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Mask fitting demo at Medic Drugstore


Participants of the mask fitting and validating demo

Participants of the mask fitting and validating demo

Due to the recent haze situation in Singapore, we receive many questions from customers regarding how to fit the mask. This is especially important for children because their lungs are not yet fully developed and are more vulnerable. Wearing an ill fitting mask gives a false sense of security; unaware users may expose themselves in unnecessary risks.

Upon customer’s request, we conducted a Mask Fitting Demo session at the Medic Drugstore at Tanjong Pagar Plaza. Medic Drugstore is our retail partner in Singapore since 2009.

First of all, we need to understand why mask fitting is important. The working principle of a mask (negative pressure respirator) is to seal-off mouth and nose such that the only way the polluted air can get into the mask is through the air filters. If the mask is not fitted properly, ambient air can easily bypass the filters and enter breathing zone directly. Henceforth wearing a poorly fitted mask is similar to not wearing a mask. On the other hand, a well fitted mask allows the users to breathe in cleaned air.

Totobobo mask fitting procedure:

1. Pre-test* – To demonstrate poor fit leads to poor respiratory protection.

2. ReShape to improve the fit – This is an iterative process between watermark seal check and reshaping.

3. Final test* – To demonstrate the high protection performance of Totobobo mask when a good seal is achieved.

*A professional respirator fit-test equipment, TSI Portacount Pro+ 8038, was used to validate the protection performance. Portacount Pro is the gold standard in the industry for respirator testing.

Two important features (unique to Totobobo mask) we demonstrated during the Mask-fitting session:  The Watermark Seal Check (WSC) and the ReShape function.

Watermark Seal Check (WSC):


Watermark shows up where the mask touches the face, also where the seal is

Watermark Seal Check (WSC) is a patented feature of Totobobo mask. It allows users to check the seal by means of “Watermark”, easily and accurately. The “Watermark” refers to the area of the mask changes from translucent to transparent when the mask touches wet skin. A continuos watermark loop around nose and mouth indicates a completed seal.

  • First wet face with water, then put on the mask.
  • Check the edge areas of the mask whether a continuos watermark loop appears around nose and mouth.

Tips: Sometimes by adjusting the straps (shorter or longer), making it a little tighter or looser, or moving the mask up or down can shift the watermark and change the seal condition.

adjusting earloop

adjust Totobobo earloop by looping the strap around the filter and in between the two small wings


ReShape the mask

Totobobo mask is made of a special polymer which allows re-shaping when it is heated up by hot water or hair dryer. Most of leakage problems occure below the chin and around the nose bridge can be solved by ReShaping. Here are two approaches to eliminate the gaps in these areas.

ReShape the bottom of Totobobo mask to fit the chin

ReShape to fit the chin: Press a finger on the fold line against table top, hold it for 10 seconds.

To eliminate gap below the chin – A new mask usually doesn’t fit a face perfectly due to a fold-line formed while flat pack. The fold line causes a gap below the chin. To eliminate this gap:

  • Dip the mask quickly into and out of hot water a few times (70-80°C, NO boiling water which will damage the mask permanently)
  • Press a finger on the fold line against table top, hold it for 10 seconds.
  • Release to check if the fold line dimminishes. If the fold line is still obvious, the water may not be hot enough. Redo with hotter water. The lower part of the mask should have been widened up.
Moulding the nose area and at the same time open up the Totobobo mask to transform it into a 3D shape

Moulding the nose area and at the same time open up the Totobobo mask to transform it into a 3D shape

To eliminate gaps near nose bridge – With the help of Watermark, take note of the location of the gaps (translucent area) next to the nose bridge.

  • Dip the mask quickly into and out of hot water a few times (70-80°C, NO boiling water which will damage the mask permanently)
  • Hold the bottom (chin part) of the mask with one hand, use the other hand to help shape the nose bridge area (use thumb and index finger to press at the points where the gaps are observed).
  • Hold the mask in the new shape for a minute or two to fix the shape.
  • Try the newly shaped mask on user’s face with the WSC method. You may need to do this back and forth a few time in order to eliminate all the gaps. But once you achieve it, the new shape can be retained for subsequent uses.

