Face Masks Block More than COVID-19


By Charles Pekow — Wearing a face mask while cycling might protect you from more than COVID and other contagious diseases. It can keep air pollutants out of your respiratory system, suggests a study from the University of Texas at Austin, but public health officials don’t often mention this.

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The research looked at previous studies and concluded “Although the scope of the evidence reviewed was relatively limited, it consistently suggested that mask use may be an effective and inexpensive personal intervention against air pollution for pedestrians and bicyclists. Public health organizations should consider encouraging the continued use of face masks as a personal abatement strategy of air pollution exposure during the post-pandemic stage.”

See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/362513409_A_scoping_review_of_the_benefits_of_face_mask_use_on_pedestrian_and_bicyclist_exposure_to_air_pollutants.


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Charles Pekow
Charles Pekow is an award-winning Washington correspondent who has written about bicycling for years in publications such as the Washington Post, Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, SPOKES, etc. as well as Cycling West/Cycling Utah. He also writes frequently on environmental issues and beer, among other topics. Weather permitting, you'll find him most weekends and some summer evenings astride a bicycle in a park. He is also a charter member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.


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