All StyleSEAL filters are independently tested at Nelson Labs, Salt Lake City, UT, USA in compliance with US-FDA regulations 21 CFR Parts 210, 211 and 280 at a particle size of 0.3 microns.
StyleSEAL filters are replaceable, which is very different from disposable surgical masks or respirators. Other masks use either disposable filters thrown away after use, or non-replaceable filters. We compare our replaceable filters to both alternatives:
- Costs significantly less long term
- Multiple filter levels
- Superior fit and seal advantages
- Attractive designs and fabrics
- No risk of damage during cleaning
- Ease of knowing when to change the filter
- Ease of breathing
Disposable filters are discarded along with the nose piece and ear straps each time. As a result, the manufacturers use inferior, cheap materials that perform poorly. Since StyleSEAL, Penumbra and Umbra air masks use replaceable filters our nose piece, ear straps and fabrics can be of high quality, insuring a tight seal to the face.
Products with built-in filter do not give you the ability to evaluate the status of the filter, since you cannot see it. Also, the filter material must be cleaned along with the other parts of the mask, which is detrimental to the capability of the filter.
Beware of cloth only masks
Cloth only masks should not be used since cloth alone is not a filter. Fabric, in most cases, is designed to breathe through and so cannot filter PM10 and PM2.5 particles. Therefore, cloth alone does not filter the small particles that will hurt you! Cloth masks merely keep the bugs out of your nose.
The filter that you select should match the highest hazard level you may encounter during your daily routine. Your hazard level can change drastically during the day based on the environment around you, your commute, workplace or school. There may be times when the various risks may be greater than normal. When the hazards increase, you should also increase your protection by increasing the filter level.
StyleSEAL has various filter levels for you to match to your current level of pollution:
Each pair of replaceable filters are coded with a colored ring to match to the Air Quality Index (AQI). The higher filter levels are thicker and more efficient, but also more costly and harder to breathe through.
Below is the Air Quality Index (AQI) scale and our recommended filter chart:
Some Air Quality Index scales show the PM2.5 levels as well, which are included in the chart below and in our filter recommendation chart.:
The filter recommendation chart identifies at risk people such as those sensitive to poor air quality, those with allergies, the sick or elderly, who may require a higher level of filtration.
Carbon Additive (+) Absorbs Gaseous Pollutants and Odors
In addition to the (4) four filtration efficiency levels you can choose to add carbon to our 80 and 90 filters. Carbon can absorb gaseous pollutants in the air.
The major gaseous pollutants include:
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2),
- Carbon monoxide (CO),
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- Ozone (O3).
- VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds
The primary source of these gases is the combustion of fossil fuels in power plants, various industrial processes, and motor vehicles and equipment. Each of these pollutants, in their gaseous form, can cause harm to human health and the environment. If you are near automobile exhaust or work near chemicals such as a hairstylist or nail technician you should consider carbon additive.
Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, using chemical adsorption.
Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum possible exposure to the filter media. One pound (454 g) of activated carbon contains a surface area of approximately 100 acres! Carbon can be highly effective in absorbing gaseous pollutants and odors.
Nano-Silver Can Kill Germs
Nano-silver can transform protein and amino acid expression and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus damaging the DNA of germs and kill them. Thus, nano-silver can eliminate a wide range of germs without any drug resistance. It is also characterized by high efficiency and strong permeability, so is able to kill detrimental germs within several minutes. Both the 95S and 99S level filters include the nano-silver additive.
Our filters are easily installed by attaching the loop side of the filter to the hook side in the air mask, as shown below.
How do I find the Air Quality Index for my city?
On the World’s Air Pollution website you can find the Air Quality Index (AQI) for every city in the world. This is a good place to start. Another tool we recommend is the AirVisual air quality app. You can install this app on our smartphone to keep track of the daily AQI readings in your area or city.
Read more about how to keep track of the air quality on our tracking air quality page.