Best Cycling Mask Got Better

Develotour DVD is out! Goska and Herv? from France to Asia on a 16,000 km eco-cycling tour

Cover of Develotour DVD. The ultra lightweight mask they wear is considered by many cyclist the best in the world

Goska and Herv? of Develotour Asia released the documentation film of their year-long ECO-cycling trip from France to Asia, crossing some of the most polluted areas including India, Thailand, Vietnam and China. They covered a total distance of 16,000 km on the bicycle, observing and reporting the environmental issue as they pedal.

The lightweight and comfy Totobobo mask was their choice of respirator for lung protection from heavy air pollution. From 1:05 to 1:38 in the clip below you can see why they need a pollution mask and how Totobobo has been used during the trip.

The TOTOBOBO anti-pollution masks came in very useful in India! We’ve tested the masks in Delhi, the Indian countryside and Calcutta. I can tell how polluted were these cities, by the varying shades of brown on the used filters. Even far from cities and factories, the air is very polluted.
– Goska Romanowicz

Pollution mask filters before, inside and after Beijing, each one after 6 hours of pedalling

Used filters before, inside and after Beijing, each one after 6 hours of pedalling

SuperCool – the best pollution mask just got better!

The ultra-lightweight-transparent-mask were considered by many cyclists the best in the world. Yet the design team in Totobobo has been working continuously to improve it further. Based on the feedback from Develotour and many cyclists, the original Totobobo mask has been re-designed. The result? Another revolution! the latest SuperCool model further enhanced the strengths of the original design, such as lightweight, re-usability, easily clean, fold-flat, and improved on the comfort and fit. The SuperCool makes heavy breathing easier through the mouth, completely eliminated the glasses fogging problem while perfecting the fit and face seal. Early adopters like Ross from California, Maurice from Thailand and Erika from New Zealand has given their seals of approval. Jump to the Special September Offer to get a good discount while the offer is still on!

The coolest pollution mask for cyclist and motorist, Totobobo Super-Cool mouth mask

SuperCool – the coolest pollution mask

SuperCool – the coolest pollution mask

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Study: Smog Exposure Before Birth Lowers Baby’s I.Q.

ATLANTA — Pregnant women are often paranoid about their pregnancies. Now a study released this week gives them something else to watch out for.

That study linked pregnant women’s exposure to smog and air pollution to lower IQ in their babies. How concerned pregnant women should be?

Mary Hadley Ozburn is 36 weeks pregnant with her third child — her second boy. Both she and the baby are ready.

“You wanted this baby out since, what, 32 weeks?, asked her OB/GYN Dr. Michael Randell.

“Yeah!” she confirmed.

As anxious as they both may be, they will not be received into an entirely welcoming environment.

“The study’s interesting,” said Dr. Randell. “I think it supports other data that has come out showing that pollution can affect developing fetuses.”

There’s a growing number of studies that link exposure to smog in pregnant women and slowed development in their babies.

“Sure it makes sensen” Dr. Randell said. “Pollutants are brought in through the lungs. From the lungs it goes to the bloodstream…cross the placenta. And then the baby’s exposed to it.”

Mary Hadley Ozburn has heard about this study. She’s concerned — a bit.

“I might take a few more precautions being pregnant”, she said, “but certainly I wouldn’t change a lot about the way I live my life.”

For Randell, this study is one more item to add to the list of things to watch out for.

“If,” Randell said, “you are in an environment where you are near a lot of exhaust from automobiles for example, that’s something that you’d probably want to change, while you’re pregnant.”

Randell would not advise a pregnant woman to wear a surgical mask when outside. He says there is no evidence that a surgical mask is effective in blocking smog from entering the lungs.

This particular study did not have the rigorous controls that some do. Still, in concert with other studies, doctor Randell says it’s at least worth doctors and their patients talking about it.

Maybe after that conversation Mary Hadley Ozburn’s baby wouldn’t be quite so anxious.

Related reading:
Kids’ Lower IQ Scores Linked to Prenatal Pollution

Erika’s finding: Respiratory Safety for exercising outdoors in Urban areas

Im a Product Design student in New Zealand and Im currently looking into the issue of Respiratory Safety for exercising outdoors in Urban areas. To find a solution I need to find out as much as possible from those of you who feel affected/concerned by the issue. I will be designing a system or product that hopefully appeals to users and improves respiratory safety and performance but I need to know your thoughts/wants/needs/dont wants in a product!! If youve got a bit of time it would be great if you could answer the following survey to help my research along!

