The Human Filter Would Fail An Efficiency Test In The 21st Century

The Human Body Is Pretty Incredible- But Can It Handle That Pollution?

The human body and its capabilities are astonishing. Our body is capable of doing things we sometimes can’t even imagine ourselves. However, sometimes we need to face the inconvenient truth that in today’s day and age, there are some things our body cannot handle by itself- for reasons that are man-made themselves.  One of those things, is filtering out pollution.

Yes, in those golden days there was just enough of the right kind of pollution that our body’s system could handle- with some nose hair, some mucus lining in our respiratory tract. But the kind of fine pollution particles that our activities generate are particles that can not only enter our airways, but also are thin enough to enter and get lodged into our lungs.

If we were to try and get a filtration efficiency certification for our body’s filtration system, we would most likely fail the test (unless in a few years we evolve as shown in this quirky Chinese environmental campaign video). And that is why we need to make sure that while we develop ways to reduce pollution, in the short run we use effective filters to protect ourselves from the harmful pollution we would otherwise breathe in.

Types of Filters Used in Masks and Freka’s Facewear

There are two types of filters generally used for pollution masks: Melt-blown filters and nano-fibre filters.

  • Melt blown filters, the type of filter most commonly used (and that Freka facewear uses), uses static electricity to pull away the dust and other particles from the air. Think of a balloon that pulls tiny fibres and dust towards it when you rub it against your sweater. This type of filter maximises efficiency and minimises pressure drop (increased resistance).
  • Nano-fibre filters- the other most common type of filter- work like a sift and are made from exactly what its name suggests: natural or synthetic materials that are made into nanofibers around 1/500 the diameter of a human hair. Although nano-fibre increases the surface area for particle interception, the nanofiber design also increases air-resistance, although there are innovations being made on that front.

How Long Are Disposable and Reusable Filters Effective For?

Unlike our bodies that have natural mechanisms to clean itself and regenerate, filters and Activated Carbon Fibres used in pollution masks and facewear unfortunately have a limited life span. There is no such thing as a perpetual filter quality.

As soon as you start using a filter it starts accumulating the particles from the pollution and becoming saturated and reduces the quality and effectiveness of the filter- even if you wash it and reuse it. Taking the example of places like Beijing and Delhi, in just one or two days the filter in your mask/facewear- reusable or disposable- will have increased breathing resistance because of all the particles lodging in the filter, and washing it will not mean it will remain as effective as it was at the beginning.

What Does This All Mean Then?

This means that regardless of filter type, filters should be replaced regularly to ensure you are always breathing in good filtered air, with ease.

Freka cares about your health and your breathing experience, and we have made every conscious effort to provide an easily replaceable filter for our facewear. Our ergonomic facewear design reduces any unnecessary hassle while changing the filter, and we also operate a very unique business model where we keep the bare minimum margin on our filters, because accessibility and ensuring you are breathing fresh air every time is our highest priority.








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