The current incident of smog in the capital city of India is an example of how certain situations can go out of hand if proactive measures are not taken on time. The capital city will have to go through a planned execution of preventive steps for a prolonged duration. Basic knowledge of quality and types of pollutants in the air can help take necessary steps required for complete protection from the particular pollutants.
Air quality index is one of the most common terms used to check air pollution. The index is a number defined by the government depending on the quality of air found in the region. The quality of air depends on the quantity of a few gases and components found in the air and a color indicated list is created which helps in the estimation of the level of air quality. The National Air Quality Monitoring Program in India has installed 683 operating stations across 300 cities in 29 states and 6 Union Territories across India.
Air purifiers are available in various sizes and varieties based on the places they will be used. They can be installed in the car, at home or in the office in order to filter out the access of pollutants. The air purifiers available in the market vary in cost depending on the quality of purification offered by them.
One of the most common and affordable purifiers in the market are filter based. They contain high efficiency particulate air filters which physically stop the particulate matter of varying size from entering into the filter. Then there is the Activated carbon filters which are used on the principle of adsorption in order to stop particles on a molecular level. These filters are often used with the HEPA filters in order to increase the capability of purification of the filters. The third type is a purifier which uses the ultraviolet particles to clean the germs which are present in the air. This technology is used in water purifiers. The price of the same depends on the size and technology used to purify the air. It is available at a price as low as Rs.4, 000 and can go up to more than 1 lakh rupees.
Air masks are one more option for protection in outdoor conditions. They can be used while commuting or while one is exposed to a polluted area. Air masks range between Rs.100 to Rs.500 and more. Air masks can provide protection from suspended air particles and matter up to the size of 2.5 microns and above. They are ideal for individuals who have to step outdoors during high pollution and smog. They have a limited usage and can be disposed off after the prescribed duration of usage. Some masks also include a layer of activated carbon to filter the air.