3 reasons why Totobobo Masks is the best for children!

“Totobobo is far superior to any other mask on the market. Period!”

-Debbie Witte @ www.freehelpforcancer.com

Filter + Face seal = Good Protection

principle of respiratory mask protection

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.

sugical mask showing gaps from both sides

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.

Adult N95 mask big gaps on child's face

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.

Another large scale study, “Fitting Characteristics of N95 Filtering-Facepiece Respirators Used Widely in China” found that over 90% of the participants were not able to pass the fit test as required by the standard.

TOTOBOBO mask improve user seal check

Main features of TOTOBOBO mask
Main features of TOTOBOBO mask

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!

READ MORE ABOUT TOTOBOBO MASK FOR CHILDREN :

The best fitting mask for children

Say no to pollution in school buses

Time for a better mask for children

Protect children from incense smoke

Transparent mask make easy seal check

How to’s

How to customize TOTOBOBO mask for your children?

How to wash TOTOBOBO mask for reuse?

How to check the mask-to-face-seal without fit-test equipment?

 

 

Mask fitting demo at Medic Drugstore

 

Participants of the mask fitting and validating demo
Participants of the mask fitting and validating demo

Due to the recent haze situation in Singapore, we receive many questions from customers regarding how to fit the mask. This is especially important for children because their lungs are not yet fully developed and are more vulnerable. Wearing an ill fitting mask gives a false sense of security; unaware users may expose themselves in unnecessary risks.

Upon customer’s request, we conducted a Mask Fitting Demo session at the Medic Drugstore at Tanjong Pagar Plaza. Medic Drugstore is our retail partner in Singapore since 2009.

First of all, we need to understand why mask fitting is important. The working principle of a mask (negative pressure respirator) is to seal-off mouth and nose such that the only way the polluted air can get into the mask is through the air filters. If the mask is not fitted properly, ambient air can easily bypass the filters and enter breathing zone directly. Henceforth wearing a poorly fitted mask is similar to not wearing a mask. On the other hand, a well fitted mask allows the users to breathe in cleaned air.

Totobobo mask fitting procedure:

1. Pre-test* – To demonstrate poor fit leads to poor respiratory protection.

2. ReShape to improve the fit – This is an iterative process between watermark seal check and reshaping.

3. Final test* – To demonstrate the high protection performance of Totobobo mask when a good seal is achieved.

*A professional respirator fit-test equipment, TSI Portacount Pro+ 8038, was used to validate the protection performance. Portacount Pro is the gold standard in the industry for respirator testing.

Two important features (unique to Totobobo mask) we demonstrated during the Mask-fitting session:  The Watermark Seal Check (WSC) and the ReShape function.

Watermark Seal Check (WSC):

watermark
Watermark shows up where the mask touches the face, also where the seal is

Watermark Seal Check (WSC) is a patented feature of Totobobo mask. It allows users to check the seal by means of “Watermark”, easily and accurately. The “Watermark” refers to the area of the mask changes from translucent to transparent when the mask touches wet skin. A continuous watermark loop around nose and mouth indicates a completed seal.

  • First wet face with water, then put on the mask.
  • Check the edge areas of the mask whether a continuous watermark loop appears around nose and mouth.

Tips: Sometimes by adjusting the straps (shorter or longer), making it a little tighter or looser, or moving the mask up or down can shift the watermark and change the seal condition.

adjusting earloop
adjust Totobobo earloop by looping the strap around the filter and in between the two small wings

 

ReShape the mask

Totobobo mask is made of a special polymer which allows re-shaping when it is heated up by hot water or hair dryer. Most of leakage problems occur below chin and around nose bridge can be solved by ReShaping. Here are two approaches to eliminate the gaps in these areas.

ReShape the bottom of Totobobo mask to fit the chin
ReShape to fit the chin: Press a finger on the fold line against table top, hold it for 10 seconds.

To eliminate gap below chin – A new mask usually doesn’t fit a face perfectly due to a fold-line formed whilst flat packed. The fold line causes a gap below chin. To eliminate this gap:

  • Dip the mask quickly into and out of hot water a few times (70-80°C, NO boiling water which will damage the mask permanently)
  • Press a finger on the fold line against tabletop, hold it for 10 seconds.
  • Release to check if the fold line diminishes. If the fold line is still obvious, the water may not be hot enough. Redo with hotter water. The lower part of the mask should have been widened up.
Moulding the nose area and at the same time open up the Totobobo mask to transform it into a 3D shape
Moulding the nose area and at the same time open up the Totobobo mask to transform it into a 3D shape

To eliminate gaps near nose bridge – With the help of Watermark, take note of the location of the gaps (translucent area) next to nose bridge.

