Breathing Easy in Polluted Times
Vogmask, a California-based company, was first created by Burning Man attendees who sought to create a high-quality breathing mask as a solution to the dust storms in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Because these storms are so common, those attending Burning Man often have to arrive armed with goggles and masks to face the harsh conditions, which can cause respiratory troubles. Now, Vogmask has arrived in Chiang Mai, and just in time too: providing the option of a new, high-quality mask designed to help residents of the city breathe easier throughout the year’s worst months of air quality.
Vogmask describes its product as the first “high fashion and highly efficient reusable particle filtering face mask in the world.” It is now sold around the world, and has been praised for its effectiveness and design in countries including India, Vietnam, the USA and China—particularly for use in combating the health effects of air pollution, dust and microscopic smoke particles typically found during the Chiang Mai burning season.
Chiang Mai resident Ross Harbottle first heard about the Vogmask at the Chiang Mai Expats Club in November of 2016, during a presentation about the health risks associated with field burning by Marisa Marchitelli. He learned that the Vogmask stands out from other conventional breathing masks in its ability to protect wearers from PM25 particles, one of the smallest and finest types of air pollution. These particles can come from many different sources of air pollution; vehicles, factories, agricultural burning, and more. Symptoms of exposure to PM2.5 particles range from asthma attacks, eye and throat irritation, headaches, to serious respiratory diseases and even lung cancer. The mask offers wearers protection from these dangerous particles, which most other basic masks do not.
Impressed by the product and wanting to provide a product that could improve and protect the health of local residents throughout the burning season, Harbottle contacted Vogmask’s Southeast Asian headquarters directly, and arranged for a special Chiang Mai-only promotional not-for-profit sale of their mask for Chiang Mai Expat Club members, family and friends. The Vogmask is now available locally in a range of colours, at the discounted price of $27 USD, as opposed to $33-$44 per mask. Interested in getting one for this burning season and those to come? For information about the mask and how to purchase it, visit http://chiangmaitechs.com. Don’t wait too long; the special discount is only available until April 30th, 2017, and supplies are limited to 500 masks. After they are gone, the masks will have a 10% discount until the end of the year.