Here’s why using anti-pollution masks is not a fool-proof solution

Air pollution is on the rise. Most of the Indian cities wake up to a thick layer of smog shadowing beautiful skylines, rich heritage, and most importantly, the routine of its citizens’ daily lives. While Delhi tops the outdoor air pollution charts, other states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are where children are affected most. A Greenpeace report by India states that around 47 million children in India are severely affected by extreme levels of air pollution. Experts went as far as to say that the condition is so bad in Delhi that people may have to be evacuated.

To stay safe from the harmful effects of hazardous pollutants, people resort to using anti-pollution masks. Due to the constant rise in air pollution, the sale of these anti-pollution masks skyrocketed. People were seen purchasing more masks as stepping out of their homes without one was not a safe option anymore. But are anti-pollution masks completely reliable? The general sentiment regarding these masks are that, once they are worn, you cannot be affected by any harmful pollutants existing in the environment. This, sadly, is not the case.

Let us list down why masks are not a sustainable solution to air pollution.

  1. Authentic anti-pollution masks are too expensive for most people.

There are different types of anti-pollution masks available in the market. Of these, there are two types that can safeguard you from the ultra-fine particles in the air: N99 and N95. They are tested, medically approved, standard products that are recommended by experts. However, these masks can only be afforded by people who belong to high-income groups. While the cheapest masks are available for Rs. 250 to Rs. 300, the price of a pack of three good-quality masks ranges from Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2200. The latter is unaffordable to middle-class families.

  1. Masks are not comfortable, durable or sustainable

Due to the bad air quality during winters and preceding months, people are forced to wear masks for the entire day. While trying to live their lives normally, wearing these masks makes it difficult for people to breathe and communicate freely. The masks also make them feel suffocated and uncomfortable. Cab drivers, salesmen and other individuals, whose profession demands that they remain outside constantly, are repelled by the idea of functioning with a mask in spite of being completely aware of the repercussions of not wearing one. In addition to this, they cannot be used for more than two to three days as the filters wear off. Hence, the anti-pollution masks are not considered to be durable or sustainable.

  1. There is a lack of availability and awareness about anti-pollution masks

The headlines and news flash warnings of decreasing air quality in major metropolitan cities. The usage of anti-pollution masks is encouraged and promoted everywhere. However, people from low-income groups still do not have any idea about the concept of masks, where they can find good-quality ones or what are the pros and cons of using the same. People who are aware of the masks are unaware of the correct way to wear them. Due to this conundrum, the success stories of people wearing masks as a means to protect themselves from air pollution is not talked about.

If not anti-pollution masks, then what?

For the longest time, majority of the population believed that anti-pollution masks were the solution for outdoor air pollution. However, the reality is that they are not the safest option available in the market anymore and people are becoming aware of this. We need a more concrete solution to stay safe from outdoor air pollution. To begin with, the entire society needs to make a collective effort to stop adding on to the existing air pollutants. Work towards a greener earth and a healthier planet. To combat air pollution, avoid stepping outside in the morning or at night when pollution is at its peak. Check the air quality before venturing into an area. Indulge in a healthy diet that includes food rich in Vitamin C, magnesium and omega fatty acids that help your body fight allergies. While you are indoors, ensure your home is deep cleaned to eliminate dust mites and allergens; bring home indoor plants to circulate fresh air and install an air purifier for complete protection against pollutants.

In times like these, when air pollution is rampant and air around us is toxic, we suggest that you opt for a reliable and long-lasting solution. Ensure the safety of your little ones and the elderly by bringing home an air purifier like Dr Aeroguard which not only purifies the air but releases Vitamin C and negative ions which make the air rejuvenating. Safeguard your family from indoor air pollutants with Dr Aeroguard air purifiers. Book a free home demo today. 

 

Is your drinking water safe from microplastic?

Water, the driving force of all nature, is getting contaminated by the day. The role of water purification was to remove bacteria and viruses from drinking water. But over the years, water contamination from various sources, like sewage, chemical waste, heavy metals, etc has made the water unfit for consumption. In certain areas, the water is polluted by Lead and arsenic making it toxic to health. What’s worse, new age contaminants like Lead, Iron or Arsenic cannot be removed from the water by boiling. Hence’ the need for advanced water purifiers which are equipped with purification technologies like Reverse Osmosis (RO) or UV for water purification needs.

Recently, a survey found the presence of microplastic in the tap water of countries across the world. What’s alarming is that India has ranked third in the list of contamination rate.

Let’s help you understand the problem of microplastics and its impact on health, and possible solutions for the same.

What is Microplastic?

Microplastics are small plastic particles present in the environment. They are present in many sources, including carry bags and pet bottles. While there is some contention over their size, the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration distinguishes them as less than 5mm (5000 micron) in diameter. Based on GESAMP 2015, there are four types of plastic found in the environment. They are:

  1. Macroplastics
  2. Mesoplastics
  3. Microplastics
  4. Nanoplastics

They are present in different parts of the environment in different sizes, which may or may not be seen with the naked eye.

How does microplastic find its way to drinking water?

We are aware of the fact that the global environment is highly affected due to the presence of plastic in the ecosystem. Everyday, millions of plastic fibres are shed through different sources. As 60% of our fabrics are made of polyester, a type of plastic that is obtained from fossil fuel, simple activities like abrasion of clothes, upholstery, carpets or any other fibrous fabrics add to the junk of microplastics in the environment. Apart from this, another type of plastic called as Styrene Butadiene is released from the tyres of the vehicles. This plastic finds its way into sewers and other water bodies. A recent study also found that every cycle of a washing machine releases 700,000 fibres into the environment. All of this results in an unfortunate meeting of the sources of water bodies and microplastic fibres. They make their way through the complex pipe system and into our homes through taps or drinking water.

How does microplastic affect the human body?

Due to its small size, it is capable of travelling through intestinal walls, lymph nodes and other vital organs. They also absorb toxic chemicals that are linked to fatal diseases such as cancer. Due to its large presence in the ocean, researchers also suspect that people consume these microplastic particles through seafood. If these particles are inhaled or ingested, they may cause localised toxicity in your body.

What is the solution?

The primary solution for this world-wide issue is to take an active role in proper waste management. That being said, it is also true that this process is a long battle that will definitely require a lot of years. However, you can take the first step to ensure your drinking water is free from microplastics at home. You can start by making a conscious decision to avoid the purchase of plastic bottles, carry bags, and straws.

How can you eliminate microplastics from your drinking water?

One of the ways to eliminate the presence of microplastic fibres from your drinking water is by investing in a water purifier that is equipped with an advanced purification technology. An average microplastic size ranges from 0.1 cm to 1 μm and advanced technologies like pre-filter porosity, Ultra-Filter membranes and RO membranes can readily filter out these microns and provide you with healthy and safe drinking water. Dr. Aquaguard water purifiers are equipped with Microfiltration, Ultra Filtration & Reverse Osmosis purification technology that is capable of filtering microplastic that range from 0.1 cm (1000 μm) to 1 μm.

The presence of plastic is a global concern and, in the years to come, we hope that solutions can be found to combat it. However, you can take the first step towards safeguarding you and your family from the adverse effects of microplastics by bringing home an advanced water purifier. Dr. Aquaguard Magna HD RO + UV eliminates excess TDS, blocks dissolved impurities and chemical contaminants, while retaining essential minerals in the drinking water, giving you healthy and pure drinking water. Book a demo today.