  • Dip the mask quickly into and out of hot water a few times (70-80°C, NO boiling water which will damage the mask permanently)
  • Hold the bottom (chin part) of the mask with one hand, use the other hand to help shape the nose bridge area (use thumb and index finger to press at the points where the gaps are observed).
  • Hold the mask in the new shape for a minute or two to fix the shape.
  • Try the newly shaped mask on user’s face with the WSC method. You may need to do this back and forth a few times in order to eliminate all the gaps. But once you achieve it, the new shape can be retained for subsequent uses.

Below is an overview of the “Mask fitting and validation process” for your reference (Click to enlarge).

Totobobo mask fitting demo process

 

 

 

Totobobo demo in Beijing and Shanghai

Swanport cafe in Soho Galaxy at Chaoyang, Beijing
Swanport cafe in Soho Galaxy at Chaoyang, Beijing
Muren of Totobobo Tmall share a presentation about PM2.5
Muren of Totobobo Tmall share a presentation about PM2.5
Francis shared his story about Totobobo mask
Francis shared his story about Totobobo mask, Robin from Totobobo Tmall is providing realtime translation

2014-09-16 Swanport Cafe, Chaoyang District, Beijing

The demo in Beijing was a great success on a Tuesday evening, thanks to Robin and Muren from Totobobo Beijing and the helpful staff from Swan Port Cafe. The session started off with a brief introduction of PM2.5 by Muren, he explained what PM2.5 is, and how it affects our health. Francis, the designer of Totobobo mask, shared how he came up with the idea of a customizable and reusable respirator mask out of the SARS crisis in 2003. The fit-test demo started after a short tea break.

What is “Fit-test”? Why it is important?

Fit-testing is a procedure to determine if a tight seal can be achieved when the user don a respirator mask. This is important because the quality of the seal affects the overall protection against PM2.5 and other airborne contamination. In fact, the NIOSH N95 standard requires a proper fit-test to be conducted before anyone starts using a respirator for the first time. During the fit-test, a particle counting instrument is used to accurately measure respirator fit by comparing the particle concentration in the surrounding air with the particle concentration inside the respirator. The ratio of these concentrations is called the Fit-factor (FF). For N95 mask, a minimum Fit-factor of 100 is required in order to pass the fit test.

Fit factor formular
Fit factor formular

TSI Portacount is the best fit-testing machine in the world. (US Army recently purchased 65 sets of the same TSI Portacount fit-tester http://itbriefing.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=571559)

The working principle of the PortaCount 8083 is straight forward: there are two flexible tubes coming out of the machine, one is to draw the air and measure the concentration of particles inside the mask. The second tube is open ended and is used to measure the particle concentration in the surrounding area. The PortaCount fit-tester calculates the particle concentration inside and outside of the mask and report the ratio, or the Fit-factor, in realtime. The higher the Fit-factor, the better is the protection effect of the mask. With the Portacount machine, Francis was able to demonstrate quantitatively how the quality of the seal and the filters can have a great impact on the protection effectiveness of a respirator.

Preparing for the test

Francis exchange ideas with the VIPs.
Francis exchange ideas with the VIPs.

Before the fit-test, a “Daily check” on the machine was performed to assure that the ambience air quality is suitable for the test and the machine is in proper operation condition. Amongst the audience, there were members from the China Consumer Association (中国消费者协会), National labor supplies Quality Supervision and Inspection Center (Beijing) 国家劳保用品质量监督检验中心(北京), Austria Embassy, TimeOut Beijing,  Aqicn.org and members of the public to monitor the entire process of the fit-test demo.

Fit test demo with PortaCount professional fit-tester

Faye testing Totobobo mask
Faye testing Totobobo mask
The perfect shape for Faye
The perfect shape for Faye
Fit-factor is only 3.3, the result of the cosmetic cotton pad is not convincing
Fit-factor is only 3.3, the result of the cosmetic cotton pad is not convincing

The first Fit-test of Totobobo mask was performed on Faye, a Chinese lady with a slender face shape. Francis first tested a pair of “fake filters” made of cosmetic cotton pad. The “fake filters” looks nearly the same as the original, but the resulting Fit-Factor is only 3.3 which means on a day with AQI 500, the cotton pad can ideally bring it down to 150, just not good enough. After changing into a pair of F96 filters, the Fit-factor shoot up to 150+. In AQI 500 day, ideally it can bring it down to 4-, better than the air you will get in Switzerland!

The Fit-factor shoot up to 150+ after changing into a pair of F96 filters
The Fit-factor shoot up to 150+ after changing into a pair of F96 filters

The second participant was a young girl (Guo Yao) with a fuller face. Francis first conduct the test with the same Totobobo mask without modification. The water-mark-method shown that the seal was not perfect and the initial result was relatively low (below 50). However, after Reshape the mask with a hair-dryer and after a good water-mark is obtained, the Fit-factor reported by the Portacount machine come up to 200+.

