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Mask for pollution

Old 01-28-23, 11:56 PM
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urbanescapee
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Mask for pollution

Iíve got a new job in a heavy industrial area of Salt Lake City. Cycling to work is an essential part of my excercise routine. Though Iím finding, through biking into this part of the city, that the air is exceptionally dirty. Even when we arenít dealing with inversions, the air at the ground level in the industrial area is full of road dust which has god knows what in it.

So Iím looking into solutions for cleaning up the air Iím breathing. Iím gonna get a filter for my desk, but I need something for the ride to/from work. I have N95ís but I have a hard time breathing through those when Iím just doing low cardio work around the house. I canít imagine trying to bike with an N95 on.

Iíve come across the Respro brand. That seems like the big player in the mask-for-athletic-use space. Does anyone have experience with these or any other masks? Iím trying to avoid spending $50 on a respro mask if theyíre basically the same flow rate of any other construction type N95. The stuff Iím trying to protect against is pretty nasty and Iím already a mild asthma case, so Iím not okay with just a cloth buff or a bandana. I need a high-flow solution that actually removes fine particles. Please share your saga on finding a suitable with mask for biking in heavy pollution! Bonus points if said solution works well with glasses.

Thanks!

Last edited by urbanescapee; 01-29-23 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 01-29-23, 01:01 AM
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I have pulmonary problems so I have a box full of masks that work and don't. The mask I wear for street dust is the Fightech. It has a large face and allows for more air in front of my mouth and nose. I sewed up my own filters out of thick ShamWow material by using the disposable filters as a template. I remove the filter and wash out all the snot and dirt that gets deposited during my rides. The ShamWow dries fast and can even be used wet.



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Old 01-29-23, 08:18 AM
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There are a decent number of options out there targeting athletes. Cambridge Mask Co., Craft Cadence, Supa Labs came up after a search. This is a more commonplace concern in Europe these days, where there are more diesel cars and geography has made smog pretty bad. It's also part of the reason you see a lot of those eBike commuter helmets with the flip down visors - to keep pollution out of your eyes. I don't have much experience with the masks myself but can sympathize.
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Old 01-30-23, 05:27 AM
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I use to work in a industrial part of Denver. I couldn't find anything decent to keep me from breathing in all the junk. I resoled in using a double mask. Ok, not great but it work.
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Old 01-30-23, 12:18 PM
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the only thing I was ever able to ride with during the worst covid times was a pull up neck sleeve type mask. it was helpful on dusty roads so it might help you. but chemicals/gasses in the air, are much finer than that thing was filtering
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Old 01-30-23, 02:28 PM
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A year or two pre covid here in California there was a fire at the same time as an unusual wind that blew it into San Francisco. The techies all discovered N95 masks at the same time and wiped out the country supply for the year. The version for industrial, not medical is 3m 8511 as it is filtered in but not out and so it flows better and doesn't get full of moisture as fast. I have some for occasional use in fire season, as here in the central valley we get the smoke of whatever catches fire in the coastal range, and from the Sierras on days when the wind shifts and the fire slows down. (unpleasant irony that when the normal wind from the west keeps the smoke moving east away from us, it's stoking the fire) As long as you are using it for smoke and not sanitation they are good for a few rides. I have not looked for anything reusable or washable.

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Old 01-30-23, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanescapee View Post
Iíve got a new job in a heavy industrial area of Salt Lake City. Cycling to work is an essential part of my excercise routine. Though Iím finding, through biking into this part of the city, that the air is exceptionally dirty. Even when we arenít dealing with inversions, the air at the ground level in the industrial area is full of road dust which has god knows what in it.

So Iím looking into solutions for cleaning up the air Iím breathing. Iím gonna get a filter for my desk, but I need something for the ride to/from work. I have N95ís but I have a hard time breathing through those when Iím just doing low cardio work around the house. I canít imagine trying to bike with an N95 on.

Iíve come across the Respro brand. That seems like the big player in the mask-for-athletic-use space. Does anyone have experience with these or any other masks? Iím trying to avoid spending $50 on a respro mask if theyíre basically the same flow rate of any other construction type N95. The stuff Iím trying to protect against is pretty nasty and Iím already a mild asthma case, so Iím not okay with just a cloth buff or a bandana. I need a high-flow solution that actually removes fine particles. Please share your saga on finding a suitable with mask for biking in heavy pollution! Bonus points if said solution works well with glasses.

Thanks!
That ( bolded ) seems to imply a larger filtration surface area is needed. If airborne particles are the problem, this sounds similar to what welders, boilermakers, etc. have to deal with when welding galvanised steel, grinding, etc. The 3M ( and similar ) type masks shown in the photo use twin filters to help achieve greater surface area. Also the type of filters shown are specifically made for particles ( not solvent vapours, etc. ). There are several filter types available, depending on the particles. More info. on respiratory protection on 3M's web-site.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/c/ppe/...ry-protection/

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Old 01-30-23, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by redshift1 View Post
That ( bolded ) seems to imply a larger filtration surface area is needed. If airborne particles are the problem, this sounds similar to what welders, boilermakers, etc. have to deal with when welding galvanised steel, grinding, etc. The 3M ( and similar ) type masks shown in the photo use twin filters to help achieve greater surface area. Also the type of filters shown are specifically made for particles ( not solvent vapours, etc. ). There are several filter types available, depending on the particles. More info. on respiratory protection on 3M's web-site.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/c/ppe/...ry-protection/

That looks like a great start. 3M also offers vapor filter replacements in case particle only doesn't fully cut it for you.

I used the older, heavier versions of this for years building boats. Yes, more than I want to wear riding but I got to breath better air inside fiberglass molds than out in the parking lot after the job on poor air quality days. (Alameda CA, early '80s)
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Old 01-30-23, 03:39 PM
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the problem is any filter good enough to remove anything but dust is going to put a strain on your breathing through it and exercising.
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