Erika Hansen testing running with a respirator

Erika Hansen testing a respirator running

Erika Hansen, a Industrial design student from New Zealand posted a survey regarding respiratory protection in outdoor sports to many cycling forums like Melbourne Cyclist , Bike Radar, Vorb and others. Her questionnaire must have traveled around the world multiple loops and helped her uncovered many useful insights.

I was curious and asked Erika if she would mind sharing her research. Erika is very kind and forwarded her research synopsis to share with all.

Erika Hansen-research synopsis

The measured mean tropospheric NO2 for 2008 as measured with the satellite instrument SCIAMACHY. Hotspots on these world map are the industrialised area in Europe, China, the USA and South-Africa. A lot of other mega-cities can also be found as a localised spot with enhanced NO2 concentrations.

The measured mean tropospheric NO2 for 2008 as measured with the satellite instrument SCIAMACHY. Hotspots on these world map are the industrialised area in Europe, China, the USA and South-Africa. A lot of other mega-cities can also be found as a localised spot with enhanced NO2 concentrations.

What Ross say about the Totobobo SuperCool?

A big thanks to Ross for providing his first hand experience with the SuperCool mask. You can follow Ross at twitter

The coolest pollution mask

Ross using Totobobo SuperCool mask

SuperCool mask helps Ross to cut down air pollution while cycling in traffic, Photo by Ross, L.A. USA

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The SuperCool mask is great hands down. I don’t work for Totobobo nor am I paid to say this, and I’ve been using this mask for a few months now. I first started with the original one that covered the nose and mouth. I liked the simplicity and that I could easily wash the mask but as a glasses-wearing cyclist, my glasses seemed to fog up when stopped at red lights or slowed down (at higher speeds the breath exhaust seemed to present less of a glasses-fogging problem). This was a problem.

But when I wrote to the company informing of my problem they were willing to offer a few suggestions. One was to try cutting the mask to better fit my head, but the other was about this new version that only covers your mouth. I gave it a try.

That I am no longer exhaling into the mask, the fogging glasses issue has completely disappeared. (I breathe in through my mouth, which is in the mask/filter, and out through my nose.) Actually, I think I get a better seal with this smaller mask than I did the full one. And I find there is much less condensation collecting in the mask (no humid exhale within the mask), which means I do not need to wash the mask as often. This may also have a positive impact on the filters (keeping them drier), but I’m not a scientist, so I can’t credibly comment on that.

Pulling down the mask to talk to other cyclists is also very easy with this mask. You can talk through the mask, but you might sound a little like Darth Vader, so I simply pull the mask down around my chin if I want to talk, then pull it back up when I ride on. The side straps are very stretchy.

I also have a mask by another company it’s neoprene and velcros in the back. I haven’t really tried this mask extensively due to a few reasons: 1. it looks like it would tend to get hot in the summer days here in Los Angeles as it covers a lot of skin on your face and neck essentially with a wetsuit, 2. the metal nose bracket, which I thought would be beneficial to get a good seal, seemed to irritate my nose, and 3. the Totobobo is just so light and easy to use I just haven’t had a compelling urge to try another mask.

Big props to the company who has seemed to design a great, simple product and whose customer service has been very responsive and helpful. When I change out the filters they are visibly discolored and I’m glad that at least some of that stuff that I otherwise would be breathing (dirt, pollution, particulate matter, brake shoe dust, etc.) is in the filter instead of in my lungs.

Ross, the dudeonabike
Los Angeles, California, USA

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Why Totobobo SuperCool mask sucks? Traffic fume!

SuperCool pollution mask helps cyclist and motorcyclist to fight traffic fume

SuperCool pollution mask helps cyclist and motorcyclist to fight traffic fume

Cyclists and Motorcyclists! If you are looking for a pollution mask that really sucks, your long awaiting search has come to an end. The new pollution mask from TOTOBOBO, called SuperCool mask, is designed to suck more, traffic fume that is leaving only the clean air for your lung. Its high efficient filter keeps the nasty nano-particles out and doesnt diminish the oxygen you pull in with each breath.

