Australia has one of the most beautiful landscapes and natural environments in the world. Its pristine beaches, lush rainforests and vast array of wildlife are second to none. However, along with its beauty it is also known to have one of the harshest environments on this planet with floods, droughts, bushfires and not to mention it copious amount of deadly wildlife.
Bushfires are a real threat in Australia and the impact can be deadly. Whether it be its damaging affects to the environment and property or the effects it has on our health.
The bushfires earlier this year were devastating, and I am sure we all found it a little harder to breathe with a thick blanket of smoke polluting our air. This year, protect yourself and your family by getting a decent Australian-made air purifier and have some P2 masks handy - perfect for the current global pandemic and bushfire season.
If you had to wait weeks to get your P2 face masks during the bushfires last summer, you were not alone. Until now there have been no P2 face masks manufactured in Australia and there was a big shortage which was made worse with a pandemic to follow. P2 masks had to be sourced overseas and some were not genuinely certified plus made with harsh chemicals that can cause more damage than good.
The harmful health effects of air pollution due to bushfire smoke is real. It irritates the respiratory system and contains fine particles that once inhaled can cause damage to the lungs. This can be catastrophic for the elderly, children, pregnant woman and those that have pre-existing heart or lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema. Regardless of your current health, it is best to avoid breathing in these harmful toxins all together by staying indoors where possible. However, if this is not possible your best option is a P2 face mask.
Fay Johnston from the University of Tasmania's Menzies Institute for Medical Research says there is only one kind of mask that works to protect you from harmful bushfire smoke and that’s P2 masks. She says they're the only ones that can filter out a meaningful level of air pollution.
What is a P2 Mask?
‘P2’ is the term the Australian and New Zealand authorities use for masks that comply with a strict local standard known as AS/NZS 1716:2012. P2 respirator masks are required to filter out at least 94% of airborne particulates, according to Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). So it is a good option for protection from bushfire smoke and COVID-19. Other equivalent types of face masks are based on overseas standards N95: USA, KN95: China.
What separates a P2 mask from a P2 masks with a nano-filter?
The AMD P2 masks sold at Aussie Pharma Direct are the first P2’s to be manufactured in Australia, in a Sydney factory. These masks have a unique nano-filter which filters out 99.66% of particles, according to testing done on 17 July 2020 by VICLAB (BSI). This is higher than the 94% minimum – and significantly higher than the 30% filtration offered by some low-quality imported masks.
How does this compare with other filters?
The nanofilter is 0.1µm larger than air particles and smaller than harmful particles, and is filtered by the nanofiber structure itself, allowing for long wear, breathability, blocking and durability.
*All particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 μm can enter the human respiratory tract, but those particles that are smaller than 2.5 μm are of particular concern as they are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs then enter the blood stream and be transported to other tissues.
Most particulate matter emitted by combustion of vegetation consists of elemental and organic carbon and can be categorised according to their aerodynamic diameter: coarse particles are between 2.5–10 μm (PM10), fine particles are 0.1–2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ultrafine particles are less than 0.1 μm.
Melt-blown Filters V Nanofiber Filters
Nanofibres filter fine particles using its densely tangled nano-structure maintaining its high filtering efficiency for 24 hours. That means the masks do not lose performance if they become moist – unlike traditional melt-blown filters, which rely on static electricity to trap airborne particles.
RFS NSW Get ready weekend
RFS NSW is holding bushfire prep on 19-20 Sept. Weekend provides an opportunity for you to engage with your local brigade, find out about the bush fire risk in your area and to plan and prepare for the coming bush fire season. This year, brigades will be offering a number of ways to participate in Get Ready Weekend, from fire station events to discussing your fire plan online. Visit their website for more information.
If you have missed out, contact your local brigade for information or visit websites below: