The writer inhales the air using an oxygen mask. Pic/Nimesh Dave
The writer inhales the air using an oxygen mask. Pic/Nimesh Dave

A visual of the breathtaking Sphinx Observatory, perched in the Swiss Alps, greets us as we pick up a can of Jungfrau – Air. It's feather-light, and the metallic surface is cold, as it has been preserved in an icebox. It contains 60 litres of air bottled in these mountains, at a height of 11,333 ft. The air isn't a cure, but aimed to offer bouts of rejuvenation. The frequency of your usage determines how long the 650ml can will last, but its shelf life is three years. Keeping it refrigerated is a must.

Based on the air analyses conducted by the observatory and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Jungfrau air is said to have one of the lowest particulate matter (PM 2.5/m3) values in the entire world. An innovation by Pure Swiss Air, a Swiss firm that uses a filter system and air compressor to ensure additive-free air is bottled, the product will make its way into Mumbai via the marketing firm, Billion Bling, by next month.

A thin pipe attached to the can's nozzle is connected with an oxygen mask. We adjust it on our nose and push the spray button to be greeted by a cold blast that fogs the mask and leaves us gasping for breath. The second time we press the button, we inhale deeper, and feel our lungs fill up with icy cool, sharp air that transports us to mountain climes for a millisecond. Used to breathing in an air-conditioned environment for better part of our day, we enjoy this refreshing kick. We're not sure if inhaling chilled blasts frequently is a good idea, considering the humidity levels in the city. But we do miss the can's company while commuting on the highway as clouds of smoke engulf us when a truck whizzes past.

Expert speak
To learn if inhaling this air regularly is suitable in Mumbai weather, we contacted Dr Prashant Chhajed, chest physician and pulmonologist at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi. He said, "I am not aware of the scientific benefits of this air. The only oxygen we recommend is purified, medical-grade oxygen."

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