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Thread: particle mask

  1. #1
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    particle mask

    Any urban riders use an N95 particle mask while commuting? I have an upcoming bike tour in an area with nearby forest fires. The smoke is a concern. Thought I'd check with people who might ride regularly with a mask.

  2. #2
    CB of the East
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    I haven't used one but I would imagine that you would feel like you were suffocating with the air volume you need for cycling. I've had a similar feeling with winter balaclavas that didn't pass enough air.

  3. #3
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    I think such a mask would not filter out any gaseous fumes that are in the smoke. For particles, a thin woven buff or something would probably do the trick as well or even better, since masks usually somewhere leave some gaps (tried them once when on the house).

    I personally would definitely go somewhere else.

  4. #4
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    Recalculate your ride. Mask is going to filter smoke? Can't imagine. And trying to breathe through one while pedaling? No bueno.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    If you legitimately want to filter out particles, an actual rated particulate mask is the way to go.

    N95 masks have a specific definition of filtering 95% of 0.3 micron test particles.
    https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/P.../ucm055977.htm

    And you won't even begin to approach that level of effectiveness with a buff or anything else. It's definitely true that it will restrict airflow that will probably be fairly cumbersome for the bike. But when you need that level of filtration, you need it.

    FWIW - EPA background
    https://www3.epa.gov/ttnamti1/files/...oke/wildgd.pdf

    Particulate matter is the most important pollutant of concern from wildfires. Particulate matter from wildfires tends to be in the 0.4-0.7 micron range. Particles of that size can wind up deep in the lungs if inhaled and are a pretty major health concern.

  6. #6
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    I've used these N95 masks in my workshop for decades. I pedaled to work this morning wearing one and was surprised it only caused a minimal degree of discomfort.

    If your analysis is correct Harold, the N95 mask could protect us from wildfire smoke. Believe me, I'd rather pedal in a smoke-free place, but we made plans and reservations with friends a long time ago. We may bail at the last minute. But, for the moment, the masks give our group comfort that nature did not foil our outing.

    particle mask-photo-aug-08-05-05-36.jpg

  7. #7
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    Hey its good to hear that it apparently works when on a bike, at least for you.

    Now the next thought came to my mind, what are you doing at night? If you go camping, you will have to wear it always, even inside your tent?

    Maybe at least you are lucky enough to have the wind turn away from you..

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