Tired, yet still concerned about the reappearing smog? Obviously, you are. It’s been estimated that pollution can shorten life expectancy by up to five and half years (a lot more when you factor in all the booze and cigarettes). And people often feel there is little that can be done. Although face masks and nose plugs can protect you from some of the PM2.5 particles in the air, unless you willing to sleep wearing them- and that’s never a good look- they cannot guard your respiratory system 24/7.
So, what next? Air purifiers are undoubtedly an amazing addition when it comes to protecting your lungs against the air, but they can easily cost anywhere between 6,000 to 10,000 RMB, often even north of that. For those that do not have that kind of cash swilling around, there might just be as answer: DIY.
Thomas Talhelm has put together a simple air purifier, with a fan and a HEPA filter, all for just 166 RMB:
Talhelm tested the effectiveness of the filter with a particle counter; you can see his video of the test being conducted here. He also provided visual proof of how much dirt and pollution his homemade device collected over the course of 5 weeks. The results, as you can see, were appalling to say the least:
After several more experiments, Talhelm found that his DIY filter is around 10% more effective than the 8, 000 RMB air purifiers you can buy in shops; his hand-crafted version decreases the amount of PM 2.5 particles from over 300 to lower than 100 ug per 0.01 cubic feet. Talhelm says:
“You can get clean air for 166 RMB, as opposed to 8,000 RMB as long as you know that a HEPA filter is all you really need to fight air pollution in China. From my perspective, filter companies like IQ Air are taking advantage of how little we know about air pollution and the fact that you need expert instruments to tell whether the filter is working or not.”
And after comparing more air purifiers and their test statistic, he concludes:
“…even the cheapest of the ‘non-famous’ brands cost about 1,500 RMB. For that price, you could make 9 of my DIY filters, and that’s before eating the cost of proprietary replacement filters (US$200 a piece at IQ Air). Even with these cheaper brands, I still think consumers lack a truly affordable way to get clean air.”
So, take a deep breath and read the detailed instructions on how to make your DIY filter here, and become convinced of its effectiveness here, here, and here. You’ll want nothing more but to give it a try yourself.
Image courtesy of Particle Counting, by Thomas Talhelm.