In my last post, I gave some tips on how to practically beautify your mask use, but I never explained exactly what it was, or how helpful it was, or what my experiences have been with it! I think that is a huge omission on my part. 🙂
Anti-Pollution masks were originally created largely for runners or cyclists in cities. The idea was that the athletes could still do the sport they loved, and breath hard, without breathing all the car fumes and pollution that come with living in a city. Now, while I have doubts on their success for that purpose (which I’ll explain later) they fit a different, unintended purpose very well: protecting those of us who are so extremely sensitive from chemicals and mold toxins.
There are many variations of masks, the one that I have found works best, and is the most ‘comfortable’ is this one:
I got mine in medium, which has worked well for my size. I tried a small, it was WAY too small. Hmm, let me see if I have a picture of that one, it is worth seeing, it was definitely not how it is supposed to fit. Even then, it did do it’s job, however it gave me a horrible headache:
The best filter I have found are the charcoal ones. Anyway, I have found masks to be extremely helpful and more effective than I expected them to be. Now while I would still get out of a known moldy building as fast as possible, it allows me to go on errands and be around either chemical of moldy people without a problem… well, without a reaction anyway. Sometimes it can get annoying to try to shout through the mask. And the lack of ability to display facial expressions can lead to communication trials :D… the only tip I have got there is to use your eyebrows- A LOT. Or verbally tell them that you are smiling. The only thing that masks don’t keep out that I have come across is smoke from either people’s cigarettes, from burnt food, or from fires. Smoke, that is and food smells… which can be tantalizing!
Now, while masks keep you from breathing things in, make sure to keep in mind that your eyes are still a major place where your body takes things in from the air. I have been known to wear both sunglasses and my mask in clothing stores. It looks a bit strange, I am sure, but it is worth avoiding the likely reaction otherwise.
Alright, so what did I mean about masks not being great for running? Well, they are hard to breath hard through. Hiking, running, exercising in any way may be difficult because of the work it takes to get air at that rate through the mask- be warned!:) Otherwise I have had no problem with it.
Another thing is that you don’t have to go with black like i did, they come in skin tones, or bright pink, or blue, or red… I’m just a Star Wars fan. 😉
Taking Care of it:
- It’s necessary to change out the filter every once in a while, which is a pretty easy task. Here’s a good tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2XIXeCVmVw
- When you are not wearing it, set somewhere in a position that it can air out in. Your breath is wetter than you know… and then if you add a snotty nose or some crying- eww!
The official Respro company has a YouTube tutorial, and their instructions there and on your mask package will tell you to wear it under your hair around your neck. I think you should definitely watch it, however I have found that a different way of wearing it works better for me. The tutorial suggests that you wear it around your neck, under your hair. Well, if you have enough hair please wear it with the velcro strap up over a bun- it works so much better and is way more comfortable. Most of all, it ensures that it is snug around your chin… important: no air should be getting in or out of the masks except through the two circular valves. If you don’t have enough hair, I’ve been told that you’ll just have to awkwardly hold your chin out. 😦 Good luck with that. If you have a better way, feel free to comment below!
Note: It is necessary to wear these specific masks… cloth or construction masks won’t cut it!