Technical Notes :
This page is designed to assist you in understanding the products we design. It will allow you to choose the right product for your requirements without having too much grief (something none of us want or need along with pollution). Choose from the menu below your area of interest.
In order to consider the effectiveness of a mask, the following points must be taken into consideration :
1. How well does the product seal? 2. How effective is the filter material?
In order for any mask to perform to its maximum it must be able to seal properly around the nose and mouth so that as much of the air that is being inhaled, is actually passing through the filter. If it is not passing through the filter then, no matter how effective the filter is, the user will still be inhaling unfiltered air.
All our masks apart from the Bandit scarf are made from neoprene. Being resiliently stretchable it allows the masks to conform easily to varying facial features, sealing around the face, thus a good seal and a comfortable fit.
Another consideration in the sealing is sizing. As the range of sizes within adult populations varies to such an extent, one size cannot fit all people. We have introduced two sizes to comfortably accommodate 90% of the adult populations. Medium and large. For an adult female of average height/weight, we would recommend the medium size. Likewise for an adult male of average height/weight, we would recommend the large size. By choosing the correct size and following the fitting instructions you can be assured that an effective seal can be attained.
As the neoprene mask will stretch between the nose and cheekbone, a negative cavity will exist. This gap if not closed up, will allow polluted air to pass through this region unfiltered, consequently reducing the masks overall efficiency. To effect a good seal in this region, all our masks use a fully annealed aluminium nose clip which can be formed to the individual facial shape of the wearer.
Each mask contains a replaceable filter specific to either an urban or countryside environment. Depending on the environment that you are active in, you will need to assess the type of filter that is required. Essentially the City filter is designed for use in the urban environment and the Sportsta filter is used for country environments where much higher levels of particulate material can be encountered. To assess the correct filter for your environment the following chart highlights the main atmospheric pollutants and indicates the appropriate filter that should be used.
The filter materials used in Respro masks were primarily developed for use in military applications requiring excellent filtration properties yet at the same time requiring an air flow efficiency that would not impede the user's activity :
Respro use the same filter materials in their masks to accommodate the filtration of a wide spectrum of pollutants that are found in the urban, country and home environments.
Each mask has a complimentary filter type for individual activities and Respro have designed the filters so that they are also interchangeable within other Respro masks allowing customisation for more specific applications.
Respro filters are also of benefit for people who suffer from breathing difficulties having either particle or chemical sensitive respiratory systems. However, it is always prudent to take advice from your doctor if you are considering adding a mask to your health improvement programme.
As well as consumer applications the Respro filters in the Techno and Sportsta masks are used and specified for industrial applications and conform to European Standard EN149 FFP1S for particulate material including water based aerosols.
The filter lifespan is based on the characteristics of the active urban cyclist.
On this basis we recommend that the filter be changed every 69 hours of use in the environment.
- Half hour journey to work half hour back
- A breathing rate of 30 litres of air per minute
- Pollution levels where the WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines recommend that the average citizen should wear some form of respiratory protection.
The City, Sportsta & Techno masks are available in two sizes, medium and large. They also have equivalent sized filters. It is important to identify the correct size filter replacement for your mask in order to ensure comfort and efficiency. The size can be found by looking at the back of the mask (for masks manufactured after April 1999), which will indicate its size. Respro have also introduced the Techno Gold Upgrade Kit, so that a City or Sportsta mask already purchased, may be upgraded in filtration performance.
Filter replacement for any mask is carried out by removing the filter and valve assembly (where applicable) from the Neoprene mask. This is readily effected by pushing the valves through the holes where they are situated in the mask. This procedure will release the valve and filter assembly in one unit. The valves should then be dis-assembled from the filter and the filter discarded thoughtfully. To re-assemble the product with a new filter, reversal of the procedures should be carried out.
Valve replacements :
In order to have good breathability in a mask especially when undergoing exercise or other activities involving physical exertion, it is essential that the mask breathes freely and does not create either a pressure drop or back pressure within the mask.
Heat, carbon dioxide and water vapour, three components of exhaled breath, need to be exhausted from the mask in readiness for the next breath of inhaled air. If this process of evacuation fails or is impeded, then the mask may become uncomfortable with poor airflow and may result in the wearer not using the mask.
We therefore believe that exhalation valves are an essential component which allows the mask to perform well under the conditions described above.
The valves in Respro masks are designed to reduce or eradicate any of the above effects and are available in accessory packs, allowing the user to tailor a product specifically to their own needs.
How do the Sportsta and City masks differ?
