I have no idea if politicians will still want us extend our stay on earth once we are all educated enough to vote sensibly… but what I do know is that our parliamentarians are certainly aware of the sort of pollution that plagues our cities.
Take Delhi where according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) levels is four times more than the prescribed India-specific safety limit. According to WHO, 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India and include Delhi, Lucknow, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Agra. With so much industrial and vehicular emissions, construction activities, generators and burning of agricultural residue dominating the air that we breathe, do you seriously think diseases like include irregular cardiac rhythm, which can lead to heart attack, lung disorder, respiratory infection, bronchitis, pneumonia and stroke can remain far from us? Our stay on earth is being seriously curtailed by the air that we breathe… and for those unaware, an average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day.
‘Phew!’ I said, as I gave a worried look and thought, ‘Will this Philips Air Purifier really work?’ The company claimed that the 47-watt purifier used a four-stage cleaning process, where after bigger dust particles have been captured, the Hepa filter removes ultra-fine particles larger than 20 nanometers. I was informed that even viruses get trapped and removed. The final stage of filtration removes odours and harmful gases. Even germs and mould are eliminated.
Well, we were quite sceptical at first but switched it on and let the device work silently throughout the night. I do remember that the LED status indicator was red at the start which meant that the air it was desperately trying to purify wasn’t great for breathing. ‘This is Delhi,’ I muttered… and was happy that the indicator had graduated from red to purple and then to deep purple and finally to blue which meant that the air inside the room was good enough! The truth is that we had been skipping going for our morning walk for quite some time as early mornings found us tired instead of fresh. But on day one we were up early and were enthusiastically looking forward to our walk.
I must mention here that we tried two experiments. On the first couple of days we went for road walks that took us through Jhandewalan and on to Mandir Marg towards Gole Market and then back. The newspapers had been claiming that the particulate matter in this part of Delhi was at a particularly dangerous level and was not fit for deep breaths even early in the morning. I think the newspaper reports were correct. We reached home exhausted… and had to take massive gulps of purified air that the Philips AC 4072 managed to produce for us!
Two days later we decided to drive to Talkatora garden for our walk… and yes, the results were far better! I guess it was the absence of CO and propane in the massive garden that added to the good effects of the air purifier at home that removed particulate matter, aldehydes, chlorinated hydrocarbons, ethers, esters, ketones, halogens and sulfur dioxide. This small experiment was quite helpful in some ways as my wife and I are thoroughly convinced that it is a combination of an air purifier at home and a walk in the garden that tones up the body.
But, as usual, Specky, my wife, had a rather pertinent query, ‘The day spent in office is going to kill all the good effect that the body had during the night and during the walk, wouldn’t it?’
Well, I guess we will need to convince our offices too to consider giving employees the benefit of pure air besides other perks and payouts. After all, even the European Union had directed its diplomats in Delhi to install air purifiers at home and office to reduce exposure to high air pollution levels as a report in TOI had stated some time back.
Well, we are living in times when innovation is our greatest strength… and I hope someone soon markets backpacks with light-weight air purifiers that even our traffic cops can wear and extend their life on earth. Yes, students and travel enthusiasts will also find such an innovation useful. Frankly, even journalists will welcome it. Let us have them built into cars and all forms of public transport as well. Let us all resolve to extend our stay on earth!
Review first published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 11 May 2015…
Buy Philips Air Purifier on Amazon:
Philips AC4372/10 63-Watt Air Purifier (White)
12 May 2015