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virus-4835301_1920CORONAVIRUS: A NEW VIRUS FROM CHINA  Viral infection is transmitted in two major ways: 1. By airborne transmission.  2. By coming into physical contact with viral material and self administering the virus by hand to mouth or nose actions.

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Key Points to a Mask
The single most important point: For a mask to work properly, it has to seal the area of nose and mouth from the external environment.


Change a filter

Cleaning your Respro® Filter The filter material may be washed, but ordinarily we recommend ‘hand washing’.
Cleaning and Replacement of Respro® Filters

Posted in Air Quality

REVIEW: Respro® Ultralight™ Mask: Best cycle mask for hot conditions

respro_ultralight_best_bike_mask

Respro® is the world leader in bike pollution mask sales, and while its masks might look a little sinister, their N99-rated filtering technology certainly does the job. The Ultralight is our favourite from Respro’s range: its mesh-like stretchy fabric keeps you cool when it’s hot and humid, and a double-valve filter makes it easy to breathe, even when you’re pedalling hard to get to the office on time. The Hepa Sport 2.5 PM filters on the Respro® Ultralight are replaceable, and you can buy specialised filters designed to reduce allergic reactions or eliminate bad smells.

by expertReviews

Posted in Air Quality, Cycling, Respro® Mask Reviews, Respro® Products | Tagged , ,

‘Godzilla dust cloud’ from Sahara blankets Caribbean on its way to US

Air quality sinks to hazardous levels as biggest cloud seen in a generation swamps region after transatlantic journey

A vast cloud of Sahara dust is blanketing the Caribbean as it heads to the US with a size and concentration that experts say hasn’t been seen in half a century.

Air quality across most of the region reached record “hazardous” levels and experts who nicknamed the event the “Godzilla dust cloud” warned people to stay indoors and use air filters if they had them.

“This is the most significant event in the past 50 years,” said Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist at the University of Puerto Rico. “Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands.”

Many health specialists were concerned about those battling respiratory symptoms tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Lázaro, who is working with Nasa to develop an alert system for the arrival of Sahara dust, said the concentration was so high in recent days that it could even have adverse effects on healthy people.

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Extremely hazy conditions and limited visibility were reported from Antigua down to Trinidad & Tobago, with the event expected to last until late Tuesday. Some people posted pictures of themselves on social media wearing double masks to ward off the coronavirus and the dust, while others joked that the Caribbean looked like it had received a yellow filter movie treatment.

José Alamo, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said the worst days for the US territory would be Monday and Tuesday as the plume heads toward the US south-east coast. The main international airport in San Juan was reporting only 8km (5 miles) of visibility.

The mass of extremely dry and dusty air is known as the Saharan Air Layer and forms over the Sahara desert. It moves across the North Atlantic every three to five days during the northern hemisphere’s late spring to early autumn, peaking in late June to mid-August, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The layer can be 3km thick, the agency said.

via ‘Godzilla dust cloud’ from Sahara blankets Caribbean on its way to US | World news | The Guardian

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Cleaner air during UK lockdown relieves asthma for millions

People with asthma and other lung conditions report decrease in symptoms, finds survey

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Two million people in the UK with respiratory conditions such as asthma have experienced reduced symptoms during the coronavirus lockdown, according to the British Lung Foundation.

A survey by the charity of 14,000 people with lung conditions found one in six had noticed improvements in their health. Among children, the figure was higher, with one in five parents saying their child’s condition had been alleviated. Asthma sufferers in particular reported benefits, with one in four noting relief.

There is a well-established link between air pollution and lung disease. Of the 12 million people in the UK who live with conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, about 8 million have been diagnosed with asthma, of which 5.4 million are receiving treatment.

The number of visits to hospital emergency departments for asthma in England have also fallen by half during lockdown, according to Public Health England data. But it is unclear how much of the decrease is due to a reduction in symptoms or people’s reluctance to visit hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zak Bond, of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Now, more than ever before, we have all become aware of how important it is to look after our lungs, and the government has a duty to ensure that as the country recovers from Covid-19, we can continue to keep air pollution levels down and keep pushing them lower.”

There is growing evidence from around the world linking increased Covid-19 infections and deaths to air pollution exposure. On Friday, a cross-party group of MPs said air pollution must be kept at low levels to help avoid a second peak of infections.

Bond called for the rapid introduction of clean air zones in cities, where charges deter the use of the most polluting vehicles. But these have been delayed in cities such as Manchester, with officials citing the need to focus on the coronavirus response.

