World Asthma Day: Asthma air purifiers – effectiveness and how to choose an air purifier

Every day, our bodies absorb more air than any other substance. With air quality getting worse than ever, we are breathing in a variety of pollutants, increasing the prevalence of a number of health problems including asthma. According to the ‘Global Asthma Report 2018’, 1.31 billion people (of whom 6% are children and 2% of adults) suffer from asthma in India.
If you have breathing problems or health conditions related to polluted air, you may be looking for solutions to cleaner air. While the first obvious thought may be at home; as houses are increasingly well sealed; looks like we’re stopping pollution. On the contrary, we are turning it off. Whether we are sleeping, working, cooking, or exercising, we are all capable of breathing dirty air. There is little we can do to control the quality of the air we breathe outside. But there are ways we can protect health and happiness in our homes. One of those ways is to invest in an air purifier.
Dr Neeraj Awasthy, Cardiologist, Pediatric Cardiologist and General Practitioner, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket said, “Outdoor and indoor air quality can both be catastrophic for Our homes are a repository of countless substances that are invisible to the naked eye but contribute to an unhealthy indoor environment. There is a direct link between exposure. with such bad air quality and outbreaks of asthma and other respiratory problems.Today, air purifiers are working as a powerful weapon to ensure respiratory health.They have the ability to sense and capture harmful pollutants and ultimately control asthma symptoms.”
Deciding to purchase an air purifier can be a positive step towards providing clean air for both you and your family. This World Asthma DayHere are some tips from Ken ArmstrongThe Air Purification Scientist at Dyson, on how to choose the right air purifier for your needs.
Purifiers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, remove different types of air pollutants in your home, and offer a wide range of features and specifications. Here are five important things to keep in mind before you buy an air purifier.
Filter type used
There are different types of filtration and cleaning systems present in the purifier.
For example, ultraviolet light uses electromagnetic radiation to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold, but does not remove dust, allergens, or airborne particles. Activated carbon filters react chemically with pollutants to remove smoke, odors and gases from the air, but do not filter harmful fine particles. Ionisers work by sending out a stream of charged ions to attract dust and allergens. Although fairly common, it is important to know that ionizers can produce ground-level ozone. This increases indoor ozone, which can irritate your lungs.
HEPA The H13 standard filter is highly effective at capturing 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns such as allergens, bacteria, H1N1 viruses, pollen and mold spores. However, a HEPA filter alone will not remove formaldehyde.
There are a number of filters that continuously destroy formaldehyde at the molecular level. They have a unique coating, similar in structure to the mineral Cryptomelane. Its atomic-mass-sized tunnels are optimal for killing formaldehyde, breaking it down into small amounts of water and CO2. It then regenerates from the oxygen in the air to continue to destroy it continuously without ever needing to be replaced.
Ability to remove fine and microscopic particles
Although it seems basic, it is important to be aware of the invisible enemies we are dealing with in our homes. In India, PM2.5 is the commonly mentioned particle size – common in India, almost all year round. Unfortunately, the particles don’t stop at 2.5 microns. PM0.1 particles, also known as ultrafine particles, tend to enter the fine sacs in our lungs (also known as alveoli) and can even enter our bloodstream in a way easy.
Certain air filters capture 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 micrometer and achieve a fully sealed HEPA 13 standard filter – ensuring that no air passes through the filter and blocking any any potential leak points where dirty air can enter the machine.
Coverage and air circulation
To gauge the size of your needs, measure the approximate length, width, and height of your room and multiply them together to get the fit you require. However, keep in mind that the ability to distribute clean air evenly throughout the room is equally important, as many air purifiers only discharge air in a single or upward direction.
Industry standard purifier tests are conducted in small chambers with one ceiling fan and one sensor only. This is called the Clean Air Distribution Ratio or . CADR test. In our opinion, it is not representative of the real-life space where a purifier might be. Small test chamber, from 28m3 to 30m3, depending on the method.
We believe that when choosing a machine, people should have a clear understanding of the performance of any machine in the real world. Currently developing a test method, Point Load Automated Response (POLAR), that takes into account multifunctionality and real-world performance. The test method evaluates the machine’s ability to remove potentially harmful particles and gases, the uniformity of cleaning performance delivered around the entire room, and the projection of the air flow.
The POLAR test is based on a larger room size, more typically 81m3, with no additional ceiling fans. Eight sensors in the corners and one in the center ensure that we design our machines to deliver uniform cleaning performance throughout the room.
Dimensions and weight
Filters can be bulky and heavy, making it difficult to move through rooms. On the other hand, filters that are light in weight often mean coverage suffers. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain purifier models combine fan functionality with an air purifier, offering the best of both worlds.
– Ken Armstrong, Air Purification Scientist at Dyson

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