Herve and Goska of Develotour pioneered an interesting way to measure and visualize air pollution. On a yearlong bicycle trek across the continent, the couple traveled through several Asian countries. They visited a number of major Asian metropolises and experienced firsthand their respective air qualities. In each locale they wore TOTOBOBO filtration masks to protect their lungs from the polluted air. Every six hours they changed the filter. By the end of their trip they had a visual demonstration of the relative air quality of the cities they had visited, thanks to the filter in their TOTOBOBO mask.
Across the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia, air quality was horrifically poor, in cities and the countryside alike. Airborne particulates, even when not plainly visible, abounded. Without the masks breathing was laborious, but with the TOTOBOBO mask breathing the polluted air was much more comfortable.
For extended periods of time the mask was comfortable even during the intense workout of a day-long bike ride. One downside (due largely to the high humidity of the climate) was the accumulation of moisture inside the mask.
Displayed below is an image of the air filters from various cities on their journey. Those particles that remained in the filter would have entered Herve and Goska’s lungs without proper filtration. The gradation in filthiness indicates the grave state of air pollution in the given cities. Without protective masks, continuous exposure to poor air quality causes serious pulmonary diseases and disorders. In China and India especially, where horrific air quality meets the world’s greatest populations, this is a matter of great concern.
After their trip Herve and Goska spread air pollution awareness by lecturing to university and grade school students about the state of air quality across the world’s most populated regions: