Diwali has ended, but when you step out of your home, especially in big cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai, smell and smoke still prevail.
Long after the noise of the firecrackers has died down, India still grapples with deadly air pollution.
We may not be able to reduce the air pollution in your city right away, but for now, let’s deal with it in a way that reduces your chances of damaging yourself.
How bad is air pollution in India?
The numbers are in, and they are shocking. On the night of 27 October, parts of Delhi recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 999. We are not equipped to measure AQIs in four-digit numbers.
The measure of AQI is the measure of five of major pollutants- carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particle pollutants and sulphur dioxide.
What ‘999’ means is that the air is actively and severely damaging the health of residents—indoors or outdoors.
For the past month, the AQI levels in Bengaluru have been fluctuating between 80 and 120, which may seem considerably good but is still much higher than the “desirable” levels of 0-50. Kolkata too was struggling at an “unhealthy” number of 185.
This is air with so much particulate matter, that breathing it means pollutant particles are coating your lungs from the inside.
You can stay safe outdoors with pollution masks that protect you from breathing in particulate matters (PM) larger than 2.5. Click here to buy one now!
Do face masks help with pollution?
The air pollution masks you use must have a pore size of 2.5 micrometres or less—while filtering out PM2.5 particles. Industries, vehicles and crop burning usually emit PM 2.5. But firecrackers also contribute substantially to this.
You need a powerful mask to protect from these particles. Surgical masks, even at their best capacity, can barely protect you. Go for masks equipped with activated carbon layers and filters—to stop PM2.5 or higher particles.
How do I choose a mask for air pollution?
Get the measure of AQI levels in your city or town. Your mask will depend on how high or low the number is (higher the index; more is the pollution on that particular day).
For instance, if the pollution levels in your surroundings are not too severe, you can go for this washable 6-layer N99 + PM2.5 mask.
N99 indicates that the mask blocks out 99% of 0.3-micron test particles.
If the pollution levels are substandard but not too hazardous, you can go for this 4-ply cotton mask that comes with two replaceable N95 PM2.5 filters.
We have a range of such useful masks that will protect you in the winter months. Stay safe and protect yourself from the pollution engulfing your city.
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(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)