Many of the cyclists, who are forced to travel around the city often and much, are very much affected by the exhaust gases from the surrounding vehicles. It was for them that special Masks Against Dust were invented to protect the respiratory tract. How effective are they? Let's try to figure it out.
What do we breathe and why are traffic jams the most “dirty”?Cycling is one of the fastest ways to get around traffic jams. But just imagine how “clean” the air that the lungs are eating at that moment! Not everyone succeeds in catering to suburban traffic jams, but in large cities, especially at rush hour, the length of traffic jams can reach several tens of kilometers. And all the "smoke" participants - cars and trucks, buses and "minibuses" release carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide and PM10s - the smallest particles of smoke. Unfortunately, all the time that we, the cyclists, are nearby, we have to breathe this, there is no escape from this. And athletes and dodgers who cut the avenues at racing speed inhale twice as much exhaust fumes.
Inhalation of contaminants reduces pulmonary function and poisons the airways, which leads to chest pain, and also increases the risk of asthma. It was even suggested that time spent in traffic jams could trigger a heart attack. However, it should be understood that pollution is only a complement to problems that can be avoided with regular exercise.
After reading, many may wonder: why traffic jams? After all, 24 hours drive cars on the road no less dense stream. The fact is that, having gained a certain speed, the car releases less smoke; most of the gasoline is spent on starting off and braking - manipulations that continuously take place in a traffic jam. Therefore, health damage is caused slightly more than with uniform movement.
Motorists themselves, public transport drivers and pedestrians are also doomed to breathe chemistry, but their body doesn’t work in sports mode when traveling, as we do for environmental transport lovers. The problem is aggravated by the fact that not everyone is breathing correctly: some are accustomed, while driving on the road, as in their training, to breathe with their mouth and not their nose, which is fundamentally wrong! Indeed, in the nose there are hairs that work as a kind of filter and are able to retain a certain amount of dust and other small harmful particles. If in the gym floors are washed with soap every day, despite the students ’removable shoes, and in the park the air is clean by definition, and in these places it is still permissible to breathe through the mouth, then all the flying dust (which is not scheduled to rain, and then temporarily) with an open mouth you have to eat, almost in the literal sense of the word.
Sore throat and cough
People who have been in dusty areas of the city all day describe their health as unfavorable with the following symptoms: sore throat, cough, chest pain, and watery eyes. A fairly popular solution among people who are worried about problems with the airways and the consequences of pollution is bicycle masks against pollution, in particular those that are sold in our store. They are of different colors and have several ways to fasten.
Less than the width of one hair
However, masks cannot filter out very small particles — PM10s, for example, 10 microns in diameter — are smaller than the width of a single human hair. And not only this - the mask should be very dense to prevent many tiny particles from entering the lungs.
They cannot be completely eliminated because of their multiplicity and size. As it was said in one of the programs about viruses: “microbes can walk through protective masks in ranks.” Here is a similar situation.
Another drawback of masks is that they can also be stuffy in them. Plus, after coming to work and removing the mask, a characteristic mark will remain for a while.
If for some reason you cannot afford a mask, then an alternative to avoiding contamination is to choose routes with less dense cork traffic.
Whether or not to take a mask is up to you. Yes, she will not fully protect, but if you need to spend the whole day in a dusty area, then it is better to be patient, even if you have to feel like a famous anti-hero in a mask, but the evening will be calm, without headaches and throat pains.