Delhi is being choked by smog year after year despite repeated attempts to curb pollution by the administration. The magnitude of the problem can be gauged by how Sri Lankan players had to come out on field wearing masks as most people in the capital are forced to do.
But while people are taking precautions to keep adverse effects of pollution at bay by covering their faces, it doesn’t seem to be a very effective way to stay protected. While sales of masks have increased 10 times in just a month, doctors are calling them valueless cosmetic items which may not be helping against pollution.
Although manufacturers say that their masks are in line with global standard guidelines, India doesn’t have any such guidelines yet. As firms use American or Chinese certification, experts say no study has been conducted to verify authenticity and efficiency of masks in the market.
Dr Arvind Kumar of Sri Ganga Ram Hospital told Mail Today that while only N-99 and N-95 masks can effectively protect from pollution, 99 percent masks in markets are made of cloth and are similar to cosmetic products. Meanwhile other doctors said that even air purifiers aren’t very helpful as they work only in closed rooms like air conditioners.