As Australia chokes in smoke once again this year, research shows that dust masks are flying off the shelves of local stores as well as online marketplaces such as Amazon.
Good Trends shows that Australian's are searching for dust masks and air purifiers in the droves, trying to keep their health under wraps.
However, before rushing out to buy yours, not every dust mask can actually protect you from P2.5 class smoke that you'll need for all that bush fire smoke.
Dust masks use P1, P2 and P3 filters with the highest protection being offered by P3 masks and P1 the least. For the best protection from smoke inhalation you should consider a P3 mask but these are quite hard to find here in Australia.
NSW Health recommends a P2 class mask for Sydney Smoke so below we've listed 5 of the best dust masks available to buy in Australia for protection against smoke.
Best Dust Masks Australia
1. Amazer Tec Dust Mask
The Amazer Tec dust and pollution mask is a reusable mesh mask designed as a lightweight mask for use in even the warmest of conditions to assist in the reduction of reactions to air pollutants and allergens inhaled through the nose and mouth.
The mask is suitable for all activities which involve the possibility of inhaling poor-quality air, including woodworking and other workshop environments, highly populated areas, highly industrialised areas, construction sites, painting, etc. Obviously, those suffering in the current Australian bushfire situation might find this mask helpful.
The mask is made from a very porous nylon material which is comfortable to wear but highly effective at filtering out up to 99% of particles in the air including dust, smoke, pollen, chemicals, fumes and other pollutants.
The design of the mask includes a half-head cover for your mouth and nose, with an adjustable nose clip, hanging ear, strap and removable hook-and-loop strap which keeps the mask from slipping. It is available in different sizes for an accurate and appropriate fit.
Dual one-way discharge valves and the mesh breathing material means that breathing is easier with no decrease in filtration effectiveness.
The mask is reusable but it is suggested that it be replaced after one week or more frequently under extremely polluted conditions, particularly if it has become discoloured.
2. Top Match Anti-pollution Mask
The washable Grade N99 Anti-pollution mask is a comfortable but extremely effective mask for preventing, or at least minimising, the annoying and often serious effects of inhaling pollutants, allergens, bacteria and other air-borne contaminants.
The mask is made from 100% cotton of a very high quality which is light, easily cleaned and which keeps its shape.
Having replaceable filters means that the mask lasts that bit longer than others do. In fact, each mask can last up to 12-months with regular washing and filter replacement.With extreme use and exposure, the mask may need to be washed as often as daily, following the instructions provided.
The filtration technology employed in the manufacture of the mask is military-grade and able to remove almost 100% of particles from the air you breathe as well as unpleasant odours.
The particles extend to heavy-duty matter such as coal dust, diesel exhaust fumes, factory emissions, construction works.
Air pollution from petrol and gases such as VOC’s, Ozone, Benzathine and Formaldehyde are also filtered out. Viruses and bacteria, as well as normal household irritants and pollen etc, are also covered.
In terms of comfort, the mask is very easy to wear with adjustable ear straps and a nose clip to ensure a good fit. Air valves open and close automatically and easily as you breathe for optimal comfort.
3. BASE CAMP Dust Breathing Mask
Using activated carbon to absorb airborne pollutants and other allergens the BASE CAMP dust mask is designed for those who regularly encounter these nasties and want a mask which can be re-used.
This mask filters out up to 99% of exhaust, dust, chemicals, pollen, smoke, paint fumes, wood-shavings, sawdust, etc.
The design features a lightweight and permeable nylon material which is comfortable to wear for extended periods, even in hot conditions.
It has a hanging ear design with removable hook-and-loop strap for a secure seal, and adjustable nose clip which helps with the seal and also to avoid fogging of glasses.
The Velcro straps which secure the mask over the head are a generous length and secure the mask well around the sides of the face.
The breathing valves are dual one-way discharge types which are made from a mesh material for easy breathing with no decrease in the effectiveness of the filtration process.
The mask is reusable but it is suggested that it be replaced reasonably frequently under extremely polluted conditions, particularly if it has become discoloured.
The mask is hand washable and the filters are replaceable. They are available separately on Amazon.
4. CFORWARD Dustproof Mask
Weighing a mere 56g and fitting securely and comfortably behind the neck, the CFORWARD dust mask is designed for anyone who wants to avoid all the harmful and annoying effects of pollution, viruses and bacteria, and other airborne allergens and irritants.
The simple design is unique to CFORWARD and features a large but comfortable Velcro-secured strap which will fit any size head yet will not slip down out of place. It is made from the same material as diving gear is made from and is light and soft, but airy and quick to dry.
The mask sits across the lower half of the face and behind the neck with an aluminium nose-piece for securing around the airways.
The mask has a plethora of ventilation holes throughout for comfort and airflow around the face, and a double air breathing valve which responds easily to natural breathing – opening when exhaling and closed upon inhaling through the filtration system.
The activated carbon filters catch up to 95% of even the smallest of atmospheric particulates and reduce the incidence of respiratory disease, asthma and hayfever, and the spread of other bacterial and viral diseases. Inhalation of carcinogens is also reduced.An extra set of filters is included with purchase.
5. Dräger X-plore 1720 P2
The X-plore disposable flat-folding dust mask from Drager is a certified AS/NZS 1716 mask designed to protect wearers from fine dust as well as solid and liquid micro-particles.
The 1716 standard specifies that the mask (or filter) be capable of filtering out “at least 94% of particles from ambient air while keeping breathing resistance low”.This mask can only be used once (or for only one shift of a maximum of one day).
This is a specialist mask intended for seriously dangerous worksites or other projects. The cost alone is prohibitive for everyday use by the normal person looking for an everyday mask.
The CoolMAX exhalation valve and soft inner lining in this mask prevent heat and moisture build-up within the mask by repelling water and keeping the breathing resistance levels very low over long periods for optimal comfort and safety.
The CoolSAFE filtration system consists of several layers to catch all particulates large and small and to ensure continuously easy breathing for the wearer at the same time. Furthermore, an activated carbon layer removes any odours above the permissible exposure limit for working conditions.
The mask itself is designed for comfort and is light and small, sitting securely against the face and around the nose and lower face with a good seal and nose clip for best protection. The strap around the back of the head is a light tear-proof strip of material designed to not tangle in hair.
Duncan is a world traveller who loves to explore new cultures. Currently he’s a freelance writer for Best Five who has studied at a prestigious university in the USA.