Out of the many available options, the PM2.5 mask is one of the best masks to invest in. Similar to other high-functioning masks, this one serves a specific purpose. Before you decide to buy one, however, you need to learn about what the product is about and how it can help you.
What Is a PM2.5 Mask?
The term PM 2.5 stands for Particulate Matter 2.5 microns. Particulate matter is tiny particles that pollute the air. In this case, PM2.5 refers to particulate matter with a diameter as low as 2.5 microns. Due to their small size and light weight , particulate matter can easily float within the air, get inhaled, and find their way into your lungs. The higher concentration of PM2.5, the more hazardous the air is to breathe in.
A PM2.5 mask is a mask made of materials with high density that could filter out PM2.5, providing you with cleaner air. Also known as a Pollution Mask or Air-Filter Mask, this type of mask can effectively block dust, pollen, and some types of chemicals.
The mask is usually made up of two layers of cotton, with a pocket between them to put in a carbon filter. While the cotton mask is washable, the carbon filter needs replacement every 8-12 hours. There is also a variant with the carbon filter sewn in. Sometimes, both variants may have an inhalation valve to allow easier breathing.
Do You Need To Wear PM2.5 Masks?
What kind of mask you need to wear depends on what concerns you have. If you live in a highly polluted area, the PM2.5 may provide sufficient protection to your respiratory system. As mentioned previously, particulate matter can get into your lungs and cause health problems. Long and constant exposure to it will lead to serious respiratory issues. Thus, wearing the mask is one of the best efforts you can take to prevent such risks.
However, if your concern is the novel coronavirus, a PM2.5 mask might not be the best option for you. Indeed, it provides higher protection than regular cloth masks. Yet, its performance is not as effective as several other masks such as the N95 respirator and surgical masks.
PM2.5 masks have various levels of effectiveness in blocking viruses, ranging from 60% to 90%. This number is still comparably lower than surgical masks, which is 95% or higher.
After all, the PM2.5 is not intended for protection against viruses or any aerosol substances. The main purpose is to block particulate pollutants as small as 2.5 microns. Meanwhile, the coronavirus is around 1 micron. The pollution masks with inhalation valves are even less effective because the valves may allow airborne viruses to pass through.
No matter how high the quality of a mask, wearing the right type is crucial. When you have outdoor activity in an area where pollution is a concern, wearing PM2.5 masks can save your respiratory system, both for the short and long-term. For the most optimal protection, make sure to wear it correctly and replace it accordingly.
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