Masking it well: The best anti-pollution masks you can buy
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With the cooler temperatures fast approaching, air borne pollution created by many factors including industries, road dust, garbage burning, farm residue burning and construction work will not be able to move away from the surface level as quickly as they otherwise would in slightly higher temperatures. If you are someone with sensitive throat, prone to respiratory discomfort with poor quality air or plainly someone who can’t not get their fix of a daily morning jog, adding an anti-pollution mask to your wardrobe is a good idea. Buying one isn’t easy though, because almost all the options that you will find in brick and mortar stores such as chemists as well as online shopping platform will claim to block all types of PM2.5, PM10 and more
Rs2,000 onwards; Nirvanabeing.com
These masks, available in microfibre and organic cotton variants, offer multiple layers of filtration. Apart from the N99 filter, which can filter up to 99% of PM (particulate matter ) 2.5, there is also a layer in which the coconut-shell-derived carbon, along with acrylic, is bonded to polyester. Apart from the standard black colour option, you get more dynamic designs and colour combinations.
Rs2,699 onwards; Amazon.in
These anti-pollution masks meet the European standards for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and are rated FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3—for reference, FFP1 is equivalent to the N95 (filters out up to 95% of PM2.5) rating, while FFP3 matches the N99 rating. These masks have replaceable filters, though the life of these would range from a month to a few weeks more depending on the ambient air.
Atlanta Healthcare Cambridge N99
Rs1,799 onwards; Atlantahealthcare.in
These masks, are available in three variants—no valve, one valve and two valves. For standard daily use, a no-valve option should suffice. The single- and dual-valve options are useful in medium or heavy activity, to reduce moisture build-up inside the mask. These masks use military-grade filtration technology and protect you from dust, fuel-based contaminants, particulate matter, infectious pathogens, virus, bacteria, mould and spores as well as pollen. The activated carbon filter layer, developed by the UK’s ministry of defence, is designed to absorb gaseous molecules. Available in multiple colours and patterns.
Rs499 for a pack of 10; Amazon.in
These are KN95 rated masks, and are useful in areas where dust is a big problem. These masks, made of paper, are very light, and need to be disposed of after they have been used for some days. There is a three-layer filtration process, ideal for someone who needs protection against dust and fumes for non-strenuous activity outdoors—it has no valves, unlike some of the higher-end masks, which work better while running or jogging. Honeywell sells these in icy blue and white colour options.