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How Effective Are Air Purifiers For Indoor Pollution?

Air-purifiers can reduce pressure and exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution.

Updated
Health News
2 min read
The aim of air purifiers is to provide clean air and mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution. 
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The dangerously high air pollution levels have meant that Delhiites are making a bee line to electronic stores to buy air purifiers, exchanging messages about which purifier is the best and how safe are they? While they do seem like our only friends in this polluted environment, it is important to assess how well they are doing their jobs.

A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that short-term use of portable air filtration systems reduce personal exposure to fine particulate matter (cause for cardiovascular morbidity along with other health problems) and systolic blood pressure in senior citizens.

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The experiment was conducted on forty non-smoking older adults living in a low-income residence, who were given full freedom to step out of their homes or open the windows.

Each person was made to go through three different three-day scenarios separated by a week-long washout period: a sham air filter (a system without a filter), a low-efficiency air purifier and a high-efficiency air purifier.

Participants wore personal air monitors during the entire observation period of 72 hours. Cardiovascular health outcome and exposure to particulate matter was measured daily.

According to co-author Robert Crook from the University of Michigan,

The results show that a simple practical intervention using inexpensive indoor air filtration units can help protect at-risk individuals from the adverse health effects of fine particulate matter air pollution.

He added that the fine particulate matter exposure was reduced by 40 per cent, and systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average of 3.4 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).

Interestingly, it was revealed that obese participants experienced greater fall in blood pressure (BP) levels while using the purifier.

Studies have previously tested the effects of purifiers on younger adults, reporting an improvement in BP levels and fall in the concentration of harmful fine particulate matter.

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