Below is an overview of the “Mask fitting and validation process” for your reference (Click to enlarge).

Totobobo mask fitting demo process





This question is repeatedly asked:

How is it possible for Totobobo filters to filter out sub-micron particles?

This is an important question because sub-micron particles contained in polluted air is the major health concern. The secret of Totobobo filters is the high intensity static charges on each fiber which made up the filter matrix. When you breathe in, airborne particles follow the air and pass through the filter matrix. Fine particles are very susceptive to the static charges and therefore most of them eventually are attracted onto the filter fibers. In fact, Nelson Lab test shows Totobobo F96 filter is able to cut down 99.86% of 0.1 microns particles. Under a microscope it shows how small particles are attached to the filter fibers.


Fig. 1  Fine particles, size range from tenths of microns down to 0.1 microns are attracted to the fibers as they pass through the complex matrix of the Totobobo filter.


Fig. 2 100X magnification view of a needle (0.6mm thickness) and filter fiber.

Totobobo filter with a needle of 0.6mm thickness

Fig. 3    Totobobo filter with a needle of 0.6mm thickness


Quoted from the NIOSH Science Blog below:


How do filters collect particles?

These capture, or filtration mechanisms is described as follows:

Diagram illustrating the filtration mechanisms of inertial impaction, interception, diffusion, and electrostatic attraction. In each case, fibers are shown filtering particles.

  • Inertial impaction: With this mechanism, particles having too much inertia due to size or mass cannot follow the airstream as it is diverted around a filter fiber. This mechanism is responsible for collecting larger particles.
  • Interception: As particles pass close to a filter fiber, they may be intercepted by the fiber. Again, this mechanism is responsible for collecting larger particles.
  • Diffusion: Small particles are constantly bombarded by air molecules, which cause them to deviate from the airstream and come into contact with a filter fiber. This mechanism is responsible for collecting smaller particles.
  • Electrostatic attraction: Oppositely charged particles are attracted to a charged fiber. This collection mechanism does not favor a certain particle size.

In all cases, once a particle comes into contact with a filter fiber, it is removed from the airstream and strongly held by molecular attractive forces. It is very difficult for such particles to be removed once they are collected. As seen in Figure 2, there is a particle size at which none of the “mechanical” collection mechanisms (interception, impaction, or diffusion) is particularly effective. This “most penetrating particle size” (MPPS) marks the best point at which to measure filter performance. If the filter demonstrates a high level of performance at the MPPS, then particles both smaller AND larger will be collected with even higher performance.

This is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of filter performance and bears repeating. Filters do NOT act as sieves. One of the best tests of a filter’s performance involves measuring particle collection at its most penetrating particle size, which ensures better performance for larger and smaller particles. Further, the filter’s collection efficiency is a function of the size of the particles, and is not dependent on whether they are bio aerosols or inert particles.

Graph showing a filter's efficiency on the Y-axis and particle diameter in microns along the X-axis. Efficiency falls in the 'Diffusion and Interception Regime'.


Totobobo winter collection

This “Winter collection” is not a fashion series, but the collection of used Totobobo filters throughout the last winter in Beijing, China.

Danni Moody, an English teacher living in Beijing, post the following picture on her Instagram and Facebook.

Danni Moody photo of used Totobobo filters over the winter of 2014 in Beijing.   Photo credit: Danni Moody at Junkateer

Danni Moody photo of used Totobobo filters over the winter of 2014 in Beijing. Photo credit: Danni Moody at Junkateer

From Danni Moody:

I’ve lived in Beijing teaching English for 1 year. I ordered my Totobobo in November when the pollution starting getting bad. The pollution is much worse in winter which is 5-6 months long here. 9 out of 10 days in winter are heavily polluted. There were days where the tops of apartment buildings couldn’t be seen because the pollution was so bad. Totobobo is the first mask I’ve used and I love it! I like that I can see the change in the filters as they collect the pollution. I wear it to and from work, about an hour each day and I change the filters twice a week. I decided to save my used filters from winter and take a photo of them when Spring started. It’s scary to see that all of that gunk could’ve been in my lungs if I didn’t have my Totobobo mask! The only downside to these plastic masks is the condensation that accumulates inside of it, but I will still use Totobobo despite that:)

Thank you Danni for the cool pic!



