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Anti-smog masks to protect against breathing polluted air are becoming more and more popular. All because the level of toxic substances in the air is exceeded in many places in our country by up to several hundred percent. However, do these types of masks completely protect against smog? Where can you buy them and what is the price?

Anti-smog masksare to protect against smog - fog containing air pollutants.Anti-smog masksare becoming more and more popular, because in many places in Poland air pollution standards in the autumn and winter period are exceeded by even several hundred percent. The worst situation is in Kraków, where these standards are exceeded by 400%! It is also not better in some cities of Upper Silesia.


  1. Anti-smog masks and smog
  2. Anti-smog masks - how do they protect against smog?
  3. Anti-smog masks - where to buy? What's the price?
  4. Anti-smog masks - what to consider when choosing?
  5. Anti-smog masks are ineffective?

Anti-smog masks and smog

Air pollutants are all kinds of substances whose presence in the atmosphere has a detrimental effect on he alth. These include carbon, nitrogen and sulfur monoxide as well as benzo (a) pyrene, ozone and heavy metals, incl. cadmium, mercury, lead. However, the most dangerous pollutants are PM 10 and PM 2.5. PM10 particulate matter contains particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter that can reach the upper respiratory tract and lungs. PM2.5 suspended dust contains particles with a diameter of not less than 2.5 micrometers, and these can also penetrate into the blood. In Poland, the highest concentration of PM 10 is in Krakow. It is also not better in Nowy Sącz, Gliwice, Zabrze, Sosnowiec and Katowice.

According to the Krakow Smog Alert, a statistical Krakow inhabitant consumes as much carcinogenic benzoalfapirene annually as if he had burned 2.5 thousand. of cigarettes!

The longer we breathe polluted air, the greater the risk of developing many diseases. Toxic compounds in smog impair the defensive functions of the respiratory tract, paving the way for viruses and bacteria, which is conducive to infection. In addition, they impair gas exchange in the lungs, which puts a greater strain on the heart andincreases the risk of allergies. There is also an exacerbation of symptoms in people suffering from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cardiovascular disease. In some cases, lung cancer may also develop.

The increase in air pollution translates into an increased number of deaths due to respiratory diseases. It has been estimated that about 400 inhabitants of Krakow die prematurely each year due to air pollution with particulate matter. 1 According to estimates by the World He alth Organization (WHO), 7 million people worldwide die from air pollution each year. The causes of these deaths are lung diseases, cancer.

15 most toxic cities in Poland. Where is the most smog?

The statistics are terrifying. 36 out of 50 cities with the worst air in the EU are in Poland. We present 15 of them - the most toxic. Smog is the most abundant in these cities. The list mainly includes cities located in Silesia and the Masovian Voivodeship.

Anti-smog masks - how do they protect against smog?

Protection against smog can bedust masks , thanks to which we inhale the air purified by replaceable filters. Mask manufacturers argue that they keep 99 percent. pollution. As specialists are skeptical about these assurances and point out that this type of mask does not completely protect against smog. This is because not all impurities are left on the filters, but only a part of them.

The anti-smog mask only partially helps, does not completely protect against contaminated air.

These are not the only disadvantagessmog masks . It should be remembered that breathing in it is more or less difficult. Sooner or later (depending on the intensity of exercise), the mask will become wet. People who wear glasses must take into account the fact that they will be foggy when exercising (when walking less - slight fogging at the bottom of the glasses). In addition, for the mask to work properly, it must fit snugly on the face, otherwise some air will not be filtered. You also have to take care of the mask - wash it or wash it. However, most importantly - you need to replace the filters regularly. As a rule, they should not be used for more than two weeks, but they should be replaced whenever they turn from white to gray (in Krakow it may be necessary after a few hours).

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According to an expertDr Rafał Hrynyk, expert of Employers of the Republic of Poland

As correctwear an anti-smog mask?

If your hair is longer, it is best to tie it before putting on the mask. Jewelry should also be removed, as it may cause deformation of e.g. straps and thus inaccurate fit of the mask. The face in men should be shaved for the same reason. Before putting on the mask, make sure your hands are clean so that dirt does not get into the mask. Next, we have to check whether the mask is in good condition, whether it is damaged, dirty, etc. The mask should be unfolded and shaped, including straightening all the tapes. Holding the mask in one hand, take all the straps with the other hand and place them over your head. Remember that the tapes cannot be tangled. Both parts of the mask - both the upper and lower ones - must fit snugly against the face, they must not be folded. Using both hands, we have to adjust the nasal plate to the shape of the face so that it adheres to it. Finally, we should do a fit test and, while inhaling or exhaling, check that contaminated air is not passing due to a leaky mask fit.

Anti-smog masks - where to buy? What's the price?

Anti-smog masks can be purchased in pharmacies, stores with he alth and safety articles, in construction and online stores. They cost from 100 to even 300 PLN. You should also add the costs of filters, which need to be replaced from time to time (about PLN 10 per item).


Anti-smog masks - what to consider when choosing?

When choosing an anti-smog mask, pay attention to the filter. It is important that it filters very small dust particles (i.e. PM2.5), which not only get into the lungs but also into the blood. For city use, the mask should also have an activated carbon layer to protect against gaseous pollutants.

There are no top-down guidelines for the dust concentration at which masks should be worn. However, it is good to assume them already when the PM10 level exceeds 50 units per cubic meter, which is the applicable Polish standard.

Overview of masks that protect us against smog

Source:ń Dobry TVN

Worth knowing

Anti-smog masks are ineffective?

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has published the results of an inspection by the Trade Inspection, which tested anti-smog masks and carbon monoxide sensors. Most products turned out to be ineffective. Half of the 10 masks checked by the laboratory of the Central Institute for Labor Protection - National Research Institute in Łódź were questioned. Two models were considered completely useless, three had errors, for example in the instructions for use. The problem is howwe read in the official statement of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, “consumers are not able to independently assess whether anti-smog masks meet the requirements set out in the regulations and protect them well. officials have published a guide on what to pay attention to when buying

  • CE - means that the manufacturer has carried out a conformity assessment procedure and declares that the product meets all technical and legal requirements
  • FFP1, FFP2, FFP3 - indicates the protection class of the filter: the weakest is 1, the highest - 3
  • NR - disposable half mask. Don't wear it again and don't wear it longer than 8 hours
  • R - reusable half mask
  • D - means that the respirator has passed the test for clogging with dolomite dust. Choose a product with this sign if you plan to work in a dusty room for a long time, e.g. during home renovation

Source: UOKiK for safety: anti-smog masks and carbon monoxide detectors under a magnifying glass,



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