How do you deal with pollution?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How do you deal with pollution?

    Commuting exposes the rider to the elements, health-hazardous elements even.

    How do you deal with pollution. I commute in a city where smoke, dust and industrial fumes are mainstay. Are there any products out there to protect the respiratory system from these "deadly" elements?

    I was thinking of getting a dust mask (similar to what woodworkers or painters use in the workshop) but I think a mask just makes it more difficult to breathe in oxygen because most of my breath is "recycled" inside the mask.

    What is the best way to deal with pollution during commutes? What products do you find effective? Please include photos.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumgearsolid
    ...What is the best way to deal with pollution during commutes? What products do you find effective?...
    I find that staying out of the interior of motor vehicles is a very effective way to reduce the pollution on my commute.

    A bicycle works really well for that.

    If your commute is dusty a dust mask might help but it will do nothing for noxious gasses.
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  3. #3
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    I just don't worry about it. The stuff isn't going to kill me any worse than it will when I'm not commuting.

  4. #4
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    I read an article somewhere that stated that the pollutants are much lower in the bike lanes than they are in the traffic lanes so at least you have moved out of the automobile pollution somewhat.

    You can get a variety of masks at hardware type stores with pollutant filters too. Dusk mask just filter larger pollutants but chem masks can filter out chemical particulates.

    The best solution is to plan a commute path off major thoroughfares and closer to residential areas if possible. I drop into neighborhood bike routes as soon as I can on my commute taking me off my traffic laden route for more than half my commute (6 miles of 10ish).

    Finally a bandanna over face and nose could be a medium solution to the problem, filtering particulates some but still allowing breathing.
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  5. #5
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    I will readily agree that side streets and (gasp!) sidewalks are less noxious than main thoroughfares; but I have to tell you, there's little difference between the bike commute and the car commute -- both are exposed to said pollution. Do you think the enclosure of the car is protection? If it is, then you have a limited amount of breatheable oxygen, which would be used up before arrival on a long commute -- so "airtight" isn't right. You'd pass out from oxygen deprivation before getting to your destination. In fact, there are two reasons that drivers get it worse than cyclists:
    1.) drivers are in-line with others, so they get a concentrated dose of pollution, coming in through the car's ventilation system, whether the fan is on or not.
    2.) cyclists get less to start with, and it is somewhat dissipated by the expanse of "fresh" air they travel through.

    In addition, the cyclist, through exercise, is breathing faster and harder -- which will flush out more 'bad stuff' with every breath.

    So, to sum it up, don't draft a bus or a line of chevy's, and you'll be fine.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler
    In addition, the cyclist, through exercise, is breathing faster and harder -- which will flush out more 'bad stuff' with every breath.
    But spending longer in it (assuming it takes longer to ride than drive) and breathing in more often exposes you to more of the bad stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    I read an article somewhere that stated that the pollutants are much lower in the bike lanes than they are in the traffic lanes so at least you have moved out of the automobile pollution somewhat.
    There are no bike lanes in here. And all alternative routes (2) have heavy vehicular traffic.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    You can get a variety of masks at hardware type stores with pollutant filters too. Dusk mask just filter larger pollutants but chem masks can filter out chemical particulates.
    Yes, I've looked at the various types of masks. but not one has "exhaust" effectivity, meaning they're good in filtering the intake of fumes/particles but poor in letting ehxaled air out.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    The best solution is to plan a commute path off major thoroughfares and closer to residential areas if possible. I drop into neighborhood bike routes as soon as I can on my commute taking me off my traffic laden route for more than half my commute (6 miles of 10ish).
    My commute is a total of 7.5 miles/12kms. I've chosen a route with the least possible vehicular traffic but offering the least vehicular speed too (for safety because there are no bike lanes here). I do pass trough a residential area but it's no more than 2kms.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    Finally a bandanna over face and nose could be a medium solution to the problem, filtering particulates some but still allowing breathing.
    Yes, I've tried using the "bandit mask" bandana and it gets a bit stuffy inside after a while.

    Thanks for your suggestions!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    I find that staying out of the interior of motor vehicles is a very effective way to reduce the pollution on my commute.

    A bicycle works really well for that.

    If your commute is dusty a dust mask might help but it will do nothing for noxious gasses.
    Do you think a neoprene face mask designed for motorcycle riders will be any good?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yardstick
    But spending longer in it (assuming it takes longer to ride than drive) and breathing in more often exposes you to more of the bad stuff.
    I agree. And I believe that most pollutants are absorbed into the respiratory system before they are exhaled. During college,I did research about the risks of cigarette smoking. It's true that carbon monoxide is expelled when a smoker exhaled the smoke. However, more than 20% of the carbon monoxide and almost all the nicotine is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. I believe the same happens when I inhale vehicular pollution, no matter how fast or hard I am breathing.JMHO.

  10. #10
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    Anti-Pollution Face Masks

    I think I've found some good products that may be effective.

    http://www.streetandcomp.com/mcart/i...pro+Foggy+Mask
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    Last edited by titaniumgearsolid; 04-29-2008 at 07:52 PM.

  11. #11
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    You raise a great question, but I dont have a good answer.

    one thing missed by the previous posts is that though your exposed to the same pollution whether in a car or on a bike, when your cycling much more pollutants are making their way much deeper into your lungs.

    If you live in an area were there is a daily air quality report (such as CA) you can pick and choose days when to commute. That or you can arrange your commuting times to avoid excessive pollution. This is what I do, I leave an hour before rush hour to and from work.

    I cant speak to the efficacy of the masks shown, but when I solder I use a p100 (i think) for noxious fumes mask which would way too restrictive for cycling with.

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  12. #12
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    Respro makes one more for cycling....better alternative as they are meant to breathe better.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  13. #13
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    Check out Respro if you're after a neoprene type of mask.

    Of course, you could always go to a 1/2 mask respirator if you live someplace like Mexico City where the air is just about thick enough to walk on some days.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  14. #14
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    Depends on the set-up. A P100 "pancake" style filter (type made to fit behind a welder's mask) works well and breathes a lot easier...may be an alternative for your soldering.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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