Stepping out of home? You need your phone, wallet, car keys, house keys if no one else is home at the time and well, a face mask. To be fair, we’ve needed face masks for a very long time, because of the spiking air pollution in our cities. And then along came the coronavirus which made everyone aware of what a face mask is. With the pollution levels expected to spike again around Diwali and heading into the cooler temperatures of the winter months, you should be prepared with pollution filtering masks, to breathe better. If not already. Particularly relevant too, if you intend to step outside for running or jogging. There’s the new Philips Air Mask, and while you pay Rs 6,990 for it, the highlight of this mask is two-way filtration with an integrated fresh air fan, to help tide over the feeling of breathlessness.
The Philips Air Mask is a fairly unique proposition for face masks. One with a built-in fan, something that should help a lot of folks who tend to suffer from breathlessness or choking while wearing a mask beyond a certain period of time. And that trouble gets accentuated during heightened activity, including jogging. Not too many known alternatives which offer such a proposition. There’s the yet to be launched in India LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier but we don’t know when it’ll get here or what the price will be. Also, the Philips Air Mask, the 6000 Series to be specific, will be much simpler in comparison, to use and maintain. Micro USB charging, washable mesh layer and filtering out the PM 2.5 particles.
The Philips Air Mask follows the simple idea of double masking. This is basically two masks in one. The outer layer is a structurally robust mesh structure which integrates the fan module. You’ll need that to counter the weight that the fan module adds, and to be fair, this mask fits well without sliding down or feeling too tight. This module is removable, and good thing too, because you’ll need to charge this as well. The inner layer is a multi-layer mask essentially, and the two of these layers meld together to give you what Philips claims is 4-layered air filtration for the air you breathe. The inhaled and exhaled air has to pass through this filter, before the fan pushes the exhaled air out. You must be wondering how the exhaled air is blown out by the fan in your mask—the direction of the vents face downwards, which means the particles that are blown out head towards the ground and never remain at breathing level for adults.
The inner layer is what you need to look to replace after a certain amount of use. You’ll get one replaceable filter layer as part of the box, so that’s not an immediate stress even if you live in a very polluted environment. In fact, each layer of the inner mask should last you up to 122 hours, give or take. Usually, your best clues are to actually visually see what the inner layer looks like and the darker it gets, the ever closer you are to replacing it. None of these layers are N95 or N99 certified though, and you need to remember this is purely a anti-pollution mask and for when you aren’t stationary near or in the midst of a bunch of people. For added comfort, there are three fan speeds, depending on what you need at the time. You’d probably go higher if you’re running and slower if you’re walking or exercising. The battery life would depend on the speed, but this shouldn’t last about 4 hours of use at slow fan speed before the fan module needs to be charged again.
The Last Word: Solving A Very Specific And A Very Widespread Problem
You’d probably laugh at the idea of an anti-pollution mask retailing for around Rs 6,990 but you really shouldn’t. A lot of folks are genuinely at extreme discomfort with breathing issues while wearing face masks during running, jogging or exercises. And this is a solution for them because the fan certainly makes breathing easier by pushing what you breathe out quicker and allowing new air to filter through quicker as a result. It’s a speed up of a cycle which maybe we don’t appreciate enough. You are paying a premium for this comfort, but that may just what you need.