Aside from the differences in filtration (explained below), the Sportsta mask offers the wearer increased comfort over the City mask for the following two reasons:
|1. The Powa valves incorporated in the Sportsta have a larger bore size than the Standard valves allowing heat, water vapour and Carbon dioxide to be exhaled more efficiently through the valve system and not through the filter material. The larger bore size also allows a sports person to compete at peak physical exertion without experiencing breathing resistance when exhaling.
||2. The sides of the Sportsta mask have mesh side panels to assist ventilation of the face, keeping the user cool.
How do the Sportsta and City filters differ?
Each filters type has a primary use in a specific environment:
|1. The City filter uses Dynamic Activated Charcoal Cloth (DACC) a 95% pure charcoal weave, originally developed by the U.K. Ministry of Defence for use in the protection against chemical and bacteria warfare situations. We use DACC to effectively filter out Primary pollutants associated with vehicle exhaust emissions. The DACC is laminated with medical grade non woven polypropylene material which filters particulates from the air and helps prevent them from entering the respiratory system. The City filter offers protection against: - Hydrocarbons. e.g. Benzene; Pyrene;1,3 Butadiene. - Acid gases. e.g. Nitrogen dioxide; Sulphur dioxide. - Photo-chemical pollutants. e.g. Low level Ozone - Particulates. e.g. Black smoke; Pollen; Lead oxide
||2. The Sportsta filter uses electrostatically charged fibres to attract airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns in size. 1 Micron = 1/1000mm. Unlike most particle filters which rely on mechanical retention, which inherently results in high inhalation resistance or very large cumbersome filters, the Sportsta filter offers extremely low inhalation resistance, by like comparison. The Sportsta filter offers protection against: - Pollen dust; Building dust; Clay dust; Grain dust; Soya dust; Carbon dust; House dust.. - PM10's. e.g. Diesel smoke. - Lead & Tar.
What size mask do I need?
With the exception of the Bandit, there are two sizes available, medium and large.
Generally, medium will be suitable for most women and large for most men. Your retailer should be able to assist in the correct sizing.
Do the filters need replacing, if so, how often?
Yes the filters do need replacing:
|1. The effective working life of the City filter depends on a number of factors, such as; the breathing rate of the user; ambient levels of pollution; the length of time the filter is actively working; hygiene levels. Taking these factors into account we recommend that the filter should be replaced every month or every 69 hours, whichever is sooner.
||2. Replacement of the Sportsta filter should be carried out every month or when the filter becomes noticeably discoloured.
What filter do I need?
You will need to determine what type of environment you will be using the mask in, a city environment or a countryside environment.
Typically, if you are commuting every day with heavy or slow moving traffic, you should use the City filter. Although chemical pollutants can be found in the countryside; crop spays, fertilisers etc., particulates are more likely to pose a potential problem, thus a Sportsta filter is likely to be the better option.
I need the protection of the City mask, but would like the added comfort of the Sportsta, is this possible?
The filters and valves used in both the City and the Sportsta masks are totally interchangeable.
Do I need to replace the valves?
The valves should not need replacing on a regular basis assuming that they are maintained properly.
On a monthly basis, it is advisable to flush the valves through with warm water, allow to dry and apply a little talcum powder to prevent the valve from sticking. On the Powa valve, it is essential that you locate the two pins, nearest the hinge, properly into the body of the valve, and check that they are seated properly.
Can the mask be washed?
It is recommended that you wash the neoprene shell of the mask every month under normal use.
To do this it is necessary to remove the filter and the valve first. Although spare valves and filters are available from your retailer, please be careful not to misplace any of the components during maintenance.
These bendy nose things, how far should I bend them?
The malleable nose clip deforms easily so that a good fit can be formed around the bridge of the nose.
Continuous or exaggerated deformation will eventually cause failure in the metal - it will snap. Once a good fit has been found, it is best to maintain the shape, rather than folding it flat when storing it or when not in use.
How long does the Bandit last before it needs replacing?
Under normal conditions the Bandit will provide the user with approximately six months protection.
The Bandit incorporates D.A.C.C. which is specially coated so that it can be washed. It should be washed on a regular basis to maintain optimum performance. Immerse in a pan of boiling water (this releases the petroleum compounds pounds which are attracted to the D.A.C.C.) and leave to cool. Then wash in warm water using a non-automatic washing powder, rinse and leave to dry.
What filters do I need for the X-treme masks?
Essentially the filters in the X-treme function in the same way as the City and Sportsta filters do.
The X-treme mask for sports utilises the particulate filtration ability of the Sportsta and the X-treme mask for urban use, uses activated carbon as its filtration medium.