Diwali 2022: Buying air pollution masks? check these options


Masks became a necessity after Covid-19, but people around the world wore them long before the pandemic forced them to. People know why masks are necessary, but their understanding expanded to include diversity. Affordability also came into the picture as pandemic-related restrictions mandated use. You get different types of makes at different prices. This is a good thing, especially as various public health agencies around the world recommend not losing masks to protect yourself from pollution and airborne infections.

While the number of Covid cases are declining right now, the smog weather has knocked on our doors. This is the time when toxic smog suffocates across North India, contributing to stubble burning on fields and firecrackers due to the festival. The air quality index of major north cities has already dropped below critical, while the AQI is expected to worsen in the morning after Diwali night. Thus, masks seem important if you want to reduce the harmful effects of the surrounding toxic air as they are highly effective against certain substances and reduce your risk of airborne infection.

However, the type of mask is as important as the wearing of the mask. This is because not all masks are meant to keep out pollutants. Some serve a different – ​​less effective – purpose, and some are just a fashion accessory today. Anti-pollution masks come with a rating, which is the best way to test whether your mask can protect you from harmful particles, such as PM2.5 and PM10. These ratings are standard in traditional masks, but there are more advanced masks that come with an inbuilt air filter to give you better air quality.

Here are options to consider:

N95 Mask: The most common type of rating you’ll find on most masks is N95. The marking stands for the percentage of fine particles that the mask was tested to block. N95 masks can block up to 95 percent of fine particles such as aerosols that cause infection. There are many brands that you can find on online shopping websites that sell N95 masks. But the effect of N95 mask lasts only for so long. It is not recommended to wear N95 masks after four to five uses.

N99 Mask: Like N95 masks, N99 masks are also effective against harmful fine particles such as SPM. Tests have proven that N99 can block 90 percent (below 0.3 microns) of these particles. N99 masks are slightly more expensive than N95 masks due to their higher quality at filtering out harmful substances.

Apart from N95 and N99 masks, there are also masks with ratings like N90, KN95, FFP2. Test results have proven that the mask has 95 percent efficacy against airborne particles such as PM10, PM2.5, bacteria, viruses, pollen, mold dust and household dust.

Hi-Tech Mask: Like phones and TVs, masks have also become smarter than before. So, these high-tech masks exist alongside traditional masks, but let you do much more to filter the incoming air. The mask has an inbuilt air purifier that cleans the air more effectively, almost like an air purifier in your home. These masks have H13 HEPA filters, respiratory sensors, inverter-powered fans, microphones, speakers, and even Bluetooth connectivity. You have options like LG PureCare Wearable Air Purifier which offers high protection at a dramatically higher cost. Unlike N95 masks, which you can easily find for around Rs 100-200, hi-tech masks like the Puricare Wearable Air Purifier cost around Rs 15,000.

After Diwali 2022: Buying air pollution masks? Check out these options that first appeared on BGR India.

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