4L purifiers needed to clean city’s air

Study also shows air purifiers are not really suitable for outdoors

Author: Reya Mehrotra

Source: Bangalore Mirror

A study has revealed what we always believed in — air purifiers are better suited for indoors than outdoors and if the government wants to still use them, it would need to install 4 lakh air purifiers in the city to take care of air pollution. The study conducted by Clean Air platform comes even as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in its annual budget 2018-19, decided to take up the tough task of installing six air purifiers across the city at a budget of Rs 5 crore.

On May 10, BM had written about how an air purifier installed on a pilot basis at Hudson Circle had collected 750 gm to 1 kg of pollutants in its filters in a moth. According to the BBMP estimate, the air purifiers should have collected 2-3 kg of dust every 20 days.

Yogesh Ranganath, an expert, said, “Outdoor air purifiers are not the answer. They are just glorified vacuum cleaners, they suck in air, and they also suck in the pollutants in the air, and keep them inside. This may work in a closed space, like a room, or in a hall if there is a very large air purifier, but it won’t work outdoors. This is like using an air conditioner in an open space.”

He explains, “A study by Urban Emissions in 2015 calculated that total emissions in Bengaluru are 2,13,00,000 kg. To clean up all of the city’s dust, we need 4,67,105 air purifiers.”

He believes instead of air purifiers, the government must use natural ways of reducing air pollution and also use the funds to provide masks to people. An assessment by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 2010, shows the biggest contributors of PM 2.5 are transport (49.9%), diesel generators (24.7%) and that for PM 10 are road dust (50.60%) and transport (19%).

Ensuring public transport, incentivizing shared cabs, and ensuring encroachment-free footpaths can reduce the vehicles on road. Fast-tracking deployment of mechanized sweepers, cleaning of roads and intersections, cracking down on garbage and leaf burning are important means to cut down air pollution, according to Clean Air platform. Yogesh adds that the health of traffic cops and pourkarmikas must be top priority.

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