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Diwali is that time of the year when at least some of us prefer to stay indoors because of high levels of pollution generated by the mindless bursting of crackers. In fact, the situation has been so bad over the past few years that people, at least those with respiratory issues, have been investing in air purifiers. However, most air purifiers have one major flaw: they are unable to tell you what the pollution’s rates actually are.
This is where a device like the Crusaders Laser PM2.5 Detectors come in. This small device can tell you real time what the PM2.5 rate in your house or office is. Being very portable — it is small enough to fit in your palms — this device can be carried around wherever you go. So if you are asthmatic it might be a good idea to invest in one of these to see if there is particulate matter in the air that can make matters worse for you.
We tested the device across Delhi over a period of time and got the impression that the numbers can be trusted. The PM2.5 is usually low and at a flat range inside an air conditioned office. In the home, it goes all over the place. The rooms near the road have higher numbers, so does the kitchen where cooking adds to the count. Again, air conditioned rooms have lower numbers, at least when you had the AC running for some time.
Our most interesting indicators where at the Lodhi Gardens where the numbers started plummeting as we walked further in. There is surely some ground to the theory that greenery can control pollution.
The device has just one button which you press for a few seconds to switch on or off. Our tip is that you take the count only after a few minutes, once the numbers have stabilised. The device can be charged using a micro-USB.
The only flaw is that the inlets that take in air must be kept free of obstructions to get a clear count. We could get a near Zero rating by keeping these holes shut with our fingers.