I was Google'ing around for info on various face masks just now and found a link to an article you posted on the EI website about your experience with wearing a face mask during your recovery (loved the nicknames you acquired from your buddies, hahaha!, I really did laugh out loud…..what are friends for, right!) This excerpt is from that article:
"For those reading this and suffering badly from chemical sensitivities I purchased my masks from www.icanbreathe.com/ and would certainly recommend them. Since that time I have learned of many alternatives and believe U-Mask Anti-Pollution Masks are a great option as they reportedly outperform even N95 and N99 respirators while remaining lightweight, and some would say even, fashionable!"
I did purchase the I Can Breathe mask a few days ago and am waiting for it to arrive. At the time I also researched the U-Mask but I now have a question. The specs on the U-Mask state it "does not protect from chemical vapors/gases" and states neither does a carbon filter mask (which is what the I Can Breathe mask is). See attachment for U-Mask specs. So now I'm confused. If the U-Mask and carbon filter masks do not protect against chemical vapors (paint, perfume, new construction materials, etc.) does one have to resort to wearing the huemungo respirators that painters wear, the ones that make you look like a giant grasshopper, or as someone else put it "Darth Vader?" LOL
Carbon filter masks certainly do protect against VOCs. Carbon / charcoal is well known to absorb these chemicals. The reason filters need to be replaced regularly is because they become clogged with the stuff!
I can't speak on behalf of U.Mask and the statement and data you refer to but I suspect they are covering their backs with regards to stringent EU chemical laws (they are EU-based).
Their masks meet N95 and N99 standards which is what the big bulky respirators also meet so to my mind there would be no benefit in the latter - and nobody wants to wear one of those if we're honest! It's easy to get away with lightweight face masks these days as everyone (e.g. cyclists) are wearing them. When I was battling MCS (a battle I thankfully won!) I was gawped at in the street whenever I went out as if I were some kind of weirdo!
I hope the ICanBreathe mask helps you; it certainly gave me much of my freedom back
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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