industry is adopting and promoting inbuilt sensors & air quality monitors, it can only provide mental relief to consumers and are inefficient or inaccurate in predicting pollutants in the air and their impact. Therefore, consumers should stay away from such frills and should strictly look for direct health benefits as mentioned above.

Also, to measure accurate results, besides the criteria, we also need an agreed upon context i.e. a list of some common symptoms associated with indoor air pollution to measuring against. Then we can claim it to be an actual litmus test of air purifiers.

Few after effects or health symptoms of Indoor Air Pollution include sensitivity in eyes including burning sensations, irritation and redness, watering and discharge from the eyes, swelling, itching, conjunctivitis and other infections.

Sick Building Syndrome (headache, difficulty in concentration, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, eye, nose or throat irritation, hoarseness of voice, cold, dry cough, dry or itching skin, sensitivity to odors and flu), allergies (runny nose and sneezing), respiratory problems (chest discomfort, cough, shortness of breath) &Cardiovascular dysfunctions (hypertension and high blood pressure along with hardening of arteries, heart attack/stroke).

An Air Purifier should be able to address all above symptoms and that consumers should watch for answers on above criteria rather being getting swayed with frills like sensors, wi-fi connectivity etc. which are only exterior in nature and doesn’t relate to Air Purification at all.

The only way consumers can experience the effectivity of an Air purifier is to use an Air Purifier and evaluate their health improvements during the said period whether their mornings are fresh & energetic with no symptoms of a sore throat, sneezing or uneasiness).

Also, consumers should look for technology beyond traditional HEPA filter and Carbon filter as they have limited capabilities and may not be able to address all indoor pollutants rather Air Purifiers with advanced technologies like Plasma Cluster Ion technology may prove to be of holistic in approach.

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