Do Pollution Masks Really Work?

When a billion people in China (and quite a few expats) woke up to the severe air pollution in almost every city in China, it forced a billion people to become experts in a complicated scientific question: Do masks work? Since then, I’ve given talks with hundreds of people all around … Read more

Surgical Mask Francis Totobobo

NPR Got These Facts About Masks Wrong

As wildfires were raging across the American West this summer, NPR ran a story on pollution masks people can use to protect themselves from all that air pollution. As a non-expert nerd who has dedicated years to understanding how to live under Beijing’s particulate cloud, I was eager to see … Read more

How Long Do Air Pollution Masks Last?

There’s good data showing that masks (including surgical masks) really can stop pollution and even have demonstrated physiological benefits. Masks work. But one place data is lacking is for air pollution mask lifespan. Just how long do air pollution masks really last?     Really Just One Day?   I frequently … Read more

How Much Pollution Do We Breathe Every Day?

How much pollution do we actually breathe in every day? Are masks or air purifiers more benefiting to our health? Do we really need both? The answer to this comes down to how and where we are spending most of our time every day.  There are two possible theories: masks might … Read more

Shanghai Technical Inspection Bureau Mask Tests

It’s tough to get good mask data on a wide range of consumer masks. I’ve posted some of my own test data and test data from Dr. Saint Cyr. But another great source of even more mask tests comes from the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision. I’ve linked to … Read more

3m mask fit

How to Do a Mask Fit Test at Home: Poor Man’s Fit Test

Since mask fit-test machines cost $10,000, many people need a simpler, practical way to check that their mask is sealing properly on their face. This simple four-step “poor man’s fit test” will help people check the fit of their mask and find leaks. I was fortunate enough to visit 3M’s … Read more

Smart Air is a social enterprise that creates simple, no-nonsense air purifiers and provides free education to protect people’s health from the effects of air pollution. We are proud to be the only certified B-Corp dedicated to fighting air pollution.