Since the day after Diwali, the Delhi Smog has been a constant in the city. According to experts, the pollution is here to stay for another week and due to the lack of wind and precipitation there is no sign of respite.
Most offices are still open, leaving no option for employees to evade the alarming air pollution. In such a scenario, it will be wise for a person to use special air-pollution masks if at all they need to venture out of their houses.
Most commonly sighted on Indian roads, the handkerchief might be seem like an filter but it hardly filters the hazardous PM10 and PM2.5 particles in the air.
The next most accessible and cheap option would be a surgical mask. These masks are essentially made for medical purposes but are not designed to stop fine particulate matter. They offer certain help but shouldn't be considered as an alternative to a proper air-pollution mask. They can be effective in filtering around 60 per cent of the particulate matter.
These masks are not only an effective agent against air-pollution also provide protection against a few air-borne diseases. These masks are slightly expesnsive than surgical masks but offer much better functionality. The masks are required to be replaced after a few days of usage.
The masks are available in N95 and N99 variants which are degrees of filtration. These respirators are designed to offer maximum protection without hampering the breathing pace. The disposable respirators offer around 95 per cent protection against air-pollution.
These respirators are made for long term usage and are much more expensive than the disposable ones. The respirators come with a sheet of activated carbon and a replaceable filter that are to be replaced in every 3-4 days of general use.
While all these options are generally available in the market, there is a sudden shortage in supply due to an unprecedented demand. Interested buyers can still buy the products on e-commerce websites like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.