Science fiction seems to be getting more realistic every day. In some cases, that isn’t a good thing. While automakers debut supercars with air windshields and smart glasses make their way into the mainstream, other changes aren’t so positive. For one, the air pollution problem is beginning to plague major cities around the world like never before.
The concept of an oxygen bar, where patrons can pay to breath clean air, sounds like something that belongs in a dystopian novel. Even Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” acknowledges how ridiculous the idea is. Now, a bar in New Delhi, India, is offering just that. Customers can purchase 15-minute sessions of breathing in pure oxygen amid the country’s dangerous air pollution crisis.
One of the earliest mentions of selling oxygen comes as a joke in the 1987 classic film “Spaceballs.” Now, a bar by the name of Oxy Pure is taking that to a whole new level.
The location is offering customers a chance to breathe in pure oxygen for 15 minutes at a time. Each person will get a hospital-like breathing apparatus to inhale their purchase. The bar will even add a scent to the oxygen if customers prefer. Choices range from lavender to spearmint to lemongrass. Anything is better than the heavily polluted air outside.
It’s unclear how much a session of O2 will cost. However, it likely won’t come cheap as crowds of people descend on the Oxy Pure bar trying to get a breath of fresh air.
The fact that New Delhi’s air quality is so poor in the first place is a huge badge of shame for the Indian government. Between pollution, airborne debris, and fumes, citizens are left with nothing to breath but air that is potentially dangerous. Some reports have emerged claiming that the quality is so bad it is causing brain damage in young children.
Earlier in April, the country declared a state of emergency for the crisis. Nonetheless, it is dragging its feet to address the issue. India’s health minister suggested eating carrots to combat the effects of polluted air that measures in at more than 60 times the safe limit. Other officials are simply ignoring the problem. Despite the fact that battling air pollution is a tricky game, there is simply no excuse for allowing it to get this bad.
The fact that private companies will begin monetizing what should be a human right is even more problematic. Without a doubt, socioeconomic gaps will start to appear between those affluent enough to pay for clean air and those who are left to breathe in the dangerous free air.