Asthma is not something that we’re new to, it has been known to cause many problems and discomfort for asthmatic adults and children. Asthma can be deadly if it is not dealt with carefully. Both adults and children can suffer from asthma attacks when exposed to air that is filled with dust and other pollutants.
Normal airway and airway under asthma attack
Air pollution can be caused by different sources, both man-made and natural occurrences. Air pollution includes gases, smoke from fires, volcanic ash and dust particles. A research done by AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) shows that air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms. A study of young campers with moderate to severe asthma showed they were 40% more likely to have acute asthma episodes on high pollution summer days than on days with average pollution levels.
Source : http://o3organics.com/about-ozone/
A gas, one of the most common air pollutants. It contributes to what we call ‘Smog’ or haze. Commonly found in cities with more cars and also more common during the summer period when there is more sun and lesser winds.
Ozone is very irritating to the lungs and airways, hence triggering asthma attacks. It reduces lung function and make it difficult for us to breathe deeply.
Another form of airborne pollutants, entering your lungs through your nose and mouth while breathing. People with asthma are at greater risk from breathing in small particles, these particles can make asthma worse.
How does an Air Filter Mask help prevent one from asthma attacks?
An air filter mask doesn’t help to get rid of the air pollutants, but it does help to prevent these pollutants from entering our body. Clean and fresh air is very important for asthmatic patients, therefore, wearing a mask that can filter out the pollutants is very important for them. Many might think a simple surgeon or face mask will be able to block out these pollutants, but in actual, these masks do not help much as the tiny particles can pass through the gaps in between the mask and the user’s face.
Totobobo Masks are using filters that are able to filter out these tiny air pollutants, most importantly, the PM2.5 and 0.1microns. Even better, our masks are able to be customized to fit and provides a good seal, for both adults and children.
Here are some links for you to have a better insight of how air pollution can be harmful to our bodies, if you’re interested, do take a look!
We are also honored to have Dr. Anil, one of our valued customers, give us feedback on how Totobobo Mask has been helpful to him. Being asthmatic and a doctor himself, we can be sure that his opinions are valuable and constructive to other asthmatic patients.
Below are the posts about his review on the Totobobo Mask over the many years:
An effective air filter mask is what every cyclist will need, or even better, to stay away from the busy roads. That’s the conclusion I got when studying the animated 3D ‘Pollution Map’ video of London, by Kings College. The orange and yellow markings, mainly covering the main roads, indicates a high level of pollutants, whereas the blue markings indicates that the air is in a safe and healthy level. Air pollutant levels are bound to be higher on the main roads when compared to places that stray away from the bigger roads, but who would have imagined the difference to be this big!
The short video below shows that the highest concentration of air pollutants exists along the main roads and peaks at the junctions, mainly due to the slow moving or stagnant vehicles stuck in traffic. Areas that are further away from the main roads are clearly better.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), the negative health effects of different pollutants are different. Ultrafine Particles, such as the 0.1-0.3Microns, can travel deep into our lungs and reside there longer than their older brothers, the PM10, >10microns and PM2.5microns.
Some 3.7 million premature deaths annually are attributed to outdoor air pollution. About 80% of those deaths are due to heart disease and stroke, while another 20% are from respiratory illnesses and cancers related to exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), the most health-harmful air pollutant.
It has been proven long ago that ultra fine particles reduces the health benefits of physical exercises. Increased evidences have showed that these ultra fine particles are the culprits of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. According to UCLA, the smaller the particles, the more toxic chemicals they are able to carry. These ultra fine particles are capable of traveling deep into our lungs, they stick to our lungs and releases the chemicals they have brought along with them which damages our blood vessels and causes our blood to solidify, forming blood plaques. Places such as traffic junction and busy roads have the worst exposure to these pollutants. Therefore, it isn’t a silly idea to be wearing a filter mask while cycling through the busy traffic. However, you’ll have to make sure that the mask you own forms a good seal on your face and that the filters are able to filtrate the ultra fine particles (0.1micron and PM2.5).
Air pollution has been living alongside out since a long time ago. We have been trying to battle it out but it takes time to completely eliminate this problem. Which is why, for the time being, it is better to protect ourselves while fighting the air pollution. As much as it is important to protect yourselves, it is also important to know what you’re protecting yourself from in order to further enhance your protection.
