Can masks really filter the particulate matter as small as PM2.5?

Posted on February 3rd 2013
Share: aqicn.org/faq/2013-02-03/can-masks-really-filter-the-particulate-matter-as-small-as-pm25

While discussing today about the faq entry on PM10 versus PM2.5 which I posted yesterday, my friend Klaus challenged on the usefulness of protection masks. He was actually wondering if the modern masks can nowadays really filter efficiently all the small harmful PM2.5 particulate matter?

Actually, this is a very good question! If you have to wear a mask in Beijing, then better to make sure that it really filters the bad particulates. Since I did not have the answer to his question, I just dropped an email to Francis Chu from the Singapore totobobo® mask manufacturing company, who replied in almost no time:
Yes, our Totobobo mask is able to cut down 99.85% of 0.1 microns particles.

You can download the lab report: totobobo.com/download/F96-NelsonLab-test.pdf

For the readers not familiar with particles size, PM10 refers to particles smaller than 10 micrometer, and for PM2.5, it refers to smaller than 2.5 micrometers. So, filtering out all the particulates smaller than "0.1 microns (same as 0.1 micrometers)", means that it can filter particles 25 times smaller than the harmful PM2.5! So, no worries Klaus, the newest technologies are definitely efficient!

For more information about particles size, you can refer to the wikipedia page. If you want to learn more about how air filters are actually tested, or how the various mask brands compare to each other, check this very informative totobobo blog entry.

And if you just want to get your own totobobo mask, click here.

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    Acerca de la calidad del aire y la medición de la contaminación:

    Acerca de los niveles de calidad del aire

    Índice de Calidad del Aire (ICA)Calidad del AireProteja su Salud
    0 - 50BuenaNo se anticipan impactos a la salud cuando la calidad del aire se encuentra en este intervalo.
    51 -100ModeradaLas personas extraordinariamente sensitivas deben considerar limitación de los esfuerzos físicos excesivos y prolongados al aire libre.
    101-150Dañina a la Salud de los Grupos SensitivosLos niños y adultos activos, y personas con enfermedades respiratorias tales como el asma, deben evitar los esfuerzos físicos excesivos y prolongados al aire libre.
    151-200Dañina a la SaludLos niños y adultos activos, y personas con enfermedades respiratorias tales como el asma, deben evitar los esfuerzos excesivos prolongados al aire libre; las demás personas, especialmente los niños, deben limitar los esfuerzos físicos excesivos y prolongados al aire libre.
    201-300Muy Dañina a la SaludLos niños y adultos activos, y personas con enfermedades respiratorias tales como el asma, deben evitar todos los esfuerzos excesivos al aire libre; las demás personas, especialmente los niños, deben limitar los esfuerzos físicos excesivos al aire libre.
    300+Arriesgado

    Para saber más sobre la calidad del aire y la contaminación, comprobar la tema Calidad wikipedia Air o Guía airnow a la calidad del aire y su salud .

    Para obtener consejos de salud muy útiles de Beijing doctor Richard Saint Cyr MD, compruebe www.myhealthbeijing.com blog.


    Usage Notice: All the Air Quality data are unvalidated at the time of publication, and due to quality assurance these data may be amended, without notice, at any time. The World Air Quality Index project has exercised all reasonable skill and care in compiling the contents of this information and under no circumstances will the World Air Quality Index project team or its agents be liable in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss, injury or damage arising directly or indirectly from the supply of this data.



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