With worsening smog levels turning Delhi (NCR) into a virtual gas chamber, demand for air purifiers and masks is at an all-time high. Delhi experienced the worst smog in 17 years after Diwali, with PM2.5 readings, which have a safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter, having gone up to an alarming 900 in some parts of the city last week. The situation triggered a spurt in the purchase of air purifiers and masks in the national capital.
“I bought an air purifier and masks primarily because of my children. My son and daughter were complaining about discomfort in breathing after Diwali night,” says Prasanna Singh, a resident of Alakhnanda in South Delhi. However, he’s clueless about the effectiveness of the masks and air purifier. He adds,
I don’t know whether they actually help in filtering out particulate matter and hazardous gases or not.
Prasanna isn’t the only one expressing concern over the quality of masks and purifiers; YourStory spoke to several people who purchased them – all seemingly unaware of the true effectiveness of the products.
When it comes to air purifiers, one tends to look at the lower and mid-range products in the market and get excited by the area covered and the lower prices (in the range of Rs 10,000-20,000). One must read the fine print – these devices have inferior motors and far inferior filters.