comscore Diwali 2022: Buying an air pollution mask? Check out these options

Diwali 2022: Buying an air pollution mask? Check out these options

The AQI of major cities the morning after the Diwali night may have a worse AQI. Here are some masks to ensure protection.


Masks became a necessity after Covid-19, but people around the world would wear them even much before the pandemic forced them to do so. People have known why masks are essential, but their understanding widened to include the variety. Affordability also came into the picture as pandemic-related restrictions mandated the use. You get different types of maks at different prices. That’s a good thing, especially that various public health agencies around the world have recommended not losing a mask to protect yourself from pollution and airborne infections. Also Read - Leaked Android certificate leave millions of Samsung, LG phones vulnerable to malware

While Covid cases are on a slump right now, the season of smog has knocked our doors. This is the time when the entire Northern India chokes on the toxic smog, contributed to by the burning of stubbles on fields and firecrackers because of the festival. The air quality index of major cities in the north has already dipped to below severe, while it is expected the morning after the Diwali night will have an even worse AQI. Masks, thus, seem important if you want to reduce the harmful effects of the toxic air around as they are highly effective against certain substances and reduce your risk to airborne infections. Also Read - Diwali 2022: Here's how to get a new Royal Enfield Classic 350 for Rs 11,000

The type of mask is, however, just as important a decision as choosing to wear a mask. That is because not all masks are meant to keep the pollutants at bay. Some serve a different — less effective — purpose, and some are just a fashion accessory today. Anti-pollution masks come with a rating, which is the best way to check if your mask can protect you against harmful particles, such as PM2.5 and PM10, or not. These ratings are standard across conventional masks, but there are more advanced masks that come with inbuilt air filters to give you better air quality. Also Read - Jio True 5G launch expected on Diwali: Here's how to get invite for welcome offer

Here are the options to consider:

N95 masks: The most common type of rating that you would find on most masks is N95. The notation stands for the percentage of fine particles that the mask was tested to block. N95 masks can block against 95 percent of fine particles, such as aerosols that cause infections. There are several brands you can find on online shopping websites that sell N95 masks. But the efficacy of N95 masks lasts only so long. The N95 masks are not advised to be worne after four-five uses.

N99 masks: Much like the N95 masks, the N99 masks are also effective against harmful fine particles, such as SPM. Tests have proved N99 can block aganist 90 percent of these particles (down to 0.3 microns). The N99 masks are slightly more expensive than the N95 masks because of their higher quality in filtering out harmful substances.

Apart from N95 and N99 masks, there are masks with ratings such as N90, KN95, FFP2. Test results have proved the masks have 95 percent efficacy against airborne particles, such as PM10, PM2.5, bacteria, viruses, pollens, mould dust, and household dust.

Hi-tech masks: Just like phones and televisions, masks have also become smarter than they used to be. So, these hi-tech masks co-exist with the conventional masks, but let you do a lot more things to filter out the incoming air. The mask has an inbuilt air purifier that cleans the air more effectively, nearly the same way as the air purifier in your home. These masks have an H13 HEPA filter, respiratory sensors, inverter-powered fans, microphones, speakers, and even Bluetooth connectivity. You have options such as the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier that higher protection at a dramatically higher price. Unlike N95 masks that you can easily find for around Rs 100-200, the hi-tech masks like the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier cost around Rs 15,000.

  • Published Date: October 24, 2022 11:00 AM IST
  • Updated Date: October 24, 2022 11:13 AM IST
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