Bond said more support was needed for public transport, cycling and walking, and tougher air quality laws: “We want to see the government commit to reaching the World Health Organization’s guidelines for fine particulate matter by 2030 at the latest.”

Each year, air pollution leads to tens of thousands of early deaths in the UK. More than a third of local authorities in England have levels of fine particle pollution above the WHO’s limit. Nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant produced largely by diesel vehicles, is at illegal levels in 80% of urban areas.

Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council clinical professor of immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, said: “As one of the biggest health problems of our time, air pollution has the potential to harm everyone. It is so important we take this opportunity to recognise the lived experiences of people with lung conditions and apply what we have learned from the impact of lockdown to build a future where we prioritise clean air.”

The lockdown led to traffic falling to 1955 levels while both fine particle and NO2 pollution fell by up to half in cities. The British Lung Foundation survey found that more than 50% of people with lung conditions said they had noticed a decrease in air pollution since the start of lockdown.

One asthma sufferer, Paul, 14 from Liverpool, has often found it difficult to breathe, but has had to use his reliever inhaler a lot less during lockdown. “You can really feel the difference now,” he said. “I walk out, and I’m hit with clean air which is like a utopia compared to before.”

Dr Alison Cook, the chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, a coalition of 30 organisations, said: “Children deserve to breathe cleaner air and to grow up in a country where their health is not put at risk by going outside.”

via Cleaner air during UK lockdown relieves asthma for millions | Environment | The Guardian

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Masks are too dangerous for children under two, Japanese experts warn

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Wearing masks has become increasingly common during the coronavirus pandemic, but they should not be used by children under the age of two, according to the Japan Pediatric Association.

Japan’s coronavirus guidelines encourage people to wear masks but the medical body warned parents not to put them on infants because it makes it difficult to notice changes in face color, expression and breathing, it said in a leaflet.

“It is possible that masks make it difficult for infants to breathe and increase the risks of heat stroke,” reads the leaflet.

Infants have narrower airways and masks can make it more difficult to breathe, increasing the burden on their lungs, it continues.

There is also an increased risk of suffocation, particularly if small children vomit behind a mask.

Infants are relatively low risk for coronavirus infections and the association concludes that masks are not necessary for infants under two years old.

On Monday Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the country’s nationwide state of emergency. It had been in place almost a month but authorities lifted it a week earlier than originally planned.

However, Abe expanded a travel ban to 111 countries effective Wednesday, now including the United States, India, and South Africa.

The ban list expanded by 11 countries this week and forbids foreign nationals who stayed in those countries from entering Japan.

Japanese citizens are still allowed to enter the country, although they will need to go through medical tests and self-quarantine for 14 days.

Japan now has a total of 16,581 confirmed cases and 830 deaths linked to the coronavirus, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University.

via Masks are too dangerous for children under two, Japanese experts warn

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China sees post-lockdown rise in air pollution: study

China’s levels of some air pollutants have risen back to above last year’s levels after dropping when the government imposed strict lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study published on Monday.

The rebound was likely due to industrial activity, the researchers said, adding there were concerns that after months of unusually low pollution levels, a drive to kickstart economic activity was causing emissions to spike.

“There are early warning signs that China’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is reversing air quality gains,” the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), which produced the study, said.

Average levels of some air pollutants in China dropped in February to significantly below levels for the same period in 2019, as lockdown measures shuttered factories, curbed electricity demand and slashed transport use as swathes of the population stayed home.

But average levels of some pollutants have since rebounded, and were higher in the 30 days ended 8 May compared with the same period in 2019, CREA said in its analysis of data from 1,500 air quality monitoring stations in China.

This was true of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and fine particulate matter, suggesting a rebound in industrial activity drove the trend, CREA said.

Regions with factory clusters reported bigger increases in nitrogen dioxide emissions. Densely populated urban areas – where emissions of the gas are mostly from vehicles, rather than factories or power plants – showed smaller increases.

After months of lockdowns, China is reopening its economy as the outbreak comes under control, although some cities – such as Shulan, in the north east – have reimposed lockdown measures after reporting clusters of new coronavirus infections.

Overall passenger transport use in China remains lower year-on-year, but CREA said concerns about catching the coronavirus had led people to choose private cars over public transport as lockdowns eased, contributing to the rise in air pollution.

In Europe, cities including London, Milan and Brussels have expanded cycle lanes to encourage people to choose bikes over cars as containment measures start to lift.

