CCA report: Totobobo mask performs not as good as $1 disposable mask?

2014-03-21 Beijing, China
China Consumer’s Association (CCA) published a major test report of 37 types of anti-pollution masks purchased from open market in China. These includes sources from both physical shops and online stores. The test was conducted according to Chinese standard GB2626-2006 《呼吸防护用品自吸过滤式防颗粒物呼吸器》, or 《Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators》. Majority of the test samples are disposable respirator, a few cloth mask (permeable material) with exchangeable filters. Only Totobobo mask is “rubber mask” (non permeable material) with exchangeable filters. According to the results, at a rating from poor (1 star, to best, 5 stars) Totobobo mask rated 3.5 stars for filtration efficiency, 4 stars for breathing resistance and “POOR” for face fit. This result compares to a few of the much cheaper disposable mask (e.g. Maskin 61750) is not impressive at all.

Link to the CCA test result here: http://www.cca.org.cn/web/xfzd/newsShow.jsp?id=66941

We were quite surprised by the poor result because there is a big differences from an earlier study done in the Prince of Wales hospital, Chinese University in Hong Kong. That study compared the performance of Totobobo mask against several N95 masks previously fit tested. The results shown that Totobobo mask was able to achieve reduction of airborne particles by 132 fold while those previously fitted 3M masks were able to achieve 193 fold of reduction. In terms of comfort 65% of subjects preferred the Totobobo mask
over the N95 masks (1860, 1860s 3M).

Link to the hospital test in Hong Kong: http://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(10)00033-2/abstract

Since there is a large gap between the two tests, we are now trying to find out more information about the CCA test, for example what kind of tests have been performed on the mask, and how it was conducted. Perhaps the reason will be more clear about our investigation. We will update this post at we find out more.

If you have any idea/theory to explain this performance gaps, please leave a comment below.

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