Do Pollution Masks Really Work?

ओह! यह पोस्ट हिन्दी में उपलब्ध नही हैं।अंग्रेजी संस्करण के हेतु यहाँ क्लिक करे l


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Hey Thomas & team,

Richard Saint Cyr says, “The other major issue here is fit: even a small amount of air leaking around the corners makes any mask basically worthless.”

It sounds like you disagree, and you’re saying that even with small air leaks, a good mask is still probably cutting out a decent amount (say 50%) of pollution. Is that right?


Thanks for the awesome blog, pls keep writing


Thank you so much for such thorough investigation! I have been using a 3M 9211 as I am cycling around Los Angeles for more than a year and I can definitely say that they are effective. I have two questions that I can not find the answer anywhere! How often is recommended to change the mask? Also, although I can not smell car exhaustions (vs not wearing it) I can definitely smell tobacco (or weed, it’s LA you see) when I am stopped at the traffic light and a pedestrian passes by smoking. The smell is clean so does that… Read more »


I started wearing a 3M 7502 (7500 Series) respirator. I have two pratical options available plus a super safe one.
1) with the 2097 filter (P100 filter class plus carbon). Advantage: filter class highest. Or
2) the 6001 CN (carbon filter) plus the 5N11 CN (N95 filter class). Advantage: easier to breathe and huge carbon filter.
3) There’s also the possibility to combine the 6001 with the 2097 but its quite heavy and hard to breathe. Advantage highest particulate filter class plus big carbon filter. Disadvantage: no sports, e.g. riding bike, comfortably possible.

What do you think about that?


It does seem likely that particles in masks will work their way loose under suction at some point and be inhaled. What would prevent this? Is there gluey stuff in the masks? Does the testing you speak of test this?

In fact, the instructions for my surgical mask say to wear the mask once only, suggesting another issue.