Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Health Conscious residents Assemble in Shanghai to Share Ideas for Low-cost DIY Purifiers

Over the past several weeks, numerous cities across China have been blanketed with severe industrial smog. The year's very first Red Alert for heavy air pollution was issued in Beijing just three days into 2017, followed by a 212-hour Orange Alert. After making domestic and international headlines for its toxic smog, concerned Chinese citizens have been heatedly discussing and debating clean-air alternatives in lieu of any enforcement of government regulations.

For those who can afford costly air purifying machines, which can be as expensive as 10,000 yuan ($1,443), the solution is relatively simple. But is shelling out big bucks the only way to keep our air at home and the workplace fresh? Social enterprise Smart Air Filters recently held a workshop in Shanghai to inform residents with limited budgets about alternative DIY (do it yourself) options.

At the one-hour workshop, Noah Willingham, South China Head of Smart Air Filters, revealed that their company's founder, Thomas Talhelm, figured out that the primary components of a standard air purifier are nothing more than a fan and a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.

Willingham explained that Talhelm purchased an average HEPA filter on Taobao, and then strapped the filter to a fan. The total cost was less than 300 yuan, and to his surprise this home-made purifier was just as effective in reducing PM (particulate matter) as the most costly machines.

At the workshop, Willingham brought the same HEPA filter along with a standard fan and installed the parts together in front of the audience to show how easy it is. He then used a PM counter to test the air quality around the filter, which was dramatically lower than elsewhere in the room.

Despite the low-price of a HEPA filter, some audience members pointed out that DIY air purifiers have minor disadvantages. For instance, 40-year-old Peng Peng said that the crude appearance of a DIY air filter doesn't suit her aesthetic tastes and is also quite noisy, which would affect her sleep.

Others pointed out that common houseplants such as the Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law's Tongue), palms, ferns and pothos (Devil's Ivy) are each very helpful in filtering out PM from household air. Indeed, many Shanghai-based consulates and corporations are now installing vertical "green walls" in their offices as natural alternatives to expensive, mechanized air filters.

Read the full article @ Global Times

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