Study found exposure to traffic pollutants can increase the risk of death by seven per cent
Most scooter riders rarely forget to wear their riding jackets or helmets since they know how important they are for their safety. However, one thing that they often overlook is wearing an antipollution mask when riding in heavy ciy traffic. Very few riders wear an anti pollution mask despite research establishing the link between long term exposure to air pollution and higher rates of heart and lung diseases.
A major study by Dr Rob Beelen from Utrecht University in the Netherlands found exposure to traffic pollutants can increase the risk of death by seven per cent. In another study by Canadian researchers, cyclists in Ottawa, Ontario, had heart irregularities in the hours after their exposure to a variety of air pollutants on busy roads.
WHO estimate that air pollution contributes to three million deaths annually.
Generally speaking, the greatest inhalation of undesirable exhaust fumes happens when you’re sitting in traffic. If having your face covered while riding in dense city traffic is not an option, navigating your ride to the front of the line will help reduce your exposure by staying out of the exhaust clouds.
Here’s a list with some of the best anti pollution anti-smog masks
A minimalist stylish mask featuring three filters, active carbon, electrostic cotton and meltblown microfiber – to guard against PM 2.5, gases, dust, pollen, bacteria and other particles. An adjustable nose-clip & nose bridge foam protect from leakage. Two custom-made exhalation valves centered in the mask provide airflow. Airinum masks come with a breathable outer layer which adjust to the 5 filter sizes.
Cambridge mask company use what they call British military filtration technology filters which block out almost 100% of, pollution, gases, bacteria and viruses. Cambridge Masks filter air through three different layers, the third layer is a 100% pure activated carbon cloth. Cambridge masks come with one valve. The masks offer a snug fit, are available in various designs and 5 sizes.
Respro City Mask
This is the most commonly used antipollution mask by cyclists in the UK and offers protection to your nose and mouth from nuisance dusts and odors released by vehicles and industries. The filter (DACC) incorporated in the mask is specially designed for filtering all sorts of air pollutants that are found in big cities. It has two exhalation valves that let out carbon dioxide, excess heat and water ensuring you remain comfortable.
This antipollution mask offers you the easiest and safest way of keep pollutants away from your lungs. With this mask, breathing through the nostrils doesn’t fog up your glasses and can you still manage to clear the nose while riding. It weighs 18g only, has a super elastic strap, is transparent, comfortable, and flexible to fit on your face perfectly. The mask is skin friendly and can be used by both kids and adults.
Tucano Urbano Smoggy Mask
The Smoggy ant-smog mask is designed to filter smog due to its mesh technique which incorporates active carbon electrostatic filters. It provides protection against any form of solvents and fine dust particles and also has an anti-condensation valve. 75% of the mask is nylon and 25% is polyester and is supplied with 2 filters (CE-EN149: 2001 FFP2). In addition, its external cover allows for easy breathing.
Vogmask uses award winning filtering textile which includes an active carbon layer offering N99 protection from PM 2.5 particles, dust, pollen, and airborne contaminants. The nose bridge provides a secure seal over the bridge of the nose, reducing leaks. One of the most popular anti pollution masks. Vogmask come in a variety of colorful designs and offer a comfortable fit, with good ventilation.
The N95 Mask
The N95 used by healthcare professional for protection from serious air born illnesses such as Tuberculosis. The N95 made by the 3M company comes in a variety of sizes design for specific face shapes. This is a no frills functional mask, low on esthetics but has a track record second to none. It is the standard mask used in air pollution testing.
What to avoid – Standard Surgical Face Mask
The design is comfortable, has space and it’s easy to wear, but surgical masks offer no protection from pollution or smog.
You might be interested in reading: The Risk of Car Exhaust Fumes on the Health of Motor-Scooter Riders