People are seeing an increase in demand — and need — for new, inventive technology as the need for clean air grows, particularly in urban areas. In the short and long term, how we breathe and the quality of the air we breathe has an impact on our respiratory health. For the more physically active, NAROO’s MICRONET filtering fabric technology — integrated into running masks, cycling neck gaiters, and other face covers — protects and benefits athletes in new and more efficient ways.
Medical institutions, such as the World Health Organization and the American Lung Association have said that face masks do not restrict oxygen supplies, produce carbon dioxide “intoxication” or damage the immune system, according to research.
But what about the needs of professional and semi-professional athletes? Wearing a mask has “no discernible adverse effect on blood or muscle oxygenation, and exercise performance in young, healthy subjects,” according to research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan.
What is pollen’s effect on our health?
Let’s talk about pollen and pollution, the two worst enemies of your lungs.
Around 22% of the world population suffers from pollen allergies, while the prevalence of rhinitis in athletes ranges between 27% and 74%. Pollen allergies lead to nose congestion, watery eyes and other issues that affect an athlete’s health, comfort and athletic performance.
Research also shows that the blockade of histamine receptors delivered by allergy medicine leads to exercise capacity, whole-body glycemic control and vascular function being blunted.
While we often associate mask use and air pollution with East Asian countries, the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report from 2021 shows that “more than 40% of Americans—over 135 million people—live in places with dangerous levels of ozone or particle pollution.” Europe is not new to these problems, with around 90% of city dwellers exposed to pollutants at levels higher than recommended.
These pollutants can cause short- and long-term health concerns for athletes, such as upper and lower airway dysfunction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more, as well as greatly increase the chance of a heart attack.
What Can You Do About It?
We already know that a dedicated air pollution mask or a pollen mask isn’t required to stay safe. Many inhaled airborne allergens have been proven to be blocked by face coverings such as single-use surgical masks, while even basic cotton masks can significantly reduce allergy symptoms. But what about your other requirements as an athlete, which go beyond safety and comfort? After all, running with an allergy isn’t exactly pleasant. In fact, it may have a negative impact on performance.
NAROO MICRONET™ Filtering Fabric
The majority of particles as small as 1.7m are blocked by the NAROO MICRONET filtering masks (40x smaller than a human hair). Aside from their excellent protection, all NAROO masks with MICRONET technology provide a number of additional advantages to an athlete.
- Sports masks and sports neck gaiters are the most breathable sort of facial covering, according to studies. While different types of face coverings offer varying degrees of comfort and breathability, research has revealed that sports masks are the most breathable type of face covering. Even after heavy exertion, the MICRONET filter allows you to breathe freely.
- Washable and reusable over 100 times — The MICRONET filter is built into the fabric of NAROO masks and can be washed alongside the mask without losing its effectiveness, making it a highly reusable and breathable filter.
- There is no need to replace the filter because the particular fabric and knit are the filter — While mask filters come in a variety of types and prices, there’s an easier approach to safety that doesn’t require a deep dive into your search engine or money. Because the MICRONET filter is woven into the mask, you won’t run out or have to do any extra effort.
- Filters pollen, dust and other particles as small as 1.7μm (40x smaller than a human hair) — Most masks block particles over 2.5μm, therefore filtering out the usually larger particles of pollen, but the NAROO masks using MICRONET™ technology offer 1.7μm coverage, keeping you more than, well, covered. They eradicate the need for a dedicated mask for pollen or a pollution mask.
- Moisture-wicking and quick-dry in wet conditions – With NAROO masks, harsh environmental conditions aren’t a problem. You are covered while sweating in the heat, or when in need of a balaclava with a filter for the cold. The masks are quick to absorb moisture, providing comfort and allowing you to focus on your performance.
The NAROO products in which the MICRONET™ filtering technology can be found are in the F-Series: the F5, F5s, F1s, F3H, F3F, F.U Plus, and F.U Plus Copper series. The beauty of the filtering fabric is that it combines all of the advantages of various filters and mask types into one thin, comfortable, and adaptable cloth for semi-professional and professional athletes. Before you go, have a look at some feedback from people who have tried the sports face masks.
The MICRONET filter fabric blocks pollen as well, giving this mask an added benefit for hay fever sufferers. — Nick Harris-Fry, Coachmag™
When they say breathable, they really mean breathable! — Jovi Figueroa, Metro.Style
This is effective on both pollen and dust, but will still keep out other harmful airborne pathogens such as coronavirus, even after 100 washes. — James Bickerstaff, OriGym