From my friend, Marilyn Bardet, September 12, 2020
Hello dear Friends and Family,
By now I’m sure that each of you has your routine, mask-wearing habit down for social distancing and for simply breathing outside in our smoky air.
But, do you like your mask?
Is it protective against Covid AND smoke (deadly PM2.5 — invisible particulate matter at 2.5 microns that sticks in your lung tissue and sends its toxic gases into your bloodstream)? The invisible particles carry more than dead trees into your lungs, but also the chemicals found in everything combusted in these gross fires: burned out houses, cars, electrical infrastructure, facilities of all kinds. . .
So, your mask needs to be protective for both Covid AND PM2.5.
But, from the evidence I see when I’m out, many people still don’t know that a cloth or paper mask for Covid will not protect against PM2.5. Children, the elderly, and persons with chronic respiratory disease (asthma, COPD, bronchitis) are particularly vulnerable to the risks of exposures to PM2.5. Please tell your friends and family who may not yet know about this.
So, given the amount of smoke and the number of days and weeks we’re facing in Fire Season this year, I’ve done some research and tried out a few types of masks that protect against both Covid and PM2.5.
My criteria: mask must be well designed, fit tight but feel comfortable and breathable for extended use. I do not want to buy disposable “throw-away” type that must be discarded after one day’s use. (This doesn’t apply to medical professionals!!)
So, the reusable/disposable ones I’m recommending are called KN95 masks. Different companies make them. I like the type that has a metal nose piece hidden inside the fabric. These non-cloth masks fit snuggly around the face, are light weight and breathable. They can be reused, but are not washable.
ANOTHER TYPE I HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
The GMASK-Graphen Breathing Mask that’s made of a specially patented light weight material (called Graphene), which according to the manufacturer is the strongest, most durable flexible material ever made.
It’s very comfortable to wear, breathable, hand washable, has a pocket inside to put replaceable PM2.5 filters. You can order it at Amazon, in black or grey.
Modern Domus Graphene Face Mask Washable with Filters – Reusable Mask with 5x PM2.5 Carbon Filters (1 Mask + 5 Filters) – Protective Anti Pollution Dust Proof Cotton Mouth Cover (Large, Gray) – – Amazon.com
If you don’t know about “Purple Air” yet, check out <purpleair.com/map> often during the day to get a report on PM2.5 levels in your town….
Well, enjoy the bit of sun peeking through the ashy haze.
Take good care of yourselves, stay safe indoors when the air quality is so poor.