You need air purifiers in the office too
Air pollution is not going away any time soon. This summer, lobby with HR to install them at work
Ever since Asif Mohamed, chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder, Momspresso, bought an indoor air purifier in the summer of 2017, he says his sleep patterns have improved significantly, and the clearly better quality of indoor air makes him a feel a lot more energetic. “I feel a lot more fresh after I have started using the air purifier,” he says. Mohamed, who uses Dyson’s Pure Cool Link purifier, now plans to buy a second device.
There are multiple sources of indoor air pollution, and the pollutants remain trapped in rooms for the most part. Outside air too gets trapped indoors, making for a deadly cocktail. While the colder temperature in winter translates into bad-quality air, air-conditioner use in summer just ensures the same air is recycled over and over again.
The recycled air becomes concentrated with toxins, and the carbon dioxide content increases. And this could hold true not just for your home, but your workplace too. A Reuters report this month says 140 air purifiers have been purchased for the Prime Minister’s and other government offices.
Indoor air is a mix of particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and allergens such as fine construction debris, residues, fungal spores, indoor smoke from cooking, paint fumes, varnish, etc. In offices, the problem gets compounded: Factors such as people working together in enclosed spaces, air being recycled, suboptimal ventilation, and accumulation of dust in carpets, can lead to what is known as the Sick Building Syndrome.
This is marked by throat and respiratory ailments, shortness of breath, watery eyes, fatigue, congestion, even headaches.
“Being one of the most polluted cities in the world, it is simply criminal not to avail of whatever means one can to protect oneself from breathing the toxic air that is ever-present,” says Delhi-based designer Nyla Kapur, who uses Blueair, Philips and Honeywell purifiers in different rooms, and recently purchased an Airgle 600 for her mother, who was diagnosed with a lung disease.
“I monitor the AQI (Air Quality Index) data using the Dyson app and it is scary to see the levels of pollution. Even when we feel that the air is clear, the AQI readings would hover around the ‘poor’ mark,” says Mohamed.
Should air purifiers now be considered essentials for both office and home rather than luxury items? “The reason (for buying air purifiers) is self-evident to everyone, with the extremely poor quality of ambient air, both in the visible range and too-small-to-see particulates,” says Delhi-based Pallavi Mohan, owner of auto parts company Rico Auto.
“We most certainly have noted a stark difference in air quality where air purifiers are being used, compared to untreated rooms, especially on high PM-count days,” says Kapur.
Clean air machines
Contrary to general opinion, putting a small purifier near your desk in office will not help at all; something designed specifically for a large area would be better.
Dyson Pure Cool Link
The 360-degree HEPA borosilicate filter has a Tris-coated graphite (known as tromethamine) which acts as a buffer solution. It can capture 0.1 micron particles—100 times smaller than human hair. This will cover spaces as large as 300 sq. ft.
The six-stage filtration eliminates ultra-fine particulates. The AS95GDWT0 has a unique axial design fan redirected by the Chevron Nozzle (used in aviation engines). These purifiers, depending on variant, cover areas from 624-1,000 sq. ft.
Samsung AX7000 Series
The tower design allows for two sets of filters to be stacked vertically. It is quite staggering that even at maximum fan speeds, you’ll hardly be bothered by it running in the same room. It covers areas as large as 1,000 sq. ft
Airgle AG600 PurePal
This classic-looking purifier has a thick charged HEPA filter. The Titanium Pro module, which is a 14-watt UVC lamp, kills bacteria as well as viruses as small as 0.1 micron. It can cover an area of around 300 sq. ft.
*Prices may vary