Is air pollution getting you down?

Air pollution is a silent but deadly enemy. The particulate matter in it can cause a variety of ailments and make you really sick. Here’s how you can protect yourself.

There is no escaping or denying the grim reality of our times – air pollution is here to stay, and it has begun to leave its ugly mark on citizens.

Rising air pollution is one of the biggest public health concerns facing the country today. While civic and Government administrations try to combat the crisis, it is up to each individual citizen to protect themselves from the perils of polluted air. Wearing a pollution mask with a reliable air mask filter is the best way to do so.

Why you need to be wary about particulate matter

There are two components to air pollution – visible pollution, which comprises of large soot, dust and smoke particles. These remain suspended in humid weather conditions, when they bind themselves to moisture. The other component is invisible, but it also comprises solid pollutants that are not visible to the naked eye. These small pollution particles, known as ‘solid particulate matter’ may result from soot, smoke, dust and dirt.

Invisible particulate matter is highly dangerous – it evades capture by many air filters, and it enters the system through the nose and mouth. The particulate matter settles on the inside of the throat and lungs, creating a gateway for a host of respiratory disorders.

How particulate matter makes you sick

The size of particulate matter is measured in microns. A particle below 2.5 microns is considered dangerous for humans and even animals. These extremely fine particles go right into the throat and lungs, and cannot be expelled easily by normal breathing processes or via blood circulation. The particles accumulate over time and cause irritation and inflammation inside the lungs. In a bid to remove the particles so that it may not cause harm, the lungs produce mucus so that the particles may be expelled via cough or cold.

This tactic works if you are exposed to pollution for a limited period of time. However, prolonged exposure results in more and more particulate matter piling on in the lungs. The result is chronic cough and cold, mild to severe asthma, wheezing, and in severe cases, tuberculosis.

Enter, the air mask

An air mask provides the simplest and first step of defence against rising air pollution. It is worn on the lower half of the face. It filters the air that you breathe by removing as much of the particulate matter, toxic gases, moisture droplets and other pollutants present in the air.

The best air masks today, such as Dettol SiTiShield Protect Smart Mask, are fitted with an important component known as the air mask filter. It filters as much of the particulate matter and other impurities – the best masks provide up to 98% filtration. Thus, the air mask filter is the component that purifies the air just before you breathe it in. Highly efficient air mask filters work continuously while the mask is in use, in tandem with micro fans that are fitted into the mask to provide cool air and boost the air mask filter’s performance further.