Pollution masks

hat and beard

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
338
276
93
Boso
#1
I have a 60 kilometer round trip commute on a road conjested with all manner of trucks and heavy industrial machinery at all hours of the day. The air along the route is about as disgusting as can be, and recently I've begun to worry that huffing and puffing the stuff for at least two hours every day might off set the health benefits of cycling. I'm reluctant to give up this route since much of it is actually on a quite wide and relatively empty bike path that runs parallel to the road, and is about 20 minutes faster than every other way.
I've seen pollution masks in Y's and the like and was wondering if they really work. Anybody use one? Is a normal combini mask just as good? I'm a little skeptical as to whether they're capable of blocking the nasty stuff in car exhaust, but I'm willing to give anything a try.
Any opinions / advice would be much appreciated.
-- Beard
 

yukun

Speeding Up
Feb 18, 2011
55
0
26
Setagaya Ward, Sangenjaya
#4
I also do use the Respro (TECHNO anti pollution mask)...
They do work!! Some of the roads in Tokyo have such bad air quality (roppongi dori?) give me such bad episodes of coughing that at times I thought I was suffering from an asthma attack:eek: Its almost always on while on the 246 but comes straight off once I hit those smaller one lane roads.

Though as Mike says:
I had one of those fancy
I didn't use it for long because it restricted my airflow, got wet with sweat, prevented me from drinking from my water bottle, and fogged-up my glasses.
Can't really breathe in them especially when you are riding hard. Makes it easier to fog my glasses (when stationary) too as he said!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
Conbini masks will help a bit with gross particulate but not much for fine grain particulate and also any gasses which generally require an activated carbon canister or similar. Respro does filter both particulate and gasses. There will always be some restriction to flow with these types of masks - but I think Respro does a pretty good job.

I did a fair amount of work in a past life with California AQMB and helped develop a Diesel engine emission control device. So, I'm pretty familiar with the pollutants and the 'worst ones' , so to speak. Getting the particulate filtered is a high priority. That stuff is just simply not good for your lungs. And Japanese large vehicles do not have the same standards that US or EU vvehicles do - in short - they produce alot of particulate. So, at minimum, get the best conbini type mask you can and you'll be far better off than nothing at all. If you don't exert too hard on your commute and want added benefit of gas filtration , then get a Respro.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/documents/health_effects_diesel_exhaust-hei_perspective.pdf

Incidientally - I think the Totobobo masks are better than RESPRO... I've even ordered one since I really struggle with hayfever this time of the year.

http://totobobo.com/
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#6
I had one of those fancy Respro masks for a while. Actually I still have it, somewhere.

I didn't use it for long because it restricted my airflow, got wet with sweat, prevented me from drinking from my water bottle, and fogged-up my glasses.
Yes, yes and yes, great idea, but in practice, I could not breath with one on, and just about fell over out of breath on a hot day up a hill, too much restriction for me.
 

kratos34

Warming-Up
Jun 4, 2012
36
1
0
Sagamihara City
#8
I have the same brand and experience with Half-Fast Mike with Respro. I only used it 2x. My reason for buying it was for my pollen allergy. Too restricting and can't get enough airflow... esp during climbs. It may be good if you wont breath heavily.
 

hat and beard

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
338
276
93
Boso
#9
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll give the Respro a try.
I tried a normal combini mask today which at least seemed to cut out the smell a little.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
It should show up any day now. I ordered the mouth only version. Even with the conbini mask I find that I get the best results by maximizing intake through the mouth , and exhale through nose and mouth. This minimizes the overheating and fogging up on my glasses. I'll post a review when I get them and try it out. Since it's smack in the middle of hayfever season for me , it will take only 1 or 2 rides to determine how well it works.

They look great, I'm interested to hear how you make out with it.
Which one did you get?
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#14
Me neither and Yair and myself did the Mt. Aizu hill climb race earlier this month in Fukushima.

(No offense but a little OTT don't you think and seriously you need a full on hazmat mask to protect you!)

However the team has fully equiped me for the event of a all out Bio/nuclear/Z war.

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Oh and its great for hayfever sufferers and 100% compatible with camelbaks and other hydration systems.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#15
Why not just use the force like the rest of us do?


James I can't find your blog these days?

Thanks, is Tsukino still riding?
 

dastott

Speeding Up
May 10, 2012
69
17
28
Fukuoka
#17
Me neither and Yair and myself did the Mt. Aizu hill climb race earlier this month in Fukushima.

(No offense but a little OTT don't you think and seriously you need a full on hazmat mask to protect you!)

However the team has fully equiped me for the event of a all out Bio/nuclear/Z war.

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fdesmond.imageshack.us%2FHimg854%2Fscaled.php%3Fserver%3D854%26filename%3D17289910150111170279247.jpg%26res%3Dlanding&hash=c12a9f81ce83aa7ba2ecea43ab9f94dc


Oh and its great for hayfever sufferers and 100% compatible with camelbaks and other hydration systems.
Multi-purpose, nice one! Seriously though, I wonder about the health effects of riding in Japan sometimes, sucking in all that crappy air in urban areas. Can even smell the stuff sometimes, and radiation is certainly out there. A lot of shady companies and factories around the whole country...
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#18
and radiation is certainly out there.
I have a consumer grade geiger counter (made in Ukraine) which I have used at home and at various locations around the Kanto area, from Mt Fuji to near the Arakawa mouth. The results I get are somewhat higher than the "official" number measured on top of some building in Shinjuku, but generally lower than figures back in southern Germany, where background radiation from granite rock is higher than from the alluvial soil around Kanto. Exceptions are grassy areas and near drains, where rainwater passed last year. There are higher radiation levels in eastern Tokyo, adjacent to northern Chiba which saw more contamination, as well as in the hills of the Okutama area. Background radiation in most of Tokyo is no higher than in most of Europe.

Health risks from external radiation exposure around Tokyo are not significantly higher than abroad. I say external, because I am still avoiding food from some prefectures that received more fallout than Tokyo and Kanagawa did.

If you want to worry while cycling, worry about cars and trucks around you, as you're far more likely to be injured or killed by a motorist than by any fallout from Fukushima.

If someone would like to use the geiger counter some time, send me PM.