But many emissions-intensive sectors are desperate to return to work. Public health campaigners said the China study showed governments would need to take tougher measures to clean up industries, to avoid a sustained surge in health-damaging air pollution.

“There is no reason to think that going back to normal would not have the same consequences – namely, pre-crisis pollution levels,” Zoltan Massay-Kosubek, policy manager for clean air at the non-profit European Public Health Alliance, said of easing lockdowns in Europe.

“The question is what will be the new normal.”Screenshot 2020-05-18 at 16.07.22

via China sees post-lockdown rise in air pollution: study – Reuters

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I’ve been wearing a mask since 2018. Here’s what I learned.

The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted face masks into the mainstream consciousness. For the first time, many are confronting the same questions I faced about fashion, protection, and public space.

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I started wearing a mask in the fall of 2018 to protect my lungs from pollution and traffic exhaust. I moved to a new neighborhood, commuting by bicycle from my home in an industrial area to work in the center of the city. My route took me through dusty construction sites, under highways, and through city streets, congested with traffic.

This new route was way more intense than my old commute, so for comfort and safety, I amped up my gear. I swapped street clothes for a full cycling kit: padded bib shorts, long sleeve UPF top, and tall socks to protect my ankles. I’ve always worn a helmet, but I added shatterproof glasses to protect my eyes from the rocks, glass, and trash that pummeled my face as I rode through gravel-strewn intersections between city buses and garbage trucks.

With the new gear, I protected my outer bod, but my lungs felt it. I developed a cough, a persistent sore throat, and a hoarse, scratchy Kathleen Turner voice which, to be honest, felt kind of sexy but also alarming. When my raw throat improved on weekends and vacations, it was clear the commute caused tangible damage to my body.

Beyond my anecdotal experience, the data is convincing and scary: traffic fumes can trigger heart attacks. High levels of pollution, including exposure to the pollutant particles and nitrogen dioxide in traffic, can increase the risk of suffering a heart attack for up to six hours after exposure. And there I was, day in and day out, sucking down truck exhaust on my “healthy” bike commute.

I also learned there are masks designed to combat this problem, but remained skeptical: Were they effective? Was I overreacting? Was I confident enough to be the weirdo with the mask? On the one hand, wearing a mask fits my style, particularly my affinity for techwear — a subculture interested in the practical application of technology to meet environmental conditions through garment design. Some of techwear’s major influences are mask-appropriate environments: dystopian speculative fiction like the future dust bowls of Dune, Interstellar, and Mad Max, and the cyberpunk worlds of Syd Mead. There are factions within techwear, and while my style leans futuristic and minimal, I value material performance and design utility over #Techwear, which heavily emphasizes the aesthetic over everything else. It’s a slippery slope from technical apparel for the discerning urban citizen to the “all straps, no substance” Scarlxrd cosplay look. I worried a mask was a step over that line.

In the end, my concern for my health won out over my style snootery. There is limited but promising data about the effectiveness of masks to filter pollution, so I was willing to try. And I looked like a dork on my bike anyway. Padded butt shorts? Yes please! As long as I knew in my heart I wasn’t cosplaying as Melina from Mortal Kombat, I didn’t care. I wanted to get to work without feeling like I’d been vaping pop rocks.

What mask did I choose?

There are different masks available with varying degrees of protection, durability, and purposeful design. After evaluating my options, I landed on the Respro Sportsa because of the interchangeable, replaceable filters and positive reviews of the mask’s comfort for high-intensity activities like cycling. I liked that it’s washable, straps behind my head instead of hooking my ears, and has an adjustable nose piece for a good fit on my lady face. And it comes in black. Also I trust the filters: Respro City filters are charcoal and polypropylene, designed to screen out the chemical pollutant particles resulting from vehicle combustion. TL;DR: it keeps exhaust out of my precious lungs.

What did I learn?

Anecdotally, the mask makes a difference. After two years of consistent wear, I no longer get sore throats and coughing fits when cycling through city traffic. Worn with sunglasses, the mask covers most of my face, so I don’t worry as much about sunscreen mixing with sweat and stinging like hell in my eyes. In the winter, the mask keeps my face toasty and protects it from the wind. I also haven’t swallowed a bug since 2018, which counts for a lot.

As a masked person, I get a lot of attention, though I imagine that will change now. Frequently, I get stopped by a curious driver, a fellow cyclist, or a stranger on the corner. In varying degrees of politeness, they want to know “what the heck is on my face.” Because of the din of traffic, I often have to pull down my mask to explain what I’m wearing and why. They assume it simulates high altitude training (it doesn’t), and lose interest when I say it’s for traffic fumes. Apparently, pollution is boring. In the past, when I’ve ignored these questions, I usually regret it; I don’t love being called a bitch twice a day.

