Despite lack of conclusive scientific evidence on their effectiveness, air purifiers have become a fixation for affluent households in India
Faffluent in India, air purifiOR THE ers have become a status symbol or a necessity and even a fashion statement. Sales have more than doubled since 2012-13. Between March 2014 and March 2015,around 100,000-125,000 units were sold across India, according to industry estimates.The boom in the air purifier market must be seen in the context of poor air quality in Indian cities. The World Health Organization (who) says that 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India. Indoor air pollution is as much a concern as the poor quality of outdoor air. Close to half a million people die each year in India due to exposure to indoor air pollution, says who. Breathing Delhi’s air for one day is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
So it comes as no surprise then that foreign as well as Indian companies have set up shop to sell air purifiers—Sharp and Panasonic, Philips, Blueair, Eureka Forbes, Atlanta Healthcare and Kent—to cater to the rising demand.Devices cost between 2,000 and 95,000, depending on the brand, technologies used, as well as the area that purifiers can cover.“The market is growing because this has a direct correlation with health,”says Vijay Kannan,director,Blueair India,part of Swedish multinational,Blueair.
Yet there is little evidence about the efficacy of the technology. Air purifiers are typically high-tech filtration systems that clean indoor air by removing contaminants such as dust particles,including particulate matter,pollen