Interviews

‘Air purifiers cater to the affluent’

New Delhi, 8 March (G’nY News service): The deteriorating quality of air which was a talking point during the President Obama’s visit of India raises serious questions among the minds of people after the capital is ranked the world’s most polluted city in the world by WHO.

After the study by US Environmental Protection Agency, which concluded that exposure of children to PM2.5 will mean reduced lung functioning, increase in asthma and respiratory illnesses European Union has asked its diplomats to install air purifiers in their offices and residences.

“We don’t need to monitor the pollution level, the US is doing that…. We don’t need that … But we need to respond for the safety of our staff, the EU delegation living in the city here,” Dr. Cravinho , European Union Ambassador to India told on the sidelines of the 7th EU-India Environment Forum on 25th of February, 2015. With the embassies ordering for the installation of air purifiers big MNCs, the elite are now following suit.

G’nY correspondent in conversation with Barun Aggarwal, the affable Director of Breathe Easy, a division of Paharpur Business Centre located in Nehru Place, New Delhi, built an understanding as to what the air purifier segment is envisaging for the future.

Barun Agarwak Big

Barun Aggarwal, director, Breathe Easy

What is the price range of your air purifiers?

We are at present selling air purifiers that can be purchased in the range of Rs 15000 to 1,00000.

What are the income groups you are targeting?

Our aim is to increase awareness about air pollution and provide solutions to people. We want every person to breathe clean air by installing an air purifying solution. Although we have no target group as such, but by default we seem to cater to the higher income group who can understand and afford our facilities.

Is an air purifier a high maintenance product?

It depends on the type of the purifier one has purchased and the quality of air. Some air purifiers does not need maintenance for three months and some do not need even for a year.

Do you perceive a change in demand after the visit of US president, Barak Obama?

I would not say that, though there has been a sizeable difference as the high income group is already conscious of the problem.

Is there any scientific proof of the advantages of air purifiers?

Several papers by various research scholars show the efficacy of the air purifiers. We however, do not have such a paper, but we can record the levels of air pollution before and after the installation. This is the best way to convince people, by showing them the real results.

Despite the supposed effectiveness of an air purifier, it seems that access to clean air is increasingly becoming an expensive affair. In a country where even clean and safe drinking water is not accessible to most of its citizens, will clean air be a new addition to the list of luxury items.

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