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Stylish Breathing Masks That Actually Protect You From Pollution

Stylish Breathing Masks That Actually Protect You From Pollution
Cities

Airinum wants to offer eye-catching, functional masks to urban dwellers in major cities

Eva Recinos
  • 18 november 2015

A Swedish startup is tackling a problem that affects a wide range of cities and countries: pollution. Airinum has created a line of masks that aim to make it easier for wearers of all ages to stay protected.

Co-founder Alexander Hjertström felt the need for protection from pollution firsthand. While living in India, he developed asthma and couldn’t find a mask that offered adequate protection.

According to Discovery News, surgical masks—a popular choice when looking for protection from pollution and airborne diseases— are intended namely for protection from bodily fluids during surgery. The materials of these masks does not necessarily prevent inhalation of harmful elements. A more successful mask would allow the wearer to breathe normally while filtering out pollutants.

Most experts recommend finding a mask that meets the N95 criteria (which means that the mask can filter at least 95 percent of “airborne particles” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Current options include Vogmask, which ships its masks to the United States and internationally.

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Airinum’s co-founders kept comfort in mind when designing the masks; each one comes with features like adjustable ear loops and elastic binding. Two exhalation valves make it easy to breathe normally. Users just need to replace filters, which last about 200 hours. The outer skin can be washed like any other piece of clothing.

For added flexibility, the mask also uses an adjustable nose clip. All these elements come together through materials like polypropylene and micro fiber.

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Besides function, aesthetics also play a major role in the design of the masks. Early photos of the masks show different patterns and colors that are minimal yet playful.

“All our inspiration is taken from Scandinavia,” wrote co-founder Fredrik Kempe in an email. “For the Kickstarter we decided to take inspiration especially from Scandinavian nature, which is the theme following the whole design collection we will let the backers choose from.”

As of now, the masks will come in different sizes suitable for adults and children six years and up.

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The startup plans on launching its official Kickstarter campaign on November 23. Kempe says the masks will be available in an online shop and certain retail locations.

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