Air purifiers are emerging as the new tool to tackle indoor air pollution in the national capital and its adjoining areas, doctors have said.
According to doctors, air purifiers are becoming more reliable for people in cities because a pollutant released indoors is 1,000 times more likely to reach people’s lungs than a pollutant released outdoors.
“Air pollution is the only solution available currently. In India, we have a long standing tradition of burning of incense sticks and then the smoke from tobacco, dust from carpet and furniture increases the concentration of particulate matter (PM) by about 15 times,” said Raj Kumar, head of Respiratory allergy and Applied Immunology at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.
He said the situation further worsens after festivals like Diwali and with the onset of winters, when smog level increases alarmingly.
According to reports, companies manufacturing air purifiers have witnessed a steep increase in sales — with Blue Air witnessing a five-fold sales jump in their purifiers since Diwali.
Philips has reported a 20-30 percent surge in sales this year, and Eureka Forbes, one of the first to enter the Indian market in 1996, says it is now selling 7,000-10,000 machines a month, as compared to 10,000-20,000 per year a few years ago.
WHO’s report of 2014 stated that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. It also stated that more than 1.6 million people, mainly women and children, die prematurely due to high levels of indoor smoke every year.
Piyush Nath, a respiratory expert in Safdarjung hospital, said: “Air pollution has come up as one of the major health challenges of the modern Indian cities. With increasing respiratory problems and morbidities, it is now important to raise levels of knowledge about pollutants, outdoor as well as indoor, and their health hazards.
The statement was part of a joint statement by the doctors and air purifiers company on the use of air purifiers by citizens to tackle pollution.
Vijay Kannan, India Head of Blue Air said: “The demand of air purifiers in the cities has increased. While we have registered an overall increase in the demand in the metros, post Diwali it is like boom in the market. We are hopeful that the technology would not just help people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses, but will contribute in reducing the rate of respiratory diseases in the cities.”