Paradoxically, while the mask draws attention, it also makes me anonymous. Riding through a city street full of angry, texting drivers behind the wheel of 5000 lb missiles, plus the risky business of being a woman in public — a double whammy of vulnerability experienced during cycling while female. Women cyclists report high rates of harassment like grabbing and catcalling, and there’s evidence to support that drivers are more reckless around female cyclists. A mask obscuring my face makes me less obviously female and so a less obvious target for harassment and negligent driving. There are still incidents (see: getting called a bitch for ignoring strangers), but after I started commuting masked, I notice fewer attempts to grab and catcall.

This anonymity makes me feel powerful. It is, in fact, a kind of cosplay: gearing up as a confident, skilled cyclist who can handle whatever the city throws at me. And at this point, it’s part of my kit and routine. On the rare occasions when I ride without the mask, I feel naked.

In these weird times, it’s impossible to predict if we’ll reach for masks along with our keys, wallet, and cellphone when heading out the door. Racism is a problem. There’s hate aimed at Asian-Americans who first wore surgical masks during the COVID-19 outbreak, and people of color often cannot safely wear masks in public. There’s also mask production: clothes have to look good but masks have to work. What are the risks when consumer-grade masks are produced by clothing companies? When brands accustomed to making goods quickly and at the lowest possible price are suddenly responsible for producing items that could mean the difference between life and death? Can fast fashion pull this off? Do we want them to? And would we trust them if they claimed they did? The techwear community typically asks these questions — what matters most? How a garment performs? How it’s made? How it looks?

I am excited by the swift adoption of protective masks. I am hopeful that progressive brands, independent makers, and motivated individuals will take on this new challenge with thoughtful enthusiasm and innovation.

Masks might someday be as ordinary as seatbelts and as stylish as sunglasses. It’s not hard to imagine telling my grandchildren about before we wore masks, the way my mom recounts her childhood sunburns in the years before sunscreen was a thing. It seems like we’re at a turning point in history, where masks are no longer an edgy accessory of an imagined cyberpunk future but a necessary tool for our uncertain reality. Either way, I’m wearing mine.

via medium.com/@ghostlux/ive-been-wearing-a-mask-since-2018-here-s-what-i-learned-6a21d9508e24

Posted in Air Quality, Respro® Mask Reviews, Respro® Products | Tagged , | 3 Comments

CLEANING AND REPLACEMENT OF RESPRO® FILTERS

Filter lifespan:


A Hepa-Type filter (Cinqro™ Sports Filter, Allergy™ Particle Filter, Sports filter) is replaced based on discolouration. The particulates that are retained will increase the inhalation resistance. If the inhalation resistance is not bothering you then no need to replace the filter but to maintain the hygiene practice to keep the filter hygienically clean.


A Combination filter (Cinqro™ Urban Filter, Techno™ Filter, Allergy™ Chemical Particle Filter) is replaced based on the characteristics of the active urban cyclist. If you are using the mask for another activity it still applies, but your breathing rate and activity would put the lifespan of the filter at a proportionally shorter or longer time. If your breathing rate is say half that of a cyclist, then the effectiveness of the filter would be twice as long. For cycle commuting on a daily basis we recommend that the filter should be replaced every month or every 69 hours, whichever is sooner.
Please see the following video tutorial on how to replace a filter in your Respro® Mask. The filters are replaced and not added to the fitted filter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2XIXeCVmVw.


Hygiene:
One aspect that does need consideration if you are using the mask regularly for a long period of time is the hygiene aspect.


Quick Cleaning process: We now have added a water based Sanitiser to our range, it is non Toxic, kills 99.9% of all common germs and bacteria and is hand sized. It is an excellent travel product for everyday use.
Please visit the following link to see the how to clean a mask using the  Respro® Sanitiser spray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-AkTgn0OB4


Standard cleaning process: To ensure good hygiene/care measures, we suggest that you place the filter and valves in a pan of freshly boiled water (remove pan from heat source before putting filter in) and let it cool down. Remove the filter unit from the water and allow to stand dry.
This procedure will remove facial oils that may build up over a period of continuous use and will also remove some of the particulates and organic vapour that will be present within the Charcoal structure of the filter or tissue salt build in the valves.


Washing the filter:


Washing the mask shell:
If the mask cover requires washing this should be done by carefully removing the filter assembly and then washing the outer casing in warm soapy water and then left to dry naturally.


