In the last few decades, air pollution has become one of the prominent global problems. All major cities of India have been dealing with the problem of severe level of pollution which dramatically increased the importance of using face masks. It has been reported by Greenpeace India that in 2017, one in eight deaths were attributable to air pollution.
It would not be wrong to claim that the face mask has become part of our "new normal", rather than being a part of the pollution, you can be a part of the solution. There are different brands of air pollution masks available in the market. In this article, we have covered some points to help you choose an air pollution mask.
Reusable Anti Pollution Mask With N95 Grade Filter
Ultra Comfortable Anti Pollution Mask
Cambridge N99 Mask
KN 95 Mask With Melt Blown Protective Layer
Reusable Anti Pollution Mask
Reusable Melt-Blown Non-Woven Fabric Face Mask
Pure & Safe 5 Layered Reusable Washable N95 Face Mask
Reusable Mask With Adjustable Ear Loops and Dual Breathing Valves
100% Cotton Made Mask with Two Filters
N99 Mask With Carbon Filter and Protects From Bacteria, Virus, and Pollution
Soft and Comfortable Mask That Is Ergonomically Designed
Economical, Hypoallergenic Mask With Replaceable Filters
A Nylon Based Mask If You Want Quick Drying
Decent Looking 5 Layered Mask to Protect You From Germs and Pollution
|Price Starts at||₹399.00||₹329.00||₹2,199.00||₹399.00||₹349.00||₹250.00||₹479.00|
|Material||Non woven fabric||Cotton||-||Cotton||Cotton||Nylon||Cotton|
We've considered most of the points that can be helpful in deciding that perfect mask for you, so scroll down to check the masks from different companies like Onroad, Xtore, WeCool, PureMe, and more.
|Material||Non woven fabric|
Before we move to the buying guide, we have covered some important points that are related to the rising levels of pollutants in the air and their linkage with the masks.
Toxic chemicals and compounds in the atmosphere which degrades the quality of air is referred to as air pollution. Energy usage, burning of fossil fuels, smoke from industries and cars, dust from construction, and more are some of the causes and further, these emissions are formed into solid particles and liquid droplets called Particulate Matter (PM).
According to WHO, from basic problems like headaches, skin irritation, nausea, cough, to more serious ones like heart disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections can be caused by air pollution and globally, there are 4.2 million deaths every year because of the increased levels.
The rise of these masks has been directly proportional to the increasing levels of air pollution and that is the reason production has increased and they have become more popular.
Air pollution masks are specifically designed to filter out pollutants like PM 2.5 or PM 10. You might be wondering about PM 2.5 and 10, these are the sizes of pollutants, PM 2.5 and PM 10 are particles with a diameter of 2.5 and 10 micrometers respectively. To give you a clear reference, an average human hair has a diameter of 70 micrometers.
Air pollution masks work as an air purifier for your body when you're outdoors. By restricting the inhalation of polluted air it increases your lung capacity, makes breathing easier, strengthens respiratory muscles, increases oxygen intake, and also some of them protect against bacteria and fungus.
However, people who are already dealing with respiratory and asthmatic problems should avoid using masks as it can worsen the situation for them because air masks make breathing harder. If the pollution levels are high you can avoid outdoors for some time.
There are various kinds of masks available on Amazon or Flipkart in India. Because of the minute details like sizes, filters, valves, and more are involved one has to browse a lot before buying which takes longer because most of the time information is scattered but you need not worry, we've got everything you need to know before you invest your money.
Commonly there are three layers of filters in a mask that helps them to react against the different types of air pollutants. The first layer, called the primary filter, can filter large particles like dust and pollen. Pollutants such as PM10 can also be filtered, however, it cannot filter out PM 2.5 pollutants.
The second layer is the particle filter and unlike the primary filter, they can filter out small pollutants like PM 2.5. The third filter is called the carbon filter and it is extremely helpful in removing gaseous pollutants that other filters cannot. It can also filter viruses and bacteria in the air.
If you're staying in areas like Delhi, UP, Mumbai, Gujarat, Jharkhand where the particulate matter is around 2.5 then you can consider having a mask with a carbon filter.
N95, N99, or N100 are some of the common types known to the Indian public but there are a few more like P95 and R95 that are lesser-known. You might be wondering what P, R, N, 95, 99, or 100 means. They have a role to play and function differently.
N, R, and P are certification categories given by NIOSH that protect against respiratory particulates. N means no oil, they cannot filter oil-based pollutants, R means they can filter oil-based pollutants with a continuous shift of 8 hours but needs gap after every shift, and P means they can fully filter the oil-based pollutants and are expensive.
95, 99, and 100 mean that the filter will trap 95%, 99%, and 99.97% out of every 100 particles respectively that are at least 0.3 micrometers. R and P certified masks are not reusable and are mainly for industrial purposes. But for personal use, one can get at least N certified with 95% filter trapping abilities as they are suitable for metropolitan areas.
Getting that perfect fit is very important because a mask will be of no use if the polluted air gets in through the sides. Small size can make the breathing hard and the bigger one will let the particles sneak in through the gaps.
Medium, regular, or standard is the size that can fit most of the people. However, if you're still unsure check for the word "adjustable" as some of the companies give the option of adjustable straps or you can always youtube it. People having bulky or heavy beard can still find it difficult to get that perfect size.
Check out the fabric of the mask before buying, it should be comfortable yet effective. The quality of fabric for the mask is determined by the ability to breathe through them. The material that is suitable for all is cotton or cotton mix as it is soft and breathable. One can go for linen or nylon if they want a thicker version but its hard to breathe through them.
When you exercise, the rate and depth of breathing increases, although one should avoid covering their face for the smooth flow of air. If you're in a polluted area and have a mask on then it is better to have the exhalation valve.
It makes the airflow smooth and prevents moisture inside the mask. However, if you're just keeping up with stretches and simple exercises then its not that important.
Pollution in India is not going to vanish anytime soon, so check out for reusable masks if you think you will be using masks more often, as reusable masks last longer and are cost-effective.
Reusable masks are also better for the environment and some of them come with replaceable filters that trap the pollutants. You will have to change them after a certain number of uses, so check the description of how long they will last.
So that you can select the most appropriate mask, we have found the application that can measure the quality of air in your area. Based on the quality of the air in your area, you can know the exact requirement which will help you in deciding the perfect mask.
It is free to download and supported by ios and android. This app is manufactured in India and shows you the data from different air quality stations installed across India. It's a very useful app as it tells your air quality exposure and helps you manage it.
Air Quality & Asthma Tracker
Everyone has the right to get clean air but not everyone has access to it, so we've come up with these air purifiers that can help you with indoor air cleaning.
Quality of air has been worsening continuously so we can do our bit by contributing towards the environment, at the same time we should be conscious of our health as well and one of the options is to get an air pollution mask. However, one can always remember that removing pollution is the only solution. Do not confuse these masks for the COVID 19 situation, they have a different purpose to serve.
Author: Nikhil Deora
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