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Amidst the furore created in the country by the news of demonetization, another piece of news which sprawled all over the newspapers and plagued our senses (pun intended), was the rise in air pollution. The SMOG in Delhi had made headlines and the threat was evident. The media reported the air quality to be “severe”. The Delhi Government declared it as an 'emergency situation' and had promptly shut down all schools and colleges, banned constructions and resorted to sprinkling water on roads. But these are emergency measures and are just temporary. Rapid industrialization and lifestyle changes have given rise to all these circumstances. What hit me hard was when my pediatrician gave me a helpless look and told me in a matter of fact fashion, that a child staying in NCR virtually inhales pollution, equivalent to 10 cigarettes per day. Few days later when I took my dad for a health check up, his lungs were in a bad shape, although he is a non smoker – all thanks to the increasing pollution levels. It was time to prepare for a surgical strike against this menace and I started educating myself on this.
When I sat down to enlighten myself on the same, I was surprised to have found out that we fall prey to not just the polluted air outside the comforts of our homes, but even our homes are not the safe havens we consider them to be. The WHO states, "benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, naphthalene, nitrogen dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (especially benzo[a]pyrene), radon, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene have indoor sources, are known for their hazardousness to health and are often found indoors in concentrations of concern to health."
There are so many factors that augment indoor air pollution in our homes. You will be astonished to know that the varnish on our furniture, the LPG we use to cook our meals, pet hair and dander and even the paint on those beautiful walls of our houses, add to indoor air pollution along with suspended particulate matter from the air outside. What is 'Particulate matter' or 'PM Level’?
PM level or Particulate Matter is the measure of a mixture of solids and liquid droplets floating in the air. Particles less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter are so small that they can get into the lungs, potentially causing serious health problems.
How can these be harmful? Well the PM2.5 pollutants which are the most harmful ones can penetrate the lungs and breach the blood brain barrier and the fact is that in Delhi they have surpassed 16 times the safe limit. Sounds scary, isn't it?
You may now probe as to how to deal with the demon of indoor air pollution.
After a lot of research, I came home to the fact that the best possible remedy for this menace is:
Air Purifiers. The air purifiers come with a layer of filters. The outermost filter takes care of suspended impurities like pet hair etc. the next layer is that of the carbon filters. The carbon filters form the next level of purification. Carbon is known to absorb impurities. We all have seen it in our water purifiers. The next layer of purification is the HEPA filters. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It is a type of mechanical filter which works by filtering air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles which are suspended in the air. The HEPA filter takes care of impurities like pollen, dust particles, smoke to name a few. To counter the ill effects of modernization, technology has come to rescue. These Air Purifiers from brands like Eureka Forbes help curb the air pollution levels to a large extent.
Technology has thus come to our rescue and by exercising the use of these purifiers we can at least ensure that we breathe the 'healthiest air in our homes'.
The present age has an array of modern inventions which has simplified the lives of the human race drastically. But industrialization and modernized living have given rise to numerous modern age dragons, air pollution being one of them. Still, we are constantly looking for solutions and it is heartening to know of this. But, let us also strive and make an earnest attempt to not contribute to the already existing air pollution, thus ensuring a green earth for the posterity.