With air quality in heavily polluted cities like Delhi deteriorating fast, a poll by Curofy — India’s largest community of verified doctors — has called into question the efficacy of air purifiers that are being sold in good numbers now.
Whether it was because of bursting crackers on Diwali or stubble burning in neighbouring states, Delhi was recently covered in a blanket of worst ever smog. This saw sales of air purifiers shooting up manifold in the state.
In order to understand the effectiveness of these devices, the Curofy poll took the opinion of 1,580 doctors into consideration.
Out of those who responded, 1,030 or 65.1 per cent said that air purifiers cannot save the day. In the absence of research and peer reviewed studies one cannot say how much an air purifier can help really.
“Air Purifiers are for indoor pollution, which is more prevalent in western countries. In our country outdoor pollution is the major concern, so air purifiers will not be of much use,” said Dr Manoj Goel, Director and HOD, Department Of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon.
While air purifiers are effective against particulate and smoke in a limited area, there are no researches to prove their efficacy in heavily polluted area like Delhi. They are more like a band aid approach to the save our lungs, useful till we are inside our homes but ineffective to clean the whole city.
Dr Arup Basu,Senior consultant, Chest medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, “Air purifiers do not have any proven value as such. They will be effective in sealed house. We may also use hepa filters that are used in the industry. But outside our homes their efficacy is questionable.”
Only 550 or 34.8 per cent doctors said that air purifiers can be effective.
So, while most of the doctors don’t endorse air purifiers completely, their usefulness within the walls of our homes can’t be denied.
Commenting on this, Pawan Gupta, Co-founder of Curofy, said, “Pollution is Delhi is at its all time high and people are doing anything they can to save their lungs like buying air purifiers and masks. In such situations it is important to know the usefulness of these actions and we tried to understand the same with this poll.”