It is not just the prevailing situation in the country where air quality has dropped so low that it has become unbreathable but also WHO urban air quality database which indirectly points towards huge potential in the air purifier market
Air purifier manufacturers are finding an opportunity in a man-made calamity. While whole of North India is reeling under poor air quality, air purifier manufacturers are making beeline to introduce their products into the market. It is a case of making hay while sun shines. While Asian giants like Panasonic, LG and Samsung are already in the market, some European manufacturers like Blueair and Honeywell too have entered what appears to be a sunrise market. Another European manufacturer, Dyson too is firming up its plan to introduce air purifiers in India. Even Indian manufacturers are not lagging behind with names like Crompton and Blue Star entering the market recently.
It is not just the prevailing situation in the country where air quality has dropped so low that it has become unbreathable but also WHO urban air quality database which indirectly points towards huge potential in the air purifier market. According to the latest WHO urban air quality database which covers 3,000 cities in 103 countries, 98% of cities in low and middle income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines. In high-income countries, the equivalent percentage is 56%. As urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic and acute respiratory diseases- including asthma- increases for the people who live in them.
Vikas Chadha, President at Honeywell India, says, “Most of us are unaware that indoor air pollution poses a serious health hazard. We want to educate people that staying indoors doesn’t necessarily mean the air you’re breathing is safe. However, there are affordable technologies available now to help tackle this issue, even more for those who need relief from respiratory ailments, asthma, allergies, and other long-term breathing and health problems. The technology used in our products is recommended for homes by the Indian Medical Academy for Preventive Healthcare.” Arvind Chabra who took over as Country Head for Blueair India in March says, “Blueair is a global brand with a leading position in all its key markets worldwide. In a country like India with high population density and hazardous levels of air pollution, Blueair is offering products that fit naturally with consumers’ need”.
Every manufacturer has something to highlight about the superiority of his manufacturing technology. While Blue Star’s Air Purifiers have advanced SensAir and nanoeTM or Plasma technologies, supported by multi-stage filtration, Honeywell’s HiSiv patented technology consists of zeolites and it is the property of zeolite to adsorb organic compounds and some mineral molecules in gaseous state. While Air Doctor by Crompton claims to capture 99.99 % of smallest PM 2.5 particles, Blueair’s HEPASilent™ filtration technology captures 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size.
With the invasion of air purifiers into Indian market, there is also a threat of poor quality, spurious products flooding Indian market and taking the ignorant Indian consumer for a ride. Instead of bolting stable door after horse has fled it is high time for the government to introduce some standards for air purifiers immediately. There is no need for customization and the government can take a leaf out of AHAM or the Chinese GB/T 18801 standard and introduce with appropriate modifications to suit our country. Having said that there are certain air pollutants like sulphur dioxide which are observed in large quantities in India and the standards should take special note of the same. So, the standards need to address these unique challenges as well. Therefore, the government needs to act on this subject pragmatically and quickly too.