Here we have, compiled a list of information and studies that are related with air pollution. It is a little wordy but definitely worth your time to read!
“Inhalation of smoke of firecrackers is very harmful not just to the asthmatic and the elderly but also to health human beings and can cause cough, fever and can also cause acute eosinophillic pneumonia.”
“Cycling to work may seem the healthy option, but a study has shown that people riding in cities inhale tens of millions of toxic nanoparticles with every breath, at least five times more than drivers or pedestrians.”
“From my personal experience of using a mask over the last five or six years I would say is particularly effective at preventing infections such as flu and is very good at hayfever prevention and preventing dust from triggering my asthma.”
“I’ve been using it for 2 months and I like my job again. It cuts out the general air pollution around but if you’re right behind a truck or similar you still breathe in some gas but if you know how to avoid and dodge that while your riding then this mask really helps.”
It is important to study a product carefully before buying it, one of the most important things to take note of are the comments made by other consumers who have purchased the same product. To save you the trouble, we have done up a compilation of the different reviews we have gotten over the years from external sources, therefore they are trustworthy and not made up by us!
(Tips: click on the images below to jump to the sources)
Debra Bruno, a freelance journalist and a jogger in Beijing explains her choice of Totobobo mask to the Wall Street Journal during an interview
“This filter was white when I started and it got this nasty grey after only 10km.”Chas Pope – Marathon runner
“The filters show up an astonishing amount of dirt after just a few cycles, which really hits home how dirty the air we breathe in is. It’s easy to attach and I can move my face when wearing it – a bonus.”
“Tipping the scales at 20g, Totobobo is the lightest reusable respiratory mask on the market. “
“The white filter pads make it easy – and incredibly satisfying – to monitor the particulates that have been caught “
“There was a visible change in the colour of the filters, and I was more aware of the visible dust being kicked up by trucks and was grateful I wasn’t inhaling this. I suffer from hay fever and could imagine the mask would be a huge benefit in reducing the symptoms. “ — Chris Lima, a member ofIoD Oxfordshire
via avid traveller:
“We have started using our Totobobo masks, and changed the filters for the first time after 7 days of usage in Malaysia, plagued by the haze coming from Indonesia. So far we are satisfied, it works well and the filters are getting grey as expected!” Davide Vadalà and Oti from Nomad Travellers
“it is a well-designed, super lightweight mask that allows me to freely breathe as I wheel around town.” Sahn
“Totobobo mask has a good feature where you can customize the mask (and the ear loop) by reshaping it with hot water / hair dryer. This is a very crucial feature, a mask that do not fit your face is not an effective mask at all.”
“Given how dirty the pads get, I can only assume this mask is blocking out plenty of pollution. The mask itself is soft and doesn’t rub, even when sweaty.”
“Totobobo mask is also comfortable to wear and easy to breathe with. So it is commonly used by cyclists, motorcyclists and artists when navigating around in polluted environments.” Pris Chew, runner blogger
via health sites:
“Aside from an amazing name, this mask is interesting for its design – it gets moulded to your face (using warm water) for a good fit, and when worn, is transparent where it’s in contact with your skin, and translucent otherwise. This means that you can just stand in front of the mirror and ensure that you’ve gotten a good seal on the mask.”
Clean Living Blog
“In other masks, there is no way to find out if it is tightly fitted on the face. Totobobo has solved this problem using an innovative ‘water-mark’ technique in which the frosted surface of the mask becomes transparent where there is good skin contact and remains translucent where there is a leakage.”
“the mask itself is more environmentally friendly. You only throw the filters away – not the entire mask. “
“This is the only mask I’ve been able to get used to. “
“As soon as I take it off, I’m aware of how much pastel is on and around me by just breathing (it’s scary to think I was breathing all that dust before!)”
The basic principle of any mask is very simple: Isolation (Proper Seal) and Filtering. The function of the mask is to force all the air entering the breathing zone through the air filters. This can only be achieved if the mask form a good seal with the face.
“Good protection is built on two factors: a good filter and a good seal“.
Surgical Masks are not good enough for airborne contamination
Surgical masks were designed to reduce the spread of germs from a patient, it is not designed to prevent air-borne contamination from entering the bodies. There are numerous gaps between the mask and the user’s face, allowing viruses or pollutants to pass through easily.
