The battle against rising air pollution in north India is one that is waged every year. The challenge just got a whole lot tougher on Tuesday when monitoring stations in Delhi showed toxicity reaching new highs for the season.
 Delhi smog

The battle against rising air pollution in north India is one that is waged every year. The challenge just got a whole lot tougher on Tuesday when monitoring stations in Delhi showed toxicity reaching new highs for the season. While numerous medical research has already shown a direct link between pollution and either premature deaths or with serious ailments, city-dwellers are increasingly advised to wear pollution masks to minimise the ill-effects.


But not all masks that claim to constantly purify the air one breathes actually work as promised. So when shopping for that protective covering for the face, be sure to keep the following points in mind.


* A surgeon/medical mask is not going to prevent micro particles like PM2.5 - a primary cause of ailments in the human body - from entering the body. Most experts agree that while they may be the cheapest option available, a wet handkerchief/towel is still a better option to cover the face with.


* Respirators are the most practical bet in the fight against air pollution. N-95 and N-99 respirators (specifications mentioned in the packaging) offer a good level of protection from pollutants.


* Look for masks which also offer ventilation outlets. Some have single valves while others have dual. This can be especially helpful for people who wear spectacles or sunglasses because they don't get foggy and therefore, does not hinder vision.


* Masks with adjustable ear strings can also be helpful as a non-adjustable version may cause some amount of pain behind the ear on prolonged use.


* Similarly, look for pollution masks with a nose clip or clamp. This can help keep the mask suitably placed on the face at all times.


* There is some degree of confusion over the size of masks to wear. As a thumb rule, men should get a large size while women are advised medium. Children, obviously, need to be given a small-size mask. Since each individual is different, be sure that the ear hooks and nose clips/clamps are present on the mask so that even if the incorrect size is purchased, the fit can be customised. Remember, most retailers will not accept returns as it is a personal use product.


* Not all masks are washable. And then there are masks with replaceable filters. Do be sure to read the instructions carefully and check the life of the mask available and if there are filters, the cost and availability. 


* While there are masks ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 5,000 in the market, some options in the Rs 300 to Rs 600 price bracket work perfectly well. Do be sure to check reviews if buying online or check for recognised approval seals on the packaging if buying from a store in person.




Source:ZeeNews
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