"It's as good as being on a ventilator. It removes 99.87 of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and also saves you from the danger of contracting swine flu (which has so far claimed over 700 lives across the country)," serial entrepreneur Jai Dhar Gupta, who introduced the Vogmask in India last month, said.

"I imported the first consignment of 1,000 masks (from the US) in January and thought I could sell about 10,000 by the end of the year. As it happens, between Jan 5 and now, I have sold 10,000 pieces, all by word of mouth," the Wharton-educated Gupta added.

"We have already signed up with W.H. Smith at T3 (Indira Gandhi International Airport) and will soon be expanding to 40 pharmacies like Guardian, SRL, Apollo and 98.4 across the country and also on Flipkart and in the Mumbai duty-free," he said.

Simply put, the mask comprises an outer layer of polyester microfibre printed with non-toxic vegetable-based inks. The middle layer is a N99 polypropylene filter. The final active carbon layer is derived from coconut shells.

It also has a one-way exhale valve and two ear loops."Taking anti-allergy drugs to prevent one from the dangers of air pollution and swine flu is not the answer," Gupta said, lamenting that Indians "are not pro-active... they are reactive,” Gupta explained.


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