Thursday, February 22, 2018

As you are aware about, after days of poorindoor-air-pollution air quality following the fire at the Deonar Dumping Ground, concerns on the deteriorating air quality in Mumbai once again gained a momentum. With its effects on general health and the lack of concrete measures by the government, I thought the following information on Indoor Air pollution might interest you.

Air pollution – we have studied it, heard of it, debated it, yet we keep uncovering newer facets. Of the world’s most polluted cities, 13 of them are in India. While we have been talking about the disastrous Air Pollution levels in Delhi, there are other cities which are in the lap of a major health hazard. Mumbai’s air quality isn’t far behind. The environmental hazard has increased six-fold and has emerged as one of the biggest causes for deaths in the country.

The threat is evolving and extending to every aspect of our lives that we don’t consider as susceptible to air pollution. What is alarming is the fact that pollution levels are so high in Mumbai, despite it being privy to sea breeze. In Mumbai, places that are closer to the sea and have a better green cover like Colaba, where the flow of wind is much better, have less air pollution than places that are land-locked and have a lower green cover, such as Sion. Air monitoring at these places since the past few years has shown Sion to have a higher level of air pollution than at Colaba according to the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

While people are aware of outdoor pollution, there’s a silent killer lurking inside our homes – ‘Indoor Air Pollution’ which can be more hazardous than outdoor air but can be treated. While many might think that they are safe by not venturing outside and avoiding outdoor pollution, it is a myth that needs to be broken. Indoor air is not necessarily better than outdoor air, in fact, it can often be worse. Indoor air pollution is an extension of outdoor air pollution, but due to the confined spaces and polluting agents present inside our very households – is much more concentrated – hence up to 3 times more dangerous. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally, 4.3 million deaths were attributed to household air pollution in 2012, almost all in third world countries. The WHO reckoned that, the indoor air pollution in these countries are largely due to the rural lifestyle of use of solid fuels in homes. Others in urban areas use mosquito coils, aerosol sprays and live in the vicinity of pollution. These everyday habits incorporated in the lives of an average Indian can be extremely harmful.

According to the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in a recent study said that 27.5 % of under-five infant mortality in India is because of indoor air pollution. Another study said that about 80% of women in India are affected by indoor air pollution. However the good news is that while outdoor pollution needs changes at policy making level to create an impact, indoor pollution can be treated with Philips ‘Air Purifier’.

Philips has been leading the market for air purifiers in India and has constantly been involved in creating awareness around indoor air pollution and ways to beat it. To share key insights into this subject and data points specific to the region & category, we would be happy to organise an interaction with Ms. Jayati Singh, Business Head – Air, Philips India and a leading pulmonologist, for your at a convenient date, time and venue.