It's all about the Ort.
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Western Queens
Bikes: Centurion Trac; Carnielli; Ross Mt Hood; TREK 5200.
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The problem with pollution is that it is not always particulate matter, therefore, it would depend on the type of respirator that you're thinking about. Some of the gaseous tailpipe emissions can't be filtered with a mask. Having worked in a scene shop and used a dust filter/organic vapour cartridge combo, I know that I would not be able to ride in one, the resistance is too heavy. Maintaining a tight seal around the edge of the mask is also important, probably a bit difficult on a bike.
On that cheery note, I take a different approach to pollution. I try to breath only through my nose [not always possible], the mucous will trap some of the particulate matter before it hits your lungs and use a nasal wash after riding in heavy traffic. Anti-oxidants are reported to help also.