Wondering if you need to buy an air mask? We list the situations in which it may be vital to wear one.
It’s a growing menace that shows no signs of abating just yet. We are only now becoming aware of the perils of air pollution, but for some cities, it may already be too late. Constant construction activity, high vehicular traffic, lack of adequate green cover and various polluting behaviours (debris dumping, crop burning, etc.) have all combined to create extremely high levels of air pollution in most parts of the country.
You cannot control the air pollution levels, but you can certainly keep yourself safe from it by wearing an air mask. You must wear the mask under the following conditions –
* If you live in a polluted area. Many of India’s prominent cities and metros have been classified as ‘highly polluted’ with extremely poor to poor air quality. Whether your city has this dubious classification or not, most cities with hectic industrial and construction activity, dense vehicular traffic and intermittent humidity, can safely be classified as polluted. A simple test of the levels of air pollution in your city, are to check whether the skies are blue instead of grey, and whether you have clear visibility instead of a cloud of smog. Just strap on an air mask to keep safe.
* If you ride a motorcycle. People riding motorcycles are at higher risk of air pollution exposure than those who drive cars. Bike riders have no protection from the elements, while those in cars can shut their windows and switch on the air-conditioning. If you ride a motorcycle, it is best to get an air mask that protects you from the constant barrage of polluted air. You might have been tying a cloth around your face to keep the pollution out every time you take to the road, but trust us, a good air mask is the thing you need.
* If the levels of air pollution in your city have been marked ‘hazardous’. Cities like Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai continue to exhibit unacceptably high levels of particulate matter, noxious gases and other impurities in the air. The air quality in these and other cities has been classified as ‘hazardous’ which means that breathing in this filthy air can cause a range of diseases and disorders. Check the air pollution index for your city, and invest in an air mask pronto.
* If you already suffer from respiratory disorders/distress. Those who suffer from congenital respiratory disorders, or who have developed signs and symptoms of respiratory diseases, cardiac and thyroid issues, etc. must always step out wearing an air mask. Dealing with polluted air on top of an already existing respiratory condition can create untold stress on the system. Asthmatics and those suffering from lung tuberculosis, whooping cough and chronic cold are most at risk.