Air pollution is a major concern not only in India, but all over the globe. The pollutants in the air are rising at an alarming rate. According to a survey, 22 out of 30 most polluted cities in the world were from India in 2018. Air pollution contributes to 2 million premature deaths in India.
According to WHO, 140 millions breathe air that is 10 times or more over the WHO safe limit. In 2014, the World Health Organization declared Delhi as the world’s most polluted city. Not only this, no Indian state achieves pollution levels that are below the WHO’s limits.
People in India have shorter life expectancy than people residing in different countries, all thanks to the air pollution. Moreover, Air pollution in India is the fifth largest cause of deaths.
Various air pollutants like nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, suspended particulate matter, respirable suspended particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, benzene, and hydrocarbons, etc become particulate matter 2.5 and 10, which have been associated with significant health effects, including cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, cancer, and premature deaths.
To protect us from the rising pollution and its effects, many companies have launched their anti-pollution masks. These pollution masks protect you from inhaling highly polluted air as it filters out most of the particulate matter from the air we inhale. Many companies claim that their masks filter out 90% or 100% of the pollutants. However, this is not the case. There are particularly two types of masks which are suggested for use, grade N95 and N99. While buying a mask N95 is the minimum criteria which should be considered. However, N99 grade is only useful for the industrial purposes.
Masks with N95 rating can filter out 95% of the harmful particles, which stay longer in the air and are inhaled. And, masks with N99 rating can filter out 99.7% of the harmful particles from the air. However, inhaling while wearing a mask can also be a tough task, as most of the people tend to suffocate. It is mostly advised to use mask with N95 grade as it becomes easier to breathe than with N99. N95 mask can be worn for longer duration than N99 as N95 provides lesser breathing resistance than N99. This means that people who wear mask with N99 grade would start suffocating and would feel uneasy while breathing in less duration.
Also, it is recommended to use N95 mask rather than grade N99, as difficulty in breathing can also lead to many diseases one of them being a cardiac arrest. N99 mask is only recommended to people who work in industries or factories. People going out or commuting in traffic areas are recommended to wear N95 masks as it would filter out 95% of the harmful particles and would not suffocate any individual. These can be worn on daily basis and for longer duration.