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How to weather dust storms wisely

As dust storms swirl all across north India, Kishalay Ray, President- Sharp Business System, offers some timely  precautionary tips...
May 15 2017: How can we keep safe during this phase of dust storms sweeping through north India? With the air quality deteriorating day by day what can I do to protect myself from all the hazardous effects?
Dust storms are nature's unpredictable and violent events. In  the ast few years we have seen them rise during the summer months. They create havoc everywhere; uproot trees which cause damage, accidents as they reduce visibility on roads.  The impact to the transportation industry, the trains’ schedules, public and private transport on the roads and flights get badly affected. Not to mention the loss of lives that it results in -- this indirectly affects the local and national economy.
Dust storms are caused by strong winds, lack of vegetation and rainfall. In short it is an after effect of the modernization effects.
The quality of air takes a deep dip during and after the dust storms. It contains miniscule dust particles in a large quantity that can easily enter the lungs. The air has pollens, heavy metals, arsenic, fertilizers, virus, bacteria, salts, and sulphur and pesticides particles too. This time can be a nightmare for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis or any kind of breathing problems. It could lead to dust pneumonia. Allergies also get aggravated during this time.
Some precautions we could take are:-

  • Use dust masks.
  • Stay indoors and keep the doors and windows closed.
  • Take precautions to protect the vulnerable population i.e. children, elders and sick people.
  • Use of air purifiers.

No matter how many precautions we take the indoor air quality will definitely get impacted by the air outside.  So can we do anything about it? Air purifiers, is the solution as it takes in air through the filters and removes up to 99.99% pollutants. Thus creating a clean living and working space.
A few things that we can keep in mind while deciding on an air purifier are:-

  • The technology that the air purifier uses. Avoid ionizers and UV light based air purifiers as they produce ozone. The primary component you need is a HEPA or a high efficiency filter. Over that there is an activated carbon filter that removes the odors, chemical and VOCs. A pre-filter is often used as the first level of filtration to remove relatively big particles and increase the life of the rest of the filters.
  • The size of the room. The ACH i.e. air changes per hour and CADR i.e. clean air delivery rate are two important factors that also determine the efficiency of the air purifier in terms of its frequency at which air is cleaned in the room in an hour, and how quickly it cleans the air in the room.
  • Replacement cost and availability of the filters and the cost of electricity consumed by the air purifiers. Ideally the air purifiers need to be kept running all the time.
  • Some other things that could be considered are the certifications and endorsements of the technology used like the plasma cluster ion etc. TERI (Tata Energy and Research Institute) has endorsed the credibility of this technology.

The placement of the air purifiers where it can suck in the maximum amount of air in the room decides its effectiveness. It’s preferable to keep the doors and windows closed. So the effect of the air purifiers is easily sensed.Other fancy features like Wi-Fi, Smartphone control, air quality indicator, display remote control, temperature humidity sensors can be overlooked as peripherals. Dr. Vivek Nangia, Director of Pulmonology, Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, says,” The miniscule particles of dust is extremely harmful, they can easily enter the respiratory track and cause life threatening ailments. So one needs to take precautions to control the indoor air quality.”
Reminding ourselves that prevention is better than cure, it’s high time that we think long term and realize the gravity of the situation. Take control of the indoor air quality in our hands and opt for the best air purifier solution for us and our loved ones!  Do we want to hide from this fact or do we want to address it wisely?  It’s a burning issue; there is abundant data and information on this. |
We can bury our head in the sand. Or wash our hands off it; however we cannot deny the dismal levels of air pollution. And neither can we run away from the fact that somewhere we are responsible for it.  
The choice is ours. And that will determine the result. 




    


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