Air pollution is bad for everyone. It is no fun inhaling air in most Indian cities that is as bad as smoking upwards of 30 cigarettes a day, according to estimates. The AQI in a lot of regions, particularly in the Delhi NCR is crossing the 999 Air Quality Index (AQI) mark. According to the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the National Capital Region, the AQI level above 401 is categorized as severe. What does this mean?
Unlike us adults, children’s lungs aren’t fully developed. In fact, they take years to develop. A child therefore takes smaller breaths, but more breaths, compared with adults. The higher volume of air that they breathe makes them more susceptible to inhaling more pollutants in the same period of time. It is not until children reach the teenage years that their lungs are fully developed. Factor in that a child’s immune system isn’t fully developed by then either and this is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps, the World Health Organization best explains it in the research titled “Air pollution and child health: prescribing clean air”. They say, “children are at greater risk than adults from the many adverse health effects of air pollution, owing to a combination of behavioural, environmental and physiological factors. Children are uniquely vulnerable and susceptible to air pollution, especially during foetal development and in their earliest years. Their lungs, organs and brains are still maturing. They breathe faster than adults, taking in more air and, with it, more pollutants. Children live closer to the ground, where some pollutants reach peak concentrations. New-borns and infants, meanwhile, spend most of their time indoors, where they are more susceptible to household air pollution (HAP). Children spend much time near their mothers while the latter cook with polluting fuels and devices.” It is perhaps time now for you to invest in a good air purifier for your home, perhaps for your bedroom or the child’s room, play area or study area. Here are some of the best options.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND
What should you look for in a purifier for your child’s room or play area? First and foremost, don’t buy the cheapest option out there. The quality of filters may not be good, the fan may not be powerful enough and the entire idea will go for a toss. What you need is something with good filters, preferably multiple filter layers to eliminate as many pollutants, bacteria and virus as possible. Secondly, the power of the purifier is important, since it has to clean the room’s air quickly and maintain it that way.
Blueair Joy S
Around Rs 8,999
The compact design is one of its strongest points, but that allows you to simply place it in the room and it stays out of the way. The Joy S follows similar basics as the larger Blue Pure series of air purifiers. This has a clean air delivery rate (CADR) rating of 220 m3/h. The circular purifier takes in air from all sides and the large clean air vent at the top does a good job of distributing clean air into the room. Simplicity is its strongest point—a simple on and off and controls for fan speed. The real bonus is that you can buy the pre-filter in multiple colours, including yellow, blue and red.
Honeywell AirTouch A5
Around Rs 8,200
The Honeywell Air Touch A5 really punches above its weight, or at least what you would expect from its price tag. This has a CADR rating of 250 cubic metres (m3/h) per hour, making this perfect for bedrooms and even medium size halls. There is a pre-filter that captures the larger dust particles. Then there is the excellent HEPA filter which in our testing exhibited fine performance in cleaning the air and maintaining the air quality in the room. Then there is the third filter later, the HiSiv filter technology, that captures the gaseous pollutants. The Honeywell AirTouch A5 also has a topple-resistant design, which could be an additional advantage when there is a child around. However, this doesn’t have a numeric AQI feature built-in, and instead has the colour coded indicators—red for bad, orange for moderate and blue for good.
Dyson Pure Cool Advanced Technology
Rs 38,900 onwards
Premium air purifiers yes, but the Dyson air purifiers do have technology on their side. For starters, there are the 360-degree HEPA and activated carbon filter layers which can suck in dirty air from all sides, unlike typical box-design purifiers which have intake vents either on the front or the back. The built-in sensors detect PM2.5, PM10, VOC and NO2. And well, there is no fan so to speak of—the air is circulated in the room by what Dyson calls the Air Multiplier technology. The Dyson Pure Cool Advanced Technology is available in the Desk top and floor standing Tower variants, and you can take your pick depending on how you intend to place it.
Around Rs 14,300
The newest generation of Sharp air purifiers really build on the Plasmacluster technology that has been a regular fixture in the company’s arsenal for years now. A max CADR of 240 m3/h makes this right at home in your bedroom. And what comes along is the triple filter setup which includes a pre-filter, a deodorizing filter and an HEPA filter. The Plasmacluster tech emits the same positive and negative ions that are present in nature, and attaches to H1N1, microbes, bacteria like E. Coli, MRSA, TB and fungal spores in order to neutralize them. This also removes static electricity that attaches dust particles on to charged surfaces inside your home.
Philips Series 2000
Around Rs 16,000
The Philips Series 2000 AC2887 purifier has a multilayer filter set-up. And very good filters, while at it. The 333 m3/h CADR rating is enough for bigger rooms as well. It also displays the room’s air-quality parameters, with a Live numeric display. There are three filter layers—a pre-filter, a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. Philips uses what it calls the AeraSense sensor to detect the pollutant and particulate level in the room and alters the operation settings accordingly.