Disclosure: Ad. The face guard is a sample from CYCL. The post is not endorsed by them. I wrote it entirely myself and it represents my own 100% honest opinion.
- Exploring the world by bicycle can be dusty
- Why you should be concerned about your exposure to particles and smog
- An anti-pollution filter and scarf in one
- Protection from wildfire smoke and airborne particles
- Technical details of the anti-pollution tube scarf
- Price-performance ratio
- Who will like the anti-pollution scarf?
- In summary
- Top of the World Style linkup No. 266
Exploring the world by bicycle can be dusty
Since the 1980s, more and more bicycle fans have explored remote places far off the typical tourists attraction. My late Dad toured scenic places by bike for several summers when he was a member of a local bicycle club. A friend from the local weather service office here in Fairbanks cycled the Alcan down to the Lower 48s. When hubby and I drove the Dalton Highway and the Denali Highway a couple of years ago, we saw many single and groups of bicycle riders. I always felt pity when we passed them. Both highways are unpaved roads. Thus, these sports(wo)men were in a huge cloud of dust and smog whenever a vehicle passed or they had oncoming traffic. While they still could see, they wore these cool bicycle sunglasses, the airborne dust and vehicle exhausts were at their breathing height for quite a while.
Thus, when I heard about the CYCL anti-pollution scarf, I asked for a review sample.
Why you should be concerned about your exposure to particles and smog
Particulate matter of 2.5 micrometer (μm) or smaller in diameter is known as PM2.5. The diameter of a human hair, for instance, is 50 to 70 μm (see diagram below). Some of the many sources for PM2.5 are dust-uptake from unpaved roads, river beds, bare field, traffic emissions, biomass burning, heating, flaring and various industrial production processes.
PM2.5 is small enough to travel deep into your lungs where it sticks. Scientific studies found increases in the risk of respiratory, allergic and oncological diseases in people exposed to PM2.5. Non-occupational exposure to wildfire smoke, for instance, increases the risks of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as mortality.
To protect the health of the population, national environmental protection agencies have set so-called National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Currently, the annual mean PM2.5 concentration must not exceed 25 and 12 micrograms per cubic meter (μg∙m−3) in the EU and US, respectively. In the US, the 24 -hour mean must not exceed 35 μg∙m−3. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), PM2.5 should not exceed 10 μg∙m−3 on annual mean, or 25 μg∙m−3 on 24-hour mean.
An anti-pollution filter and scarf in one
When I opened the package, I was impressed by the construction of the face guard. It is a scarf and anti-pollution filter made of nanofiber in one. The nanofiber membrane filters particles and gaseous pollutants. According to the brand, the anti-pollution scarf filters 99.5% of PM0.1 (particular matter of 0.1 μm in diameter or less) – airborne particulates such as pollen, smog and other allergens.
This face guard is hand-washable. This means it requires no replacement filters. An important aspect when you baggage is very limited like it’s on a bicycle vacation trip. The mask also has an elastic closure and adjustable nose strip for best fit on all face shapes (see portrait photo later in this post).
While the packaging isn’t value added to the product, it is worth mentioning that it is recyclable.
Protection from wildfire smoke and airborne particles
While my bicycle tours only take me on an unpaved road when I visit friends in the outskirts of Fairbanks, smoke from wildfires is an annual summer annoyance. Murphy’s Law, of course, applied. There was no smoke in town to test the performance of the mask. Thus, I switched off the air purifier for a day, which we use in our home. My eyes and nose got irritated. Then I put the scarf on. My nose felt better after a while.
Another test I made, was going onto an unpaved parking lot on the West Ridge when it was windy. Without the mask I would have had to breath in a lot of dusty air. But with the scarf, I felt fine during the gusty winds.
Technical details of the anti-pollution tube scarf
According to the brand’s technical information page, the nanofiber filter in the CYCL face guard has been tested according to ASTM F2100 and EN 14683, at Nelson Labs USA. It uses a Respilon® 57 filter that consists of a four-layered textile laminate composed of polyprophylene spunbond, polypropylene meltblown, nanofibers layer, and polyprophylene spunbond.
The face guard costs $49.99. It has no follow-up costs for filters. Not breathing in PM2.5 is an investment in one’s own health. On the long-term, it may mean lower costs for co-pay on medical bills related to pollution caused diseases. Thus, the effective price-performance ratio is hard to quantify.
The fabric and craftsmanship are high. When just looking at the cost-per-wear the scarf can easily go below one dollar per wear. My regular readers know that this is my criterion to give a thumbs up.
Who will like the anti-pollution scarf?
This face guard is great for all bikers, cyclist and runners who want to explore unpaved roads and trails. It’s also great when you have to bike into work every day in the urban jungle. Even when the exposure to gaseous pollution and particulate matter seem to be short, on the long-term, the harms may accumulate. Just think about it! In normal times, a person goes to work about 22 days per month. When the ride is 5 minutes from home to work, the commute from and to work amounts to 44 hours of bicycling in a year. You see what I mean? You are exposed to poor air much longer than you may think.
If you are concerned about the air you breath and want to protect yourself from health-adverse gases and particles, you may like the CYCL anti-pollution scarf. It comes ready-to-use with its integrated and washable nanofiber filter. I can definitely recommend this face guard to my family and friends. You can buy this mask online at CYCL.bike. It is available in several colors. I am wearing the gray one in this post.
This face guard is an anti-pollution tube scarf with an integrated nanofiber filter filters out gaseous pollution and 99.5% of particles of 2.5 micrometer and smaller in diameter. It is easy to use as it is washable, i.e. it needs no filter replacement and is very affordable. Buy you anti-pollution scarf now.Reduce your exposure to smog and particles when riding your bike. Use an anti-pollution scarf with nanofiber membrane. #faceguard #cycl Click To Tweet
Top of the World Style linkup No. 266
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Liu, J.C., Pereira, G., Uhl, S.A., Bravo, M.A. and Bell, M.L. (2015) A Systematic Review of the Physical Health Impacts from Non-Occupational Exposure to Wildfire Smoke. Environmental Research, 136, 120-132. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.10.015
Mölders, N. and Kramm, G. (2018) Climatology of Air Quality in Arctic Cities—Inventory and Assessment. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 7, 48-93. doi: 10.4236/ojap.2018.71004.
Quarato, M., De Maria, L., Gatti, M., Caputi, A., Mansi, F., Lorusso, P., et al. (2017) Air Pollution and Public Health: A Prisma-Compliant Systematic Review. Atmosphere, 8, 183. doi: 10.3390/atmos8100183
World Health Organization (2006) WHO Air Quality Guidelines for Particulate Matter, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide. In: WHO, Ed., Summary of Risk Assessment, World Health Organization, Geneva, 22 p.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
Photos of face guard: N. Mölders
Other photos: As indicated
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