The air quality is tanking in winter

Morgan McKinley December 13, 2013 2 mins read

As China is at the on-set of undergoing a structural change in its economic fundamentals, the government is increasingly targeting environment wellness as one of its top priorities. About a third of air quality-related fatality in the world happens in China.

Traditionally, winter is the worst season in air quality standard. PM 2.5 parameter has become a benchmark of air quality standard in China. Disposable masks are the most effective ways to block out pollutant particles in the air. Here are my takes on selecting suitable face masks on a high-pollution day.

Effectiveness should be the top consideration in selecting a suitable mask. European, US and Chinese are three common standards for face masks. Top grade masks can filter out 90%, 95%, or 100% of particles in the air. Highest grade of masks should be selected for heavy pollution winter season.

Since masks are generally worn outdoor, the straps and mask body should be comfortably mounted onto the mouth area. Some imported masks from the US or Europe may not fit comfortably with Asian faces. Therefore, it is best to select a mask fitting Asian faces for maximum protection. Masks also come in various styles, from plain & simple ones for the practical types to futuristic-looking masks for the daring types.

Should you buy disposable or re-usable ones? It all comes down to how often you use your mask. Brand name masks, such as 3M, generally cost 5-30rmb each, with some premium multi-functional ones go as high as 100rmb. If fashion is a minor concern in face-mask wearing, buying disposable ones in the range of 5-10rmb should be sufficient to endure hazy winter in China.

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