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Are you using the right anti-pollution face mask?

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, August 6, 2019  /  04:15 pm
Are you using the right anti-pollution face mask?

Gloom: Smog blankets Jakarta’s skyscrapers on Tuesday. Air pollution in the city is currently among the worst in the world. (The Jakarta Post/Wendra Ajistyatama )

Given Jakarta’s poor air quality over the past few weeks, using proper face masks to protect against pollution is crucial.

According to Agus Dwi Susanto, a pulmonologist from Persahabatan General Hospital in East Jakarta, the KN95 respirator face mask offers good protection for your health.

“Different types of face masks are available out there, but [for] Jakarta and other cities with bad air quality, the respirator mask is recommended to filter even smaller particles,” Agus told Antara news agency on Monday.

Read also: How to stay healthy amid air pollution woes

The KN95 respirator face mask is said to be able to filter up to 95 percent of finer particles of dust and pollution. 

Agus said that respirator face masks are generally white with a slightly rounded shape and thicker surface, allowing them to filter tiny materials measuring 2.5 micron. Meanwhile, general face masks that people often wear, which come in various colors and have thinner surfaces and a rectangular shape, can only filter larger particles of around 10 micron.

A KN95 face mask that can be used to protect yourself against pollution. A KN95 face mask that can be used to protect yourself against pollution. (shutterstock.com/Prachana Thong-on/File)

He added that face masks should not be reused or worn for a long period in one day.

“Just wear it once and don’t wash it as this will only enlarge the mask’s pores,” said Agus. “Just use them for six to eight hours before replacing them.”

Read also: Check Jakarta’s air quality with these mobile apps

As air pollution in Jakarta shows no sign of easing, residents are starting to use face masks daily. But not all masks are created equal.As air pollution in Jakarta shows no sign of easing, residents are starting to use face masks daily. But not all masks are created equal. (JP/Sandy Riady)

Wearing a respirator mask can also help reduce the risk of diseases caused by pollution, such as influenza, sore throat, stroke and lung cancer. Such face masks can be bought in pharmacies and convenience stores at a price of around Rp 13,000 (less than US$1) per mask. (wir/kes)

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Editor's note:

Paragraph three in this article has been corrected.