How to choose the right anti-pollution mask?

Back to list 2019-07-02 11:04:31

Various forms of pollution have increased as China has quickly industrialized. Air pollution has become one of the biggest issue for many foreigners and Chinese people. Dust, chemicals, fine particulate matter (PM), ozone and secondary pollutants are the main emissions. The PM 10 and PM 2.5 are associated with number of symptoms and chronic illnesses of the respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems. It is then no wonder that you’re considering a pollution mask to protect yourself.

Unfortunately, it can be a bit confusing because there are so many different masks, brands and certifications out there. MSH China decided to investigate: we asked specialist to help us answer the question “how to choose the right anti-pollution mask?” 

1. N95 - N99

First thing important to check for when you’re choosing a pollution mask is to see the mention N95 or N99. These numbers refer to their filter able to block 95% or 99% of air pollutants. You can also adopt KN95, FFP2. Usually all these types of masks will have work safety certifications.

2. AQblue 

Based in Beijing, AQblue started to sell high quality anti-pollution masks after the 2013 Airpocalypse crisis. They developed their own respirator (mask) and meet United States N95 filtration standards. Comfortable and effective for prolonged hours, you can buy it on WeChat and also Taobao.

3. 3M

The 3M 95N is particularly popular in China. Effective and cheap this model is however less comfortable to wear especially for prolonged hours. Must be replaced after a single use.

4. Fitting

According to Jeffrey Bauer, co-founder of AQblue, after selecting the right mask, fitting is one of the most important thing you should look for in a mask. A mask should be tight fitting enough to create a pressurized seal around your face, no gaps to let outside air in. AQblue masks offer multiple sizes for adults and children.

5. Ventilation

Ventilation is another important point when you’re choosing a mask. Especially if you are using it while doing sport. A good mask will not allow moisture and fogging near the nose-bridge and eyes. Select one mask with a CO2 outlet that will allow the CO2 to leave the mask.

6. International Standards

If you want to buy masks from abroad, you first need to check if they have been approved by the NIOSH for US or FFP for Europe.

7. Surgical Mask

Surgical mask might be very comfortable and inexpensive but they are totally ineffective against PM10 and PM 2.5. Moreover they don’t create a seal to block out air pollutant and they have no filter.

8. Comfort

Lastly, protecting yourself from air pollution is all about reducing your exposure whenever possible. If your mask isn’t comfortable, you will be less inclined to wear it regularly. Comfort should not be left aside when choosing your next anti-pollution mask.

Infographic pollution in China:

Founded in 2001, MSH China is a French international company specialized in high-end insurance services for corporate and individual clients. Our multicultural International department is dedicated to serve foreigners living in Asia. Leader in China, our reputation has been made from our efficient customer service and call center, a large hospital network and a cost sensitive approach. 



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