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Wearable Tech

The weird cycling mask at CES that blocks air pollution

The R-Pur Nano mask makes it easier to breath for runners, cyclists and bikers.

R-Pur Nano Mask

R-Pur Nano is a new anti-pollution mask aimed at runners, cyclists and motorcycle riders. The mask in this photo is a prototype that lights up to indicate poor air quality.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Cycling to work, or jogging within a city exposes you to exhaust from cars, buses and trucks. Over time this exposure can make it hard to breathe and lead to asthma or even more serious respiratory conditions. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 million people die every year from exposure to air pollution.

The French company R-Pur at CES Unveiled wants to tackle part of the problem with an anti-pollution mask aimed at runners, cyclists and bikers. The R-Pur Nano mask filters toxic particles, pollen, viruses, bacteria and the fine particles found in diesel exhaust.

The R-Pur Nano has three parts. The first is the actual filter, which removes very fine particles and nanoparticles (50-nanometers) that can cause serious health problems. R-Pur's filter exceeds all European standards for particle masks of this type.

Next, is the mask, which holds the filter. It actually looks stylish and comfortable. The navy blue version has a preppy anchor pattern, giving off a Brooks Brothers vibe. I'm sure a particle mask has never been described that way before.

The R-Pur Nano mask is lightweight and can be worn under any type of motorcycle or bike helmet. The front has an extraction valve to let hot air out fast when you're exerting yourself running or cycling.

r-pur-pollution-mask-computex-2018-2

The mask can fit under any bike or motorcycle helmet design.

Claire Reilly/CNET

The mask attaches by two straps: one worn high around the crown of your head, the other worn at the top of your neck. Only time will tell how wearing it every day will feel, but it seems like the R-Pur Nano would be more comfortable than a disposable particle mask with elastic bands.

A representative for R-Pur showed us a new prototype of the Nano mask that lights up with different colors. As the mask moves through the air, colors reflect the air quality. For example, it might glow green if the air is good, or red if it's bad.

The third part of the R-Pur Nano is the company's app that tracks wear and tear on the filter. An algorithm determines when it's time to replace your filter. Depending on your use, a filter can last between 5 and 12 weeks.

The R-Pur Nano is currently available in Europe for 170 euros, which converts roughly to $200, £150, AU$275. It will be available to order in the US later this year. Extra filters cost 78 euros.

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