What with Beijing jockeying for pole position in the worst-air-on-earth sweepstakes, there's no depths we consider too low to sink to protect yourself. Along those lines comes the Maixingren, a new anti-pollution mask that covers the nose only and effectively blocks bad air but at the minor cost of one's dignity.

On display at the Beijing Science Week exhibition currently at the Nongzhanguan, the Maixingren mask uses medical-grade latex to create an impenetrable seal around the nose, which is exactly where most cloth filters fail (no mask is going to do you any good as long as air comes in around the edges when you inhale).

As long as you are not an inveterate mouth-breather (and don't mind the occasional comparison to Bozo the Clown), this filter does the trick, filtering out the bugbears of Beijing's bad air: both PM 2.5 and PM 10.

A demonstration station at the fair showed the effectiveness of the filter, and each kit comes with a set of plugs for consumers to test to be sure the seal around the nose is air-tight.

And yes, the Beijing-based manufacturers of the mask are aware they make you look a little funny. Hence the name Maixingren (霾 星人), a play on words that combines the tail ends of the words for 'smog' (the 霾 in 雾霾 wumai) and for 'space alien' (the 星人 in 外星人 waixingren).

The masks are available online at JD.com here and cost RMB 236. Replacement filters (recommended replacement times range from every 2 to 10 days, depending on time of usage and pollution level) cost RMB 43 for one or 3 for RMB 99.

Those looking for a more discreet nose-only filter might try the Infipure filter that we product-tested last year here, and the more fashionable among us will likely prefer the designer Vogmask profiled here.

Photo: Maixingren

Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog