Table of Contents
As we know that PM10 and PM2.5 levels in the air is regularly rising in the developing countries like India, people have initiated utilizing face masks to protect themselves from different kinds of disease available in poor air quality. Traffic personnel, bikers, riders, industrial, and health workers generally use handkerchiefs and scarves by considering that these devices will help to protect their lungs and help them to keep away from respiratory illness. But does face mask for pollution work to protect you?
To know it better, we should go through the functions of masks.
The primary function of any face mask is to filter out pollutants and pollen particles from the air. But for better protection, it is vital to use the best-fit mask of the perfect size, which helps you cover the nose, chin, and mouth from all edges and corners without any gaps in order to provide the best protection from contaminated air.
However, it doesn't mean that face masks can block every toxic element in the air. They are beneficial to provide protection from particulate matter but don't protect from carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, leads, gaseous pollutants, and nitrates. The varied range of toxic creates a diverse number of reactions and side effects in the lungs and affect the human body and respiratory system.
Why face masks came in existence
A face mask for pollution was originally developed to protect medical and industrial people against their job-oriented issues. Also, suggested as the best medium to protect such people from air pollution. One of the most considered and dangerous issues is the unregulated or uncontrolled increase in vehicle and industrial emission, firecrackers, generator sets, and smoke from open burning chimneys. Unless a solution comes to resolve these issues, using a face mask is the best way to get protection from harmful pollutants.
Quality masks available in the market are not in range of all may be due to the lack of awareness and cost associated with them. Medical experts also advise that using a mildly wet hanky over the mouth and nose can reduce the effects of pollutants. However, the hanky or the piece of cloth you use in place of a mask must be clean, it doesn't contain any leakage.
There are different types of masks available like N95 and N99 protection from pollutants and poor air. All these masks are good at their quality and range of protection, but they only work better if used effectively and by following proper guidelines. Even all these masks come with a time limit like you can use an N99 mask only for 6 months. You can also reuse them, but till they don't expire or leave their effectiveness.
Whenever the mask creates leakages and loses its shape, it doesn't work properly and fulfill its purpose. Additionally, if you see that your mask is in perfect shape, but not providing quality and fresh air to you, then the filters may of the mask have lost their capacity of filtering. Using such type of mask is harmful and can't help you meet your goal of getting quality air.
Some ways can be used to protect your lungs, and respiratory system from poor quality and polluted air are as follows:
Regularly check out the weather reports of your area as well as the reports of the area where you want to move. If the air density is high, then using a face mask is a better solution to safeguard you from pollutants available in the air.
In some conditions, if you are living in a highly polluted area, then you must limit your activities in the daytime. You should go for outdoor activities mostly at the time when the sun is down.
In unhealthy air conditions, you must avoid strenuous outdoor activity. Avoid breathing fast and heavily in poor air may create serious breathing issues.
Know the functions of pollution masks
Every company designs a pollution mask to protect the user from pollutants and offer them quality air. Face masks come in different designs, styles like invisible pollution mask, but an ideal pollution mask is always equipped with a 3 filter layer security. Every filter has its quality and function for filtering the pollutants.
Initial or the first filter layerThe first layer of every mask keeps dust and pollen at bay. Mainly, the particles that are less in PM10 or near to PM10 are stopped by this filtering layer.
The layer that filters out PM2.5 or less in diameter PM2.5 particles. So the particles that are not filtered by the first layer get removed in the particle layer. Thus, both of these layers must be available in every pollution mask.
Carbon FilterTop-quality masks always have this layer to protect the user from carbon particles available in the gaseous form. This layer also protects against bacteria and viruses present in the air.
Choose the best face mask for pollution, and keep respiratory diseases away from you.