Testing Totobobo mask against N95 mask

Totobobo mask is the most comfortable and advanced respirator in the non-certified respirator market. In many respects the patented design is revolutionary. The original design cater to the needs of common users, who do not have access to professional fit-test facility and yet need the assurance of a well fitted respirator.

preparing Totobobo mask for test

Preparing Totobobo masks for test

A different approach
To provide assurance of good fit, we made the reusable mask with transparent plastic, so that users can see through it and check the face-seal. We make the mask customizable, so that users can trim it to fit their face. The thin and flexible plastic is highly adaptive and easily follows the contour of the face, require very little force to hold on to the face. The strap is exceptionally flexible and comfortable to use. There is silver ion anti-virus additive in the mask to make reuse more safe. all these sounds great on paper, but how does it perform in real life?

testing Totobobo mask

Testing Totobobo mask

Testing the masks
To validate the protection of Totobobo, we sent the masks to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong to test the effectiveness by professional fit-test facilities.
A randomized controlled cross over study was carreid out to compare the efficacy of Totobobo with fitted tested N95 masks (1860 or 1860s or 1862, 3M). The test was conducted in 22 healthy volunteers. The key findings are:

– The pass rate (filtration factor >100) of Totobobo mask was over 73%, while majority of (N95) masks fitting less than 40% of the test population
– The average filtration factor of fitted tested N95 masks is higher (193) then Totobobo mask (135).
– In terms of comfort, 65% subjects preferred Totobobo mask over their fitted tested N95 masks

Quote from the report:

“..Using the Totobobo mask in the panel of masks to be tested may reduce the number of masks that need to be tested before an adequate fit is found. This potential advantage, however, will need to be balanced against the time taken to trim the Totobobo mask to size. Furthermore, in situations where there is insufficient time to carry out fit testing use of the Totobobo mask may be a useful stopgap measure. In addition to this, the fact that the Totobobo mask is designed to be reusable may provide significant advantage. This would minimize the problems associated with the need to stockpile disposable masks and the difficulty of obtaining supplies in an epidemic. However, prior to concluding the mask is re-usable it is necessary to test the effect of sterilization processes on the mask. It is conceivable that such processes may make the mask less pliable and the fit less good. Moreover it is important to ensure that the process of changing the HEPA filters does not contaminate the user with infectious particles.

In terms of comfort 65% of subjects preferred the Totobobo mask over the N95 mask (1860, 1860s 3M). While the confidence interval straddles 50% this may be due to our small sample size. Comfort is an important issue when masks need to be worn for long periods of time. Greater comfort may translate into greater compliance with proper use of the mask and hence greater protection in clinical use. The experience of our ICU during SARS suggests that compliance is an important factor in determining the risk of occupational infection.”

The bottom line
If your have access to fit-test facility and have time to conduct fit test, the best option is fit-tested N95 mask. Otherwise, Totobobo mask provides reasonable good protection even if you don’t have access to fit-test facility or there is no time for fit test.

fit-test result from one of the subject

fit-test result from one of the subject

Source:
A randomized controlled pilot study to compare filtration factor of a novel non fit tested HEPA filtering facemask with a fit-tested N95 mask.
by Dr Sylvia S.W. Au, Dr Charles D. Gomersall, Patricia Leung and Dr Peggy T.Y. Li.
Dept of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.

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