Types of Mask and their effectiveness against Haze in Singapore



Haze season may be creeping back.



If you did not read the news, August is predicted to be a hazy month.




According to recent reports, forest burning has intensified in Indonesia. This means that there is a possibility of haze returning to Singapore. Given that this occurs every other 2 to 3 years, it might make sense to stock up a few masks to prepare for the inevitable.

Before you head out to Qoo10 to purchase that mask, note that NOT all mask are effective against haze. For one, the fancy head mask you have for cosplay would not work against the mighty haze.



You may have seen people wearing a fanciful looking mask that would make a fashionista proud, but just how effective is it against haze?

1) Handkerchief


If you have a handkerchief at home, you might be tempted to wear it out to brave the haze. We really think you should consider investing in a real mask. Other than having the possibility of being mistaken as a robber, there is zero protection against the haze.

2) Surgical Mask


Surgical mask are available everywhere and is a common sight in the hospital. It is cheap and a common sight during haze season. A surgical mask may protect you against viruses but against the smaller haze particles, it stands no chance due to its construction. You would end up with the haze irritating your lungs if you wear it out on an extended period of time

3) Cotton face mask


This is an improvement over the handkerchief. It comes in various colours and designs and you can get one to compliment your outfit. In terms of looks and comforts, it definitely edges out a traditional mask for haze. In terms of effectiveness, it would not be as good as N95 but maybe slightly more effective than a surgical mask. Since it can be washed and it is reusable, it might be worthwhile to stock it up if you intend to be out for a very short period of time.

You can get your mask from Qoo10 here.

There are also cotton masks that have N95 filters build in them now. You can get them from Amazon here.


4) Respirator Mask


These masks are usually used for spray painting. It is mainly used for filter against solid and liquid aerosols. However, it can also be used for the anti-particulate matter. There are some respirators that come with NIOSH N95 filters. The only issue is that if you really want to be mistaken for Bane from batman.

But if you really want one, get one here



We did manage to find a smaller and nicer version here.


5)N95

This would be the right masks to get for Haze as it is designed to effectively filter out particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller. The most notorious one are the 3M 8210 N95 mask that you see with yellow rubber. However, these are rather chunky and may not fit kids. Thankfully, there are now better-designed masks and even a mask for kids ( AIR + Smart Mask)

You can get N95 mask for adults here


You can get N95 mask for kids at this link 



If you do not have a mask at home, we do recommend you to get at least one set for the family. You do not want to be caught in a situation where masks run out and end up paying a premium for one at carousell.

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