Storage:
What you need to avoid, is the exposure of the filter to anything that it can adsorb. So retaining it in its packaging or in a sealable bag will do the trick. “No Air Flow” will maintain the filter ability to work. An arid storage environment would be better than a damp environment; this will inhibit the growth of any plant life that may arise from seeds/spores or other potential growth material that you may have inadvertently trapped in the filter.
Posted in Air Quality, Help & FAQs, Respro® Products | 2 Comments

Children face three times more air pollution during the school run

Children face a worrying threefold increase in air pollution during the daily school runs, causing air quality experts to call for restrictions on the use of cars during those periods.

In a study published by the journal Science of the Total Environment, experts from the University of Surrey’s world-renowned Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) partnered with a local school and the local community in Guildford to investigate the impact cars have on air quality in and around schools during drop-off and pick-up times.

In a school of around 420 pupils, the research team installed air quality sensor kits in five key areas around the school – including drop-off points where cars often sit idling in queues, the playground which is located near a main road, and a classroom. The team investigated the concentration of fine (PM2.5) and coarse particulate matter, as well as carbon dioxide in the morning (7:30am until 9:30am) and the evenings (2pm until 4pm).

The study discovered that dangerous PM2.5 from vehicles lining up to drop off children were the main source of air pollution around the school. The team also found that PM2.5 levels were nearly three times higher during morning drop-off periods than the afternoon pick-up or active school periods. This is due to the fact that pick-ups were conducted from off-site parking areas and a large number of pupils took part in after school activities.

The team also found that PM2.5 levels rose slightly within the classrooms closest to the road during drop-off and pick-up times. Researchers speculated that this could be because of the classroom’s dependence on natural ventilation (open windows) which brings in unfiltered air.

The study also found that the playground’s close proximity to the main road, a characteristic similar to many of the country’s schools, resulted in the playground having consistently high PM2.5 levels at key times in the school day.

The researchers from GCARE have recommended that schools provide safe and accessible off-site parking drop-off points to help reduce levels of air pollution. The team has also recommended the use of green hedges as physical barriers to prevent air pollutants reaching children from cars at drop-off points and the main road.

Professor Prashant Kumar, Director of GCARE at the University of Surrey, said: “This is work of global significance, but we are also proud to collaborate with our local community on this work – employing smart sensing technology and a citizen science approach. The findings will be of great concern to parents locally and further afield. It goes without saying that our children’s health and wellbeing is of the highest priority in society and that is why we must protect them from the dangers of air pollution, including where the school run can now be seen to be directly impacting the school environment.

“Every school is different. However, many have characteristics that will mean that children are exposed to hotspots of air pollution in school premises. We have found that the use of cars during the school run is increasing the number of dangerous particles our children breath in, even during playtime long after they have been dropped off.”

Mr Neil Lewin, the Headteacher of St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School in Guildford, said: “Minimising air pollution exposure in and around the school has to be at the top of our agenda and we need to find practical but effective ways to reduce this exposure to air pollution in our school environment. This co-designed study has been an excellent experience for our children (especially our eco-warriors) giving them hands-on real science experience, and I hope will be very influential in compelling our parents to think again about their journeys to and from school to ensure the safest environment for their children.”

Mr Andrew Strawson, the Chairman of Merrow Residents’ Association in Guildford, said: “This is a rare and welcome opportunity for direct community involvement in the co-creation and co-design of a scientific study aimed at addressing important local and national issues. We thank Professor Kumar and his team for their continuing involvement with this community programme. His team promotes excellent guidance on green infrastructure initiatives. He has now taken this further and enabled this joint project which provides key data and strategies for use in helping to protect our children from air pollution at school.”

via Children face three times more air pollution during the school run | EurekAlert! Science News

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𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀, 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗮𝗿 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗜 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺?

RC01 BK_maska antysmogowa Respro CITY MASK Black_07

 

The malleable nose clip deforms easily so that a good fit can be formed around the bridge of the nose. Continuous or exaggerated deformation will eventually cause failure in the metal – it will snap.

Once a good fit has been found, it is best to maintain the shape, rather than folding it flat when storing it or when not in use.

If the nose clip breaks, all you have to do is send a picture of it, indicating size, model and address details to customerservices@respro.com and we will send a replacement shell FOC. There is a small shipping charge which is charged at cost and dependent on country location.

Posted in Air Quality, Help & FAQs, Respro® Products | Tagged , | 2 Comments