Allergen masks or allergy masks are basically face masks that are designed to protect individuals from inhaling particles that can trigger allergies. By wearing these mask, it helps prevent a variety of allergy-related issues especially sinus problems and sore throat. Even though these masks are made out of different materials, there are rating systems used that measure their effectiveness. Always remember that these allergen masks can be used indoors for protection against animal dander or outdoors to prevent exposure to pollen and other allergens in the air. If you want to learn more about allergies, click here.
What are allergens?
An allergen is a term used for any particle that triggers an allergic reaction. The allergens present indoors often include dust, pet dander, spores from indoor plants and even construction particles. The outdoor allergens include pollen and other foreign particles.
By using allergen masks outdoors, especially while at work or engaging in physical activity, it can help prevent exposure to allergens. In the workplace, potential allergens include chemical pollutants. Additionally, even bacteria can be considered as an allergen.
Other uses of allergen masks
Allergen masks are also used by individuals with certain health conditions including asthma. Those who have asthma wear these masks to keep out the cold air as well as allergens. Take note that the cold air is dangerous to the sensitive lungs. These masks will provide the required barrier. There are also other masks that have complex structures that are designed to prevent smaller viruses such as flu virus.
How masks are rated
Allergen masks are usually rated by utilizing the N system which shows the number of particles and the size of particles that the masks can stop. The effective option is the N95 which is capable of keeping 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger in size. There are also other masks that are HEPA filter-rated for added protection against all particles.
A good quality allergen mask can seal the mouth and nostrils against exposure to the outside air. On the other hand, this creates a mini vacuum that produces heat and moisture that is not just unpleasant but can trigger the growth of bacteria and make the mask slip. The solution to this issue is the inclusion of mini-respirators and ventilation valves that will allow the air inside to cool and dry the mask out.
What materials are used in the creation of allergen masks?
Allergen masks are usually made out of various materials but the ideal filters are usually made out of synthetic and plastic materials. There are some masks that utilize latex in their overall construction, but there are also latex-free options for those who are allergic to the material.
Other filters that can be used include carbon which has small-sized pores that work best in blocking the odor-producing particles and chemical compounds. Softer masks are usually made out of silk or cotton material which do not filter out the particles effectively but works best at blocking out the basic pollen.