To say that technology has changed our lives would be the understatement of the century. Just in the past decade or two, we have seen more advancement in the way we function as a society than everything else combined from the 100 years before that. As expected, a lot of these changes are related to the field of medicine and healthcare, designed specifically to combat various diseases and deficiencies in the human body. So much so, that we have managed to wipe out, or at least bring under control some of the most dangerous diseases around. However, with growing concerns over drug-resistant diseases and increasing costs of healthcare, it is far more suitable to stop the disease before it gets a hold on you, rather than scrambling for a solution once the problem is already here. This type of preventative healthcare has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people get comfortable with the idea of treating their food, water and even air; rather than getting themselves treated. These type of treatments involve different types of filtration and purification processes that have their advantages and disadvantages; thus leading to an equally disproportionate popularity and adoption figures for them. However, irrespective of the popularity, they have still become irreplaceable tools in homes of people that have adopted them.
One of the easiest and most widespread examples of these types of systems are water filtration units that can be found in almost every home and office in our country. It is not like groundwater in every part of the country is unusable. In fact, in most rural regions, the groundwater table is still the source of the best water, whether it is in mineral quality or taste. However, the increasing urbanisation of cities and towns has resulted in the local water table becoming contaminated enough that it is crucial to have some sort of system in place that can help remove harmful substances such as bacteria, poisonous materials and even regular dirt. Unfortunately, the sad part is that most filters can only trap the bacteria and other particulates, which makes them the perfect breeding ground for diseases unless regularly serviced. Even the Reverse Osmosis (RO) type filters that do claim to kill these contaminants, also remove the good minerals present in the water, thus makes it essentially useless on a nutritional level. This is bad, since water is responsible for a big portion of our daily mineral intake, and removing that not only makes the water taste bad, but also throws off the mineral and water metabolism in the body. Another added side-effect happens when we store this filtered water in plastic containers, which adds harmful plastic particulates to the composition, making it even more dangerous.
However, this does not mean that we can survive without some sort of protection from the world around us. The fact that India has the most entries in the World’s Most Polluted Cities List is enough to give us cause for concern, especially because air purifiers are nowhere near as popular as water filtration systems. We asked Dr Naina Arora, a homoeopathy doctor, and consultant with Biopronut Pvt Ltd. to explain this phenomenon, and she said, “The problem is that the segment lacks standardisation. As a result, the market is completely littered with low priced inferior products.” This has resulted in a situation where an Indian person is twice as likely to catch respiratory illnesses as the rest of the world. To combat this, most people use some sort of Carbon Filter type air purifiers which are perfectly fine against gases, smoke, odours and chemicals, even though they don’t do anything for asthma causing allergens.