22February2017

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Air purifiers, masks do not guarantee protection from pollution

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Rohit Shishodia

 “The use of air purifiers and wearing of masks do not guarantee safety from air pollution. There could be a little benefit of air purifiers but it is not a long term solution," says Dr Anurag Agrawal, Principal Scientist, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.

Dr Agrawal said that while there is only a short term research on the advantages of air purifiers, there is no long term research that could really prove the worth of air purifiers during worsening air quality. However, he also said that there is no harm while using air purifiers.

Speaking at an air pollution awareness event organised by Centre For Environment Health of PHFI, Dr Agrawal said that wearing masks has a little impact on health as it reduces blood pressure but masks should be of better quality like M 95 which protects 95 per cent from toxic air. This mask can be worn while riding a bike. He advised that eatables rich in vitamin c could be handy during the season of air pollution.

Asserting that clean air is a major requirement for good health, Dr Agrawal said that impact of combination of mask and air purifier has not been tested by anyone till date. Such trials are going to start in Delhi. “We will talk with experts of Maulana Azad Medical Institute on the matter. There must be a study on it,” added Dr Agrawal.

The event drew a big crowd as people got a lot of information on safety measures at the time of severe air pollution. Children’s play and testing of lung functions were a major part of the event.

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