Delhi air pollution: Here's how you could save yourself from rising pollutants this winter

The national Capital is encapsulated in smog, and people have begun looking for some respite in masks and air purifiers, and how.


It's only been a few days since Diwali celebrations and the barrage of fireworks have ceased. The chaos that ensues is leaving Delhites breathless (literally). Many others blame it on pollution from automobiles and industries. If the existing flurry of pollutants into our system isn't enough, fireworks only add to the problem – a reiteration that we aren't ready to change. Now, the least we can do is protect ourselves with the solutions available as problems related to pollution have engulfed the capital and seemingly here to stay. As the national Capital is encapsulated in smog, people have begun looking for some respite in respiratory gear and air purifiers.

According to an Amazon India spokesperson, air purifiers have witnessed a 3X increase in unit sales this Diwali (October 2016) as compared to the previous month. Similarly, there was a 4X increase in unit sales of air purifiers as against last October. Not surprisingly, 50 percent of the orders are coming from customers belonging to cities like Delhi, Gurugram and Bengaluru apart from other metros. "With the onset of winters and the growing smog/fog situation in cities during this time of the year, we expect the customer demand for air purifiers to peak over the next three months ," the spokesperson added.

On the other hand, Snapdeal says that it was between pre-Diwali and post-Diwali that the e-commerce store saw 7x times increase in the number of purifiers and masks that were sold online. The company now has a specially curated store for those looking for products to safeguard them from air pollution. You can head here to look at all the products.

Girish Bapat, Blueair Director, West and South Asia Region said that the number of enquiries and subsequent sale of its air purifiers have increased dramatically. Most of their dealers are running out of stock in Delhi-NCR region and the surge has been seen following the Diwali week.

While the companies reveal which products have been flying off shelves, we've added a few more popular products available in the market.

Masks

In terms of masks, Snapdeal has disclosed a sharp rise in sale of PM 2.5 micron masks. These are responsible to protecting users from some of the worst air pollutants. In fact, the company further adds that within the last month, it registered a 240 percent hike in sales of PM 2.5 Micron masks. While the sale of premium and stylised PM 0.3 micron have seen a rise through October and November. On the other hand, on Amazon, the Dettol Air Protect mask is become one of its best selling product that protects from PM 2.5, bacteria, dust and even pollen. In fact, Amazon recorded the highest number of mask orders on 1 November.

 Delhi air pollution: Heres how you could save yourself from rising pollutants this winter

3M N95 8210

However, it should be noted that the usual surgical mask that is available off shelf, doesn't really offer protection against air pollution. For instance, the 3M N95 8210 could be a great option when considering to buy a mask. So, N95 means the mask is capable of filtering out at least 95 percent of airborne particles that are larger than 0.3 microns. Further for reference, PM2.5 means the particles are 2.5 microns and a mask labelled N95 should be good enough to filter most of these fine particles. You will find a pack of 20 these masks at Rs 1092 on Snapdeal and Rs 1399 on Amazon.

Always remember that the N95 mask should be discarded after 2-3 days. Also, there are mask with replaceable filters too. For instance, the 6200 Reusable Half Mask Respirator.  Various companies built these reusable respiratory masks that will let you replace the filter or cartridge. You will easily find replaceable cartridges and carbon filters that can be attached to your neoprene mask.

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6200 Reusable Half Mask Respirator

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You will find other similar masks, and cheaper, for instance the 9001 Anti PM2.5. However, remember this corresponds to N90, which won't be as effective as N95.

Then there's the Atlanta Healthcare Cambridge, available on Snapdeal and Amazon adheres the N99 standard. N99 means the capability of filtering more the 99 percent of airborne particles. Incidentally, it also happens to be one of the best selling masks on Amazon.

Some other brands that you could look at are Respro and Vogmask. The Respro masks are usually suitable for biking, cycling, running and so on. The Neoprene masks come with replaceable filters.

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Similarly, you can check the N99 compliant Vogmask Smart Grid Anti Pollution Mask priced at Rs 1600. The N99 and the Active Carbon filter offers protection from PM 2.5 particles, 0.3 micron particles, dust, germs, pollen, mould spores, allergens, bacteria and other airborne contaminants.

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Air purifiers

Listing some of its top selling brands, Snapdeal says Philips, Eureka Forbes and Kent top the charts. But does mention Indian brands like Octus and Lifelong. So, Lifelong has the cheapest HEPA air purifier on the market that is priced at INR 4,999 and Octus has a six stage air purifier for only INR 10,499.

Xiaomi Mi_Air_Purifier_2_07

Xiaomi recently launched the new Mi Air Purifier 2 at Rs 9999. This air purifier is capable of monitoring the PM2.5 particles in your home with the help of the app. It helps with 400 sq t coverage and supports 360 degree triple-layer filter. It claims a high 310m3/h Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and takes just 10 minutes to circulate purified air in a 21m2 room. However, the website says it is currently out of stock.

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BlueAir Air Purifier

Another option is the Kent Aura portable room purifier. It supports pre-Filter, HEPA, Activated Carbon and Ionizer. There are others like Lifelong Air Purifier which support HEPA. But, do take a note of the other factors like CADR of mere 80 m3/hr, noise range 33 dbs and so on.

BlueAir has a range of air purifiers starting at Rs 22,990 such as the BlueAir 211. It also has a smart classic series that starts at Rs 55,000. These are a tad expensive compared to other cheaper purifiers, but adhere to the standards, unlike some of the cheaper models available in the country. There are also others from Honeywell and Philips.

Some of the important factors to consider include the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that is capable of filtering up to 99.9 percent air borne particles of sizes up to 0.3microns. Then there's the Clean Air Delivery Rate, some of the highest rates of the purifier are 523m3/hr. It should offer high filtration efficiency  to filter air quickly and go easy on your electricity bill. A compact air purifier would make a great deal of difference depending upon your room size too. However, this could also mean one portable filter would suffice just one room. You will have to replace filters, which will cost about a couple of thousands. Moreover, always check the lifespan of these filters, which will give you a fair idea about the overall cost efficiency.

Now, we are no doctors, and these can only be solutions that could add to the help. For those with serious respiratory illnesses, should consult a doctor for the right remedies.


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