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Saigon Sam Part 4: Air Pollution Protection With a Paint Respirator

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Published on Oct 14, 2009

Guide to reducing inhalational hazards outside, and even indoors, with a paint respirator. In industrializing urban areas, you'll encounter smoke from burning trash, diesel fumes, sulphur dioxide, NOx, carbon monoxide, paint, acetone, metal polish, spray paint, and other goodies on a regular basis. By use of a cheap (USD10) paint respirator and replacable filters (USD3), you can substantially protect your lungs and other organs from cancer. However, successful long term mask use depends on a few "defensive respiration" techniques discussed in this video.

This video was shot in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, although I developed the techniques described in Manila, which is even more polluted. Even under such extreme conditions, the mask served me well: I rarely had lung pain, "traffic headaches", or metal polish nausea after I started using it. I only wish I'd started sooner, as I now have permanent lung damage from my previous experience.

The Blue Eagle masks are available from Tru Value and ACE Hardware in Manila, and elsewhere. Their website is http://www.blueeagle.com.tw . Other masks may provide a better seal, but may also have more expensive filters.

If you don't think air pollution matters to your health, you need to hit Google and start reading the science! Don't let a few confused glances stop you from protecting yourself. If anything, I've had the chance to raise awareness of the price of air pollution, just by chatting with people who asked me why I wear it. Some people laugh, but many of them of get the point, and hopefully start thinking about their own health. Air pollution is a fact of life in industrializing societies. Don't depend on the government to solve the problem. Protect yourself.

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