Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Face Mask Time!

Whether you are battling allergies to unfamiliar plant life, trying to protect your foreign immune system from exotic germs, or about to visit a city with a smog problem so severe that flights are being cancelled, your local Japanese drug store has got you covered!  Just swing by and pick up a pack of face masks!  

The number of masks per pack may vary- look for a number display near the top.  On the pack of kids' masks, the number in the top, right-hand corner indicates that this package contains three masks.

Japanese product labeling is usually so blatantly gendered that reading skills are completely unnecessary- here, pink and medium-sized masks are for women, while the blue and large-sized masks are for men.  Of course, the kid-sized masks are the smallest of all!

I looked for the masks with the highest and most prominently displayed percentages, assuming that the higher the number, the more efficacious the mask.  An email with this photo, sent to my Japanese friend, confirmed my hunch.  These masks are the most highly rated for pollen/germ/pollution protection.  We are ready for any air-borne hazards that Asia can throw at us!

Side note:  One of my students told me that there is an allergy in Japan that literally translates to "China Dirt Allergy."  As in, China has deforested so much of their country that the exposed earth is blowing to Japan and clogging up people's sinuses.  Oh, and it blows all the way to the States, too.  Which is...ummmm...good for people who like to ski in the Sierra Nevadas?

Disclaimer:  I do my best to make sure all my information is accurate.  However, details may change or I may just be flat-out wrong.  Please let me know if something needs a correction.  Thank-you!

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