As air pollution reaches dangerous levels in the NCR, purchasing a respirator has become mandatory. But will any disguise do? Here is an analysis of some of the masks available on the market. On Sunday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the National Capital Region reached 999, with an average of 490. According to the Air Visual website from earlier this week, Delhi was the most polluted city in the world, with an AQI seven times higher than Dhaka, which ranked second on the list. The city is struggling for oxygen, and while it seems impossible to walk outside, there is no respite even inside. Although a variety of masks are available on the market, physicians caution that they should not lull individuals into a false sense of security. Confused? To alleviate your air pollution issues, we provide a list of masks that are available in stores and online, as well as tips for purchasing a mask. These masks include electrostatic cloud replaceable filtration and claim to filter out 95% of PM 2.5 down to 0.3 microns with a reduced respiratory resistance. They are designed for those who engage in running, jogging, or any other form of physical activity. The price of these masks begins at Rs 4,000, and some of them also include a N90 filter. N95 masks filter 95% of particles 0.3 microns or larger in diameter, roughly the size of a single virus, and PM 2.5. These are presently the most popular ones on the market and are available in a variety of styles and sizes. These masks can reduce exposure to ambient particulate matter because they contain a microfiber particle filter, a carbon filter layer, and one or two exhalation apertures. Masks with a N95 rating start at approximately Rs 2,000. However, many brands are selling masks that claim to block 95% of airborne pollutants at significantly reduced prices (below Rs 1000), despite the fact that they frequently lack the N95 rating. Respolayer anti-pollution mask These masks have an active respo layer that can neutralize noxious gases such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, as well as filter particulates such as PM 2.5. They are available in markets for approximately Rs 250. These surgical shields are available at any pharmacy. They only block large particles and are typically advised to prevent the seasonal flu. They have no effect on air pollution. They are readily available for Rs 100 or less, but they serve no purpose and are not recommended by retailers or physicians. The components of air pollution include PM 2.5, PM 10, and numerous noxious pollutants, according to Dr. Vivek Nangia, Director and Head of Pulmonology at Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital. When we use these N95 and N99 masks that are approved by Conformit Europenne (CE) and certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 95-99% of PM 2.5 and smaller particles are filtered out. However, they offer no protection against toxic substances. This does not preclude the use of filters, as you are still receiving protection. When purchasing a mask, it is important to determine whether it is N95 or N99, CE certified, or NIOSH approved. Then it should be a good suit. It should cover the nose to the mouth and end just below the chin.aAnupam Sibal, Group Medical Director and Senior Pediatrician at Apollo Hospitals, says, aWe must recognize the limitations of a mask. There are no available data that indicate what will happen in the long term if you use coverings. N95 provides only 95% protection, leaving 5% of the substances that should not be entering the airways. In addition, masks are inconvenient and make many people feel claustrophobic. When putting on a mask, appropriate application is required. Many individuals wear it loosely, which is ineffective. I would like to emphasize that these coverings provide a false sense of security, so you must still be cautious. When the AQI is so elevated, you should not go outdoors. You should not be walking or jogging. The children younger than three years old must remain inside. Children and the elderly are the most severely affected.a ‘Protect your eyes, too.’ Due to the poor air quality, many people also experience irritated and watery eyes. Aarti Nangia, MS Ophthalmology, Senior Consultant, Head of the Centre for Sight at Fortis Escorts Hospital, suggests that the first step in protecting the eyes is to avoid exposure. You should employ eye protection, such as glares or eyewear. As an element of the body’s mechanism, hydration extends to the tissues as well. Have pigmented fruits and anti-oxidants, as these disrupt the body’s negative mechanism. It is recommended to consume papaya and hydrated watermelons, and eye lubrication is essential.aThings to consider before purchasing a mask1. It should have a N95 rating, CE certification, and NIOSH approval2. It should fit snugly around your nostrils, with no space between the mask and your face3. It should extend from the nostrils to the mouth and terminate just below the chin4. Do not require children under the age of three to wear a disguise. Watch #DelhiBachao: Which Mask Should You Buy?