In the age of awareness and consciousness, more and more people are commuting through cycling. It’s a great way to improve fitness and cut travel expenses. But, despite being a growing trend in big cities, there are some dangers attached as well. There are more air pollutants and air toxins absorbed in the atmosphere than small cities. The pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide are major causes of lungs and respiratory diseases (Health, 2013). People on bikes absorb four to nine times more fine dust particles than people in cars (Volvo). Facing these observations, there is a dire need to prevent ourselves.
Many bike commuters wear helmets to protect themselves from accidents and injuries. But very few of us know about the risks of being exposed to open air. It is even more dangerous than physical injuries. According to a study, nearly 9500 people in London die due to prolonged exposure in the open air. This number is twice the number of deaths in the past. Two key pollutants -fine particles known as PM2.5s and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The study was conducted by the Greater London Authority and Transport for London. It is believed to be the first study conducted by any city in the world to quantify NO2. The gas is mainly emitted by diesel cars, buses and Lorries, and affects lungs and nostrils (Vaughan, 2015). Witnessing omnipresent risk in the open air, what the bikers should do?
Wearing a bike-mask can be a great idea to deal with harmful air, it keeps us breathing safely and freshly. The toxic components like NO2 and mercury which are heavier than oxygen can be filtered through refined fabric used in the mask (Managing Hazardous Materials Incidents).The Nylon covering and soft texture make it able to admit pure oxygen in our lungs. A large portfolio of masks is available with numerous benefits and pricing categories. You need to be very careful while selecting a mask for cycling. Here are the factors which need to be known while choosing a mask.
• Whether the area you are living in is an industrial and contains huge traffic or a rural area.
• Whether you are using the mask for a ride on mountains or plain areas?
• Which fabric the mask contains?
Masks vary inefficiency
As you have experimented with basic masks in the past, including surgical-type models. Frankly, these are of limited use. You need to find a super-efficient cycling mask that will prevent harmful dust particles (PM 2.5) passing through your nostrils, and ensure a comfortable ride.
Having a variety of designs, their usage may be different for different customers. Some of the customers may face difficulty in breathing. That’s why some bikers still shun them. Some badly designed anti-pollution masks, if worn with a helmet, reduce your overall vision. But having a bad experience does not mean that you should shun them (airlines, 2018). Below are some types of cycling masks or we can call them gas masks, which will help you to make better decisions.
Types of Best anti-pollution and cycling masks
The N95 mask is the most widely used anti-pollution mask. The mask contains more than one layer to filter, which traps 95% of dust, PM 2.5, bacteria, allergens, viruses, and other impurities. It is recommended for those prone to respiratory diseases, like Asthma, and allergies.
N99 and N100 Masks
These masks are more effective than N95 masks. The N99 mask can remove impurities of size 0.3 micron up to 95%. While the N100 mask traps impurities more than N99. These are suitable for the elderly, pregnant women, children, and those prone to respiratory diseases, and the common cold. They come with multiple layers of filtration that remove disease-causing germs, bacteria, viruses, allergens, PM 2.5 dust, and others.
Unigear Mask (Highly recommended for Cyclists)
A Unigear mask includes dust and pollen filtration, exhaust fume filtration, exhalation valve, and sub-micron filtration. Hence, these masks are recommended for outdoor activities, including walking, jogging, cycling, sports, exercise, and commuting by metro or two-wheelers.
P95 masks protect against oil-based impurities as well. The oil-proof mask is recommended for gas stations and pharmaceuticals. It is capable of removing up to 95% allergens and pollens of 0.3 microns and larger. It also traps dust, PM 2.5, bacteria, viruses, and oil molecules released from kerosene, petrol, diesel, and cooking oil (Best Anti-Pollution Masks to Protect from Air Pollution).