Pollution mask, worth it?

by nickpeters   October 8, 2011  

I ride 25 miles daily from Bracknell to Staines and watching the fumes belch out of larger vehicles is starting to concern me. Are pollution masks worth the money? If so what the best one to get? I don't want anything too restrictive so I turn into a dribbling mess but some protection would be nice. Any review pages or comments welcome! How do I know my size?

6 user comments

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I'll admit that I don't know enough about it really, but isn't there the argument that you inhale more bad stuff whilst sat in a car?

You could always wear a buff as a facemask, whether that would actually do anything I don't know.

Chutzpah's picture

posted by Chutzpah [67 posts]
8th October 2011 - 11:46

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I live in London and bought one a while back for my commute. After using it a couple of times, I just stopped wearing it. I found mine difficult to breathe through, you get very hot and sweaty around the strapping and I wondered whether I was actually breathing through the mask or inhaling air from around the sides. Personally, my view is they're not very good but the only way you'll find out is from personal experience.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
8th October 2011 - 14:31

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Not sure on all the pros and cons myself. The real danger appears to be when traffic is stationary. If you sit back a bit from the vehicle in front and use your primary position so you are not directly behind the exhaust is one of the recommendations. With a mask you need to ensure you keep changing the filter otherwise it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

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posted by giff77 [884 posts]
8th October 2011 - 14:51

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I'm not sure a mask would help avoid you inhaling contaminated air. it would merely restrict airflow, though it might trap some diesel particulates. You could try a cheap paper mask fom building supplies to begin with.

Are there any alternative routes with less pollution? As was previously pointed out, I believe the worst is standing / slow moving traffic rather that when it's travelling faster.

From what I've read any possible harm is more than offset by the benefit to your health of cycling.

Some more material:


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posted by Simon E [1715 posts]
8th October 2011 - 17:05

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I wouldn't bother, like the above says it restricts your airflow. You didnt see the pros in Tour of Beijing (despite shocking air quality) wearing masks at the TT. Its never that bad in UK although I do find myself holding breath if stuck behind a dirty diesel bus.

posted by mypeloton [5 posts]
8th October 2011 - 19:58

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Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated. Seems the hassle out weighs the benefits. Ride safe all.


posted by nickpeters [44 posts]
9th October 2011 - 20:02

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