Mr. Richards is a Triathlete, trying and trying to qualify for the Ironman World Championships. He advocate for clean air after seeing how quickly his Totobobo filters turn into dark grey from pristine white just after a few rides to work.

I was shocked when received the used filter from G. Richards. He collected the used filters last year and the result speak for itself – you don’t want this stuff get into your lungs!

For those curious, here are some details of Mr. Richards’ Bike2Work route:

From February to July, 2014, from Leinster Gardens, across Hyde Park and finished at the other side of River Theme. A 35 minutes cycling each way.

From July to December 2014, from Leinster Gardens to Hanover Park, 20 minutes each way.

Mr. Richards found that his right-side filter alway turns darker than his left-side filter, because he rides close to the curb and traffic is always on his right. Each pairs of filters were used for two weeks for riding to and from work.

G.Richards-filters-2 G.Richards-filters-3


Former CCTV anchor Chai Jing release her documentary “Under the Dome” which is all about air pollution in China last week. She asked the following questions in the 104 minutes video report:

What is haze?

Where does it come from?

What can we do?

Within 24 hours of its release, it had over 100 million views online. Over the weekend, it had over 150 million views. This is quickly become the most impactful report and hopefully helping to shape the opinions and future energy policy regarding pollution and emission.
The documentary is now available in youtube (translation is being made through crowd-sourcing effort) :

more information at upworthy: http://www.upworthy.com/everyone-waited-for-it-to-be-taken-down-150-million-views-later-its-still-up-watch-it-here?c=ufb0


Totobobo news features on Reuters

Our recent news about Petit mask make it’s way to Reuters.  Interesting!

Totobobo featured in Reuters News.

Totobobo featured in Reuters News.


Planning to travel to China or India?  Air pollution can be a real concern if you are traveling with kids to cities such as Beijing in China, or Delhi in India, because children’s lungs are more susceptive to the harmful effect of airborne particles call PM2.5.

Singapore based Totobobo Pte. Ltd. introduced a new pollution mask specially designed for women and children. The new “Petit” mask comes with an innovative system to ensure a good seal between the mask and the user’s face.

Water Mark Seal Check of Totobobo UNIFit system

Water Mark Seal Check of Totobobo UNIFit system

Quality of the face seal is essential for the effectiveness of protection against air pollution such as PM2.5. However, it is often overlooked due to lack of simple and accurate method to check the seal. A study of 1500 fit-tests of 500 N95 masks on 50 Chinese by Tongji Medical College,  Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, discovered that over 90% failed the fit-test due to poor face seal. This suggests at consumer level, over 90% of the time, even a certified N95 mask may fail to provide the expected protection due to poor face  seal.

Totobobo UNIFit system addresses the important issue of face seal with “Check & Seal” approach: 

1) An easy and accurate method to check the face seal, called “Watermark Seal Check”.

2) A “ReShape” feature which allows the user to shape the mask to close any gaps identified by the Watermark Seal Check.

3) A “Cut to size” feature which allows user to trim the mask to fit small children, in case ReShape alone is not sufficient to close the gaps.

“In addition to better fit and better protection, the UNIFit system also results in more comfortable wearing mask.” said the inventor Francis Chu, who has 20 years professional experience in product design.

Woman wearing Petit mask

Woman wearing the Petit mask. One can easily check the seal through the transparent mask.

A boy wearing Petit mask (customised to size)

A boy wearing Petit mask (trimmed to size)

Compares with the original Totobobo mask, the Petit is smaller, softer and more comfortable. Early Petit mask tester, Miss Hu Xiao Fei from Beijing China,  commented in Weibo:

“When I put on the new Petit mask, I was amazed! It fits so well all around my face, there is nothing I can say. I just love it!”

It looks like this small mask is going to be a big hit!

There is nothing I can say, it fits so well and seal my face all around! Miss Hu Xiao Fei (胡笑非), Beijing China

There is nothing I can say, it fits so well and seal my face all around! Miss Hu Xiao Fei (胡笑非), Beijing China

More information about the Petit mask can be found from the official website: totobobo.com, or contact us here.