The SuperCool is the worlds first pollution mask with the nose uncovered. Such unexpected feature brings surprising advantages. First of all, exhaling through the nostrils will never fog up your glasses. Having the nose free means you can clear your nose while protecting your lungs a necessary edge when racing traffic or just cruising through town. according to Francis Chu, a cyclist and the designer of SuperCool. You can even switch between nose and mouth breathing instantly when riding through alternate clean and polluted area no need to stop to remove or put on the mask.

Whereas other masks require intense scrubbing to keep them clean, the TOTOBOBO can be washed and dried within minutes. Your breathing gear will no longer have a funky film of week-old bacteria. Even if you do, the SuperCool is easier to clean than the dishes in your sink. The rest of your cycling gear can be smelly and gross, but at least the one that covering your face should be kept cleanand odor free. Oh, and germs? No worries. The SuperCool is embedded with anti-microbial Silver ion inside out so nothing can grow on it.

The SuperCool mask is customizable to fit your face as need be. This helps to keep the best fit and seal. It also prevents your roommate or sibling from borrowing it and getting it covered in their germs.

The only way the TOTOBOBO SuperCool doesnt suck is the SSS-look – Sleek, Slick and Slim, a far cry from other protective masks which look like the gear of a Storm-trooper from Star Wars. The SuperCool is small enough to fold into your pocket and weighs next to nothing (18 grams). It will slide under any helmet and leave plenty of rooms for glasses or goggles.

Best of all, the TOTOBOBO SuperCool mask is reusable, just replacing the filters as it turns grey. The SuperCool mask and filter are now available at totobobo.com. You will even get a free reusable pouch for carrying the mask!

About Totobobo:
Totobobo is the world’s first customizable respiratory mask designed to fit both adults and children. It has been sold to over 35 countries. Totobobo mask uses patented technology that ensures comfort and good protection from pollutants.
Totobobo is a trade mark of Dream Lab One Pte. Ltd.

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6 hot tips for visiting the Shanghai Expo 2010

Last week we visited the World Expo in Shanghai. The city has expanded and modernized since my last visit only four years ago. We had planned on staying three days, but could only manage two.

The Expo has been a huge success for visitors and locals alike: approximately 300,000 to 600,000 people attend daily. For Shanghainese, it is a golden opportunity to see snapshots of the world without leaving town. Large crowds translate into long lines. Popular pavilions, like the China, Japan, or German exhibits, can be as long as a three to six hour wait! Waiting in line for multiple hours can be exhausting and will take your strength out of you for the rest of the day. We ended up seeing the Australia and Austria exhibits at the end of the day when lines were shorter.

Since arriving I monitored the air quality in Shanghai and was shocked by the very poor conditions in the city. Airbone particulates are produced by the heavy industry, constant construction, and ever-present automobiles around Shanghai. The reading on my laser particle counter registered between 10,000 to 20,000 in Hong Kong, 30,000 in Guangzhou, but in Shanghai 40,500! Thats over ten times the very poor rating of 3000.

After the visit, I collected the following 6 great tips for anyone visiting the Shanghai World Expo:

1) Don’t let the poor air spoil the fun. Bring a Totobobo mask: The air pollution in Shanghai is worse than Hong Kong or Guangzhou. Bring a good mask if you have a sensitive nose. The Totobobo mask doubles as an air-moisturizer on your long flight to China.

2) Avoid queues and optimize your time: Enjoy the exterior architecture during the day. Visit the less popular pavilions before 7pm and check out the more popular ones later when there are fewer visitors.

3) Manage your energy so you can keep exploring throughout the day. Standing in a queue or reading the exhibit can be exhausting. Go to the many eateries or take short breaks to replenish your strength.

4) Research before arriving: the Expo site is huge. Even if you have a whole week you can not see it all. Plan which pavilions you want to see beforehand so you can save time and see everything you want.

5) Expo taxi: Keep the Expo Taxi hotline on hand: 96822. Their service is efficient and the cost is very reasonable, and it will make the difference between seeing what you want and waiting around for a cab.

6) Sight seeing: Shanghai has plenty to offer visitors throughout the year. My favorites are the Bund, Nanjing Dong Lu pedestrian shopping boulevard, Hung Shan Lu historic residential area and Tien Zhe Fong art and design caf that preserves classic shikumen architecture.

Most of all, however, bring a smile and a positive attitude and you will be sure to enjoy your time in Shanghai.