Only a few years ago, when you saw the Japanese wearing anti-smog masks walking on the streets, you were surprised and incredulous, and at the same time we breathed a sigh of relief that this problem did not concern you.
Unfortunately, air pollution is so great in most European cities that a breathing mask is sometimes a must. And no one is surprised by cyclists rushing around the city in masks against polluted air.
So let’s take a closer look at anti-smog masks, especially when you are going to visit large urban agglomerations in the autumn or winter season.
What does the anti-smog mask protect against?
Anti-smog (dust mask) protects your lungs not only against smog. Thanks to it you also avoid inhaling bacteria, viruses, allergens of various origin, as well as dust, mites and mold germs.
Which anti-smog mask should you choose and buy?
When choosing an anti-smog mask, it’s important to make it flexible. Thanks to this, it will stick to your head well. In addition, such a mask must be comfortable and light. Otherwise, you’ll always find an excuse not to wear one. However, the most important thing to check is the valves. Thanks to them, you prevent fogging, which is especially important for people who wear glasses.
How long does the dust mask work?
Among the dust masks we distinguish disposable and reusable models.
The time at which the mask works with the greatest efficiency depends on the make and model chosen. It is worth knowing, however, that the mask needs to be replaced when you feel resistance while breathing and when you start to smell the smells from the environment. The reusable mask can be used for up to 240 hours. However, disposable masks last for about a week.
How to choose an anti-smog mask?
There is no uniform size among the dust masks. Most manufacturers, however, provide 3 sizes, S, M and L. We also choose the mask according to the environment in which you will use it – they are marked P1, P2 and P3.
What do these symbols mean?
- P1 anti-smog masks retain about 80% of particles smaller than 2 micrometers,
- P2 anti-smog masks retain about 94% of particles smaller than 0.5 micrometer,
- P3 anti-smog masks retain approximately 99.95% of particles smaller than 0.5 micrometer.
Can sport practiced on busy streets be healthy?
Fortunately, the answer is yes.
Mask for running and cycling
People who run, ride a bicycle or rollerblades are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of airborne substances. Why? During exercise, the frequency of breaths increases significantly, and thus, much more pollution gets into the lungs. Sports masks have better airflow, so you can breathe freely, even during intense training.
Anti-smog mask for children
Children are exposed to smog even more than adults. Their respiratory system is not yet sufficiently developed and is not always able to defend against harmful substances contained in the air. When choosing a mask for a child, you must remember the same rules as for adults. In addition, it is good to pay attention to the aesthetic value – there is a chance that in a nice mask the child will be more likely to walk.
You will find three types of replaceable filters for anti-smog masks:
- Carbon filter – retains 99.9% of dusts of 0.1 microns or larger. The activated carbon layer also filters fumes and odors. Protects against smog, allergens, viruses of infectious diseases (including influenza). It works for 20-50 hours, depending on the level of air pollution.
- HEPA filter – holds 97% of particles of 0.1 microns or larger. Like a carbon filter, it protects against smog, allergens and viruses. It also works for a long time. The HEPA filter is characterized by high air permeability, which is why it is recommended for cyclists, runners or skaters.
- Combination of carbon filter with HEPA filter – retains 97% of particles of 0.1 microns and larger. It also filters fumes and odors. Protects against smog, allergens and viruses. It also works 20-50 hours. Recommended for outdoor sports.
Where to buy a dust mask?
We will buy a dust mask in specialist and company stores, as well as in sports stores such as Decathlon. Of course, you will find the largest selection on the Internet.
Manufacturers and price of anti-smog masks
Anti-smog masks are offered by brands such as RZ Mask, Respro, Vogmask, 3M, Dragon and ReSpimask. The price of masks varies greatly. A disposable mask can be bought for less than a euro. The most expensive, reusable can cost up to 70 euros.
Opinions about anti-smog masks
Opinions on anti-smog masks are very important to us. If you use this mask in your city, write reviews and send to us. We will gladly publish it. We are also waiting for your opinions here, you can post them in the comments. Every opinion counts! Especially when it comes to fighting smog.