Air Quality in Delhi throughout the year is hazardous. Still the shout for protection from pollution is given out only in winter when thick smog engulfs the city.
This subject of pollution mask is very important, as we all know that continuous exposure to air pollution results in many diseases.
Shorterm effects of air pollution
Short term effects of air pollution include headaches, common cold, dizziness etc. Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects such as: Loss of lung capacity, decreased lung function. Development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and possibly cancer.
We tried to find out the practical problems that people face while using the anti-pollution masks in daily life. We definitely agree that breathing masks cannot be the permanent solution to problems of air pollution but till the air in our city becomes clean, we need to take precautions to protect our loved ones from air-pollution.
Anti-Pollution masks are impractical
We talked to Ms. Rekha who works in a primary school. Rekha told us that she had purchased pollution mask last year, but she felt breathless when she wore the mask. Moreover, masks obstructed her daily routine as she was not able to talk to anyone, when she wore the mask. Her children found the mask extremely uncomfortable and they could not play freely wearing the mask.
Most masks available today in the market are made by using multiple layer filters, this causes high obstruction to air flow causing discomfort to the user.
Unawareness or Lethargy or Social stigma?
While people from lower income groups are aware that pollution causes harm to the body because of the immediate symptoms, they are not aware of the long-term harms. They also are unaware about right masks to wear.
Most people are governed by me too psychology wherein the common answer is no one wears a mask so why should I wear it?
Even though pollution levels in Delhi are high throughout the year, most people do not wear mask because they find it awkward and sometimes even impolite.
Most masks are too expensive:
N99 and N95 masks are the only ones that are supposed to work. The N95 and N99 designations mean they have been carefully tested and ensure over 95% micro particles like PM 2.5 are filtered. However, these masks are unaffordable for lower income groups.
In reality even if 70% of PM2.5 particles are filtered reasonably by your anti-pollution mask, then it would be enough to protect you from pollution. The PM 2.5 levels in city hover around 200 levels most of the year, if you mask is able to consistently filter 70% of these you will be considered to be breathing safe air.
Delhi has a new solution
So, the most common problems with masks are that they are uncomfortable as they may make people feel breathless, they are expensive and impractical to wear daily.
A new discovery from IIT-Delhi are Nasofilters, these tiny filters stick to your nose, leave no gaps and filter out more than 90% PM2.5 particles, the tinniest of most harmful particles.
Moreover, Nasofilters are made from single layer Nanotechnology that ensures that the user does not feel breathless. Compared to other anti-pollution masks These Nasofilters are best anti-pollution protection available in the market as Nasofilters are invisible and cost just Rs 11 per day of use. Nasofilters are meant for 1-time use.