Surgical masks were designed to protect nurses and surgeons from blood contamination during an operation. In Japan, it’s common use was to reduce the risk of passing the Flu virus around by the wearers.
N95 mask effectiveness: Fit Testing is a problem.
Respirators, on the other hand, were designed to protect the wearer from airborne viruses. This is possible if the respirator provides a good seal on your face, making sure that the air you breathe, will only pass through the filter(s) before entering your respiratory system. A proper fit test can be conducted by a trained specialist with proper equipment, which is usually inaccessible for the public.
Some manufacturers suggest a “User Seal Check”, which is performed by blocking the filter(s) while blowing into the mask to feel if any air is leaking from the sides of the mask. Such practice is questioned by a study from the Price of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong. The study showed a 25% failure rate when trained users applied the “User Seal Check”. This technique recommended by most manufacturers is too ambiguous and unreliable. “It’s usefulness as a pre-use test must be questioned.”, the study concluded.
While looking for a respirator to protect his children, Francis Chu, the inventor of Totobobo Mask, encountered the same frustration as all the other parents. He became aware of the many difficulties that parents faced and determined to come up with a solution for everyone. He applied his expertise in product designing and experimented with hundreds of prototypes, before coming up with an ergonomic design that fits most users and more importantly, customisable and children friendly. He understands that apart from good seal and filtering, other factors like comfort, cleaning, reusing and portability are also important points to be considered before the product can be considered “Child Friendly”.
Following is a summary of how Totobobo Mask solves the common issues relate to mask wearing:
3 Reasons why Totobobo mask are superior!
Problem 1: Difficult to check for a good seal | Totobobo solution: Watermark visual Check makes it easy
Totobobo mask is transparent, for a good reason. Most masks are made of opaque material, it is not easy to determine if there is small leaks between the face and the mask. Totobobo mask solve this issue with a simple method to visualise the seal and the leaks. Through the transparent mask, the user can easily check the seal with a bit of watermark. First the user wet the face with a dampen cotton wool. Where the mask touches the skin, the frosted surface turns into transparent, immediately indicating a good seal.
Problem 2: Reusing dirty mask | Totobobo solution: Anti-virus, easy to wash, clean and dry
Disposable N95 masks and cloth based mask gets reuse for some times. The contamination and germs accumulated on the mask after each use can be a thread to health. Disposable mask cannot be wash, and cloth based masks are not easy to dry after wash. Totobobo mask is made of a soft plastic with embedded anti-virus silver ion. The Silver ion agent stop the grow of germs and the mask is easy to wash clean and dry for immediate reuse.
Problem 4: Different facial sizes | Totobobo solution: Trim to fit smaller faces
Childhood is a fast growing period, their face size change rapidly and extends a wide range. To address this size range, most manufacturer come up with different sizes, such as S,M and L. However, it is not easy to determine which size before you open the package and try the mask on your kid’s face. Most shop don’t accept returned product due to personal hygiene consideration. The unique solution that Totobobo mask offer is to allow the use to trim the mask according to the size of the face. You can even download a “Totobobo mask simulator” to construct a paper model of the mask to test the cut and the sizing before you purchase.
Parents and school teachers from different parts of the globe have discovered this new solution for their children and students. If you are looking for an effective Respirator to protect your children, Totobobo Mask is exactly what you are looking for!
A true example:
After Chemo, Kayla’s Immune System is still compromised. This mask is our safety net that has proven its workability.
“When Kayla did not have the mask and went to school, she ended up in the hospital for two weeks, every month, for three months, a total of 45 days. With the mask, she had no sickness, no hospitalizations, no colds, nothing.
Your mask is far superior to any other mask on the market. Period!”
Debbie, the mother of Kayla, knew that she needed proper respiratory protection if she wanted to play with other children. She had her tried all sorts of masks, Surgical Masks, N95 Masks, but none of them worked. Due to her weakened immune system after the Chemotherapy, Kayla would fall sick easily after she mingled around with other kids. Determined, Debbie continued to search for a solution. One day, a Google search led her to Totobobo mask. After studying the website, she decided to give it a shot. To her surprise, the Totobobo mask worked!