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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.