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I live in India and have been commuting to office daily on cycle for nine months now. I have developed a permanent sore throat and my skin has also deteriorated because of pollution.

I bought a neo mask (anti pollution), but I find it hard to breathe with it on while going uphill. Please suggest how to prevent pollution from taking a toll on one's body.

  • See related question about anti-pollution masks: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/10245/… – Benzo Apr 8 '14 at 12:57
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    Additionally, check out another question about respirators for pollution: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/9267/… – Benzo Apr 8 '14 at 12:57
  • possible duplicate of Is pollution a problem in urban cycling? – Batman Apr 8 '14 at 13:07
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    I'm not sure that this is a duplicate. For one thing, this question is stating that (at least for this user) pollution is undoubtedly a problem. The question @Batman cites is dominated by answers comparing exposure in cars to that while biking, which isn't particularly helpful here. – superdesk Apr 8 '14 at 19:00
  • This seems to help me: I blow my nose. It's not a total fix but it's cheap, easy and seems to help. – Jim Fred Apr 9 '14 at 2:44
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There is really nothing you can do. Anti-pollution masks are mostly placebo, and beside making breathing harder, they have close to zero efficiency in terms of air filtering.

Military gas mask would do the job, but for obvious reasons it is not appropriate for biking.

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There is some peer-reviewed evidence which shows that wearing a (proper) filtering facemask does have noticeable effects on one's vital signs compared to when not wearing a facemask. Whether this is enough to make a long-term difference in effects of city pollution on one's health, I can't say. Nevertheless, there are some cycling-specific masks which do carry industry certifications for filtering particulates yet needn't inhibit your breathing (cf. e.g. Respro or totobobo), so, if you're really concerned about it, I'd err on the side of caution (or rather paranoia?) and buy a decent mask and wear it.

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