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Totobobo Petit (kid)

The Petit is a smaller version of the original Totobobo mask and is specially designed for ladies and children with smaller face sizes. Similar to the original Totobobo mask, the Petit comes with many important features of the original Totobobo mask, including easy and reliable seal check, which is the world’s first.

What are the important features we keep in the new Totobobo Petit model?

– Water-mark seal-check (Water mark seal check)
– ReShape the mask with hot water or hair dryer , to optimise fit to individual
– Can be trimmed to fit smaller face sizes (sometimes down to three years old)
– Adjustable straps for security and comfort
– High performance filters, easy to breathe
– Essential packaging, minimum impact to environment

Totobobo Petit (lady)

While inheriting the advantage of the original Totobobo mask, the Petit added the following improvements:

– Smaller size, fits most female and teenagers without trimming
– Softer mask body, more comfortable
– More secure filter cap
– Bigger effective filter area, even less breathing resistance than previous
– Includes an adaptor to convert earloop to head strap

In terms of operation, nearly all user instruction are the same as previous, except how to remove and replace the filter. Here is a video showing how to do it:

How to remove the filter:

How to install new filter:

For readers from China, please click here


How long does the Totobobo filter last?

This is a frequently asked question, but there is no standard answer.

The simple answer:

Change the filters when the color of the filters changed to 50% grey as shown in the filter package, or

Change the filters after 2 weeks of starting using it, even if the color has not changed so much.

The long answer:

The effective duration of the filter is heavily dependant on environmental factors and usage patterns. For example:

– Where is the filter being used? Outdoors or indoors?

– Is the air pollution level very high when you use the filter?

– Are you using it all day long, or just during your commute?

– Are you using it for exercising, such as running or cycling, or while you are driving?

– Are you using it while handicrafting? such as wood turning?

– Is the user a big man, or a small child?

All the factors mentioned about can affect the effective duration of the filters. If you are a big guy use the filter mask outdoors for exercise, your filters will last a lot shorter than a small boy using the same filter mask mainly indoors.

Since it is not possible to give an accurate answer for the effective time duration, we instead suggest the following, for maximum protection:

1) Change the filters when they reach a 50% gray color (as shown in the filter package).

2) Maximum usage duration is 2 weeks since first use of the new pair of filters, even if they have not reached the 50% gray color.

You may ask, why 50% gray and not 40% or 60%? And why 2 weeks, not 4 weeks?

To be honest, we are also not sure! But we’ve done tests and we feel comfortable with the above recommendation, knowing that the filters are still sufficiently effective at 50% gray and after 2 weeks since first use.

Below is an experiment to find out the remaining effectiveness of a pair of filters after two weeks of use, after accumulating enough pollutant to turn it into a 50% gray.

50% grey filter matching the color on the filter package

50% gray filter matching the color on the filter package

Filter preparation:

1) Attach a pair of filters to a box fan, drawing air continuously through the filters until it changes to 50% gray (matching the picture on the filter package).

2) Insert the filter to a Totobobo mask, and ensure the watermark seal check shows the mask fits well on the user’s face.

Respirator test with 50% gray filters:

We then conduct an NIOSH standard fit test for N95 mask.

Test setup with TSI PortaCount Pro 8083 respirator fit tester

Test setup with TSI PortaCount Pro 8083 respirator fit tester

Test result:

The test result is a marginal pass (Fit-factor = 100) for NIOSH N95 standard. Converting this result to filtration efficiency as following:

Filtration Efficiency = (1- 1/Fit-factor)% = (1- 1/100)% = 99%

This is not as impressive as a new pair of filters which is usually able to achieve a Fit-factor of 130+ , but it still provides sufficient protection for pollutant protection purposes.

Test result, Fit-Factor = 100

Test result, Fit-factor = 100




The quality of protection against PM2.5 is highly depends on how well a mask is sealing your face. Through the transparent body of Totobobo mask, you are able to determine the quality of the seal by checking the “watermark”. If necessary, you can Reshape the mask to improve the seal. Below is a short video showing how to ReShape a mask by a hair dryer.

* Alternative: ReShape Totobobo mask with Hot and Cold water