Are air-purifiers helpful?

Last winters, Delhi suddenly woke up to foggy winter morning and news anchors and articles telling you that this is no ordinary fog – but smog – far more dangerous than many mosquitoes and bacteria causing ailments. Panic followed, schools were shut, water sprinkled to bring the smog down and everywhere people could be spotted wearing a mask over their nose and mouth to prevent their lungs from inhaling the polluted air. Soon enough many other cities in the country also joined the ‘polluted’ bandwagon with an exception of few greener ones. The air around us was suddenly not enough for us anymore.

While it is impossible to pack bags and move base in search of greener and fresh pastures, the panic gave birth to ‘air purifiers’, which were touted as the only means of making this air breathable. So how helpful are these air purifiers?

Well firstly, let us put this on record that air purifiers are expensive and out of reach of the lower middle-class income group. While the expat and the affluent can certainly afford it, there are a lot of factors that come with the gadget. Since it is a plug-in device, it can only be put in in one room at a time (in a house). The moment the door opens and the air from outside seeps in, the light indicators in the purifier change their colours and alarm you that the level of purified air in the room has gone down. So if you have to breathe in the pure air, stay locked! Also, if you have an allergic streak, you are most likely to start sneezing and coughing the moment you leave your house for work or step out of your ‘comfort zone’ to go somewhere, because of the contrast in the quality of air.

Air purifiers most certainly work. They are helpful in removing the dust particles and pollens from the air, resulting in a fresher air that surely helps us breathe better. But is it possible to carry your purifier wherever you go? Can you take it to your meetings? Your relatives? Your social outings?

Thus, rather than putting all the energy and brain in making costly air purifiers, we must get our synergies together to make the air around us cleaner and breathable.

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