“Whatever is on the filters, glad that stuff is not in my lungs!”
John from London, U.K.
John sent us his used filters after 3 months of using Totobobo mask for cycling and taking the Underground in London. He was shocked to see the dirty filters, much in the same way as Claire’s account of her experience of using our mask. At an individual level, increased level of fine particles, or PM2.5, was found to be responsible for triggering heart attack and respiratory diseases.
In hindsight, both John and Claire were smart to do something to reduce their exposure to air pollution. A recent study, jointly conducted by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, estimated that 5.5. million lives were lost in 2013 to diseases associated with outdoor and household air pollution, which has emerged as the deadliest form of pollution and the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide. While pollution-related deaths mainly strike young children and the elderly, these deaths also result in lost labor income for working-age men and women. The cost to the economy is substantial. Through the lens of “welfare losses” across age groups, the aggregate cost of premature deaths was more than US$5 trillion worldwide in 2013.
The infographic below is from the World Bank site. It shows the substantial burden of air pollution, strengthening the economic case for action. As you read the infographic, think about what will you do to reduce air pollution.