The perfect shape to fit  Guo Yao after ReShaping the mask
The perfect shape to fit Guo Yao after ReShaping the mask
Guo Yao received a new Totobobo mask from Sharon, Managing Director of Totobobo mask.
Guo Yao received a new Totobobo mask from Sharon, Managing Director of Totobobo mask.
Francis using the "Water-mark" method to predict the fitting of the mask
Francis using the “Water-mark” method to predict the fitting of the mask

Francis also demonstrated the effect of good and poor seal, by the “water mark method”. He applied a bit of water around the nose bridge area. When the matt color mask surface touching the wet skin, it changes to transparent (water-mark).

Barbara testing Totobobo mask
Barbara testing Totobobo mask

The third participant was Barbara Grosse from the Austria Embassy. It took Francis few rounds of ReShaping the mask in order to obtain a good water-mark seal. The final Fit-factor was also in the range of 150~200+. All three ladies passed with a clear margin from the minimum requirement of 100 (for N95 mask).

Fit-test demo based on only three users is obviously not statistically sound. However, we have done this nearly a hundred times privately and this is the first time we perform the fit-test in front of a public group.

After Beijing, we went to Shanghai ArtBike to conduct another fit-test demo with their customers. We came to similar observation as in Beijing.

Fit-test at ArtBike, Shanghai
Fit-test at ArtBike, Shanghai

 

Some interesting facts we can draw from all the fit-tests:

1. Totobobo mask can be ReShaped to fit a wide range of face shapes.

  • The same Totobobo mask was used through out the fitting on all three ladies, with significantly different face shapes and all managed to obtain high Fit-factors above 150.
  • Many more fit-tests on different users shows the ReShape function can be applied to a wide range of users.

2. The “Water mark” method is reliable to help ensure face fit and protection.

  • There was a strong correlation between the water-mark-method and the PortaCount results
  • When the water-mark method showed the seal was not perfect, the corresponding Fit-factor dropped  to below 50 and sometimes down to single digit value.
  • When a clear water mark was formed around the nose bridge and the face, the corresponding Fit-factor shot up to 150+

3. Overall protection against PM2.5 require good quality filter AND a good face-mask seal

  • When cosmetic cotton pad is used in place of the Totobobo filters, the Fit-factor dropped to only 3.3.
  • When the water-mark shows there is a leak between the mask and the face, the Fit-factor dropped to below 50 and sometime single digit.
  • The resulting Fit-factor is consistently good (150+) when Totobobo filter is used and the water mark result is positive.

Above points 1&2 are the strengths and the weaknesses of Totobobo mask, ReShape (and cutting) makes Totobobo mask the most versatile solution to fit a wide range of users, including children and adult. But ReShaping and cutting the mask is more complicated than bending a metal nose clip. With the “Water mark” fit-test method, you can be sure that when the water mark seal up your nose and mouth, the mask is giving you high level of protection. In contrary, ensuring face-seal is much more tricky for many popular masks on the market, as a detail research concluded by Tongji Medical College (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China) suggested: Fitting Characteristics of N95 Filtering-Facepiece Respirators Used Widely in China . 8 out of 10 popular mask can only fit less than 10% of the 54 Chinese test subjects.

On the other hand, these two features are the limiting factors for Totobobo mask to gain certification approval. It is confirmed that the current testing protocol does not allow  mask samples to be reshaped,  cut, or perform a water-mark check before the fit. These may well be the reasons why Totobobo mask did not perform well in the published review of 37 masks by Chinese Consumer Association earlier this year. Obtaining the certification is an important step for marketing purposes, but for now we put our focus on the practical protection that can be measured by the professional fit-testing machine (PortaCount 8083).

 

Related links:

Beijing TimeOut

Totobobo Fit-test demo on Weibo (1)

Totobobo Fit-test demo on Weibo (2)

Testing Totobobo mask with Portacount 8083 (video of entire process)

How to ReShape Totobobo mask?

 

Totobobo demo in Beijing and Shanghai

Next week Tuesday (2014/09/16 to 18) I will be conducting life demo of customizing the Totobobo mask to fit individual users in Beijing and Shanghai. Here is a quick preview of what I intended to share:

The essential factors to determine protection against PM2.5 is:

  • (1) if a tight fit can be achieved between the respirator mask and the user’s face (mask-to-face seal)
  • (2) the quality of the filter
  • – Quality of filter can be achieved by technology and tested in laboratory
    – Quality of mask-to-face seal is the biggest issue for ensuring the protection for individual, because each individual is different

  • Fit-testing is a process to determine the quality of the face-to-mask seal for individual. This is essential because the protection against PM 2.5 is hugely affected by the quality of the seal.
  • Totobobo special approach: (1) ReShape or trim to fit most people, (2) Easy fit-check through the transparent mask
  • To validate our approach, we sent Totobobo mask to Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong for fit-test. The resulting Fit-Factor is 135, which is better than the minimum requirement for N95 mask.
  • For normal N95 mask, a proper fit-test is necessary during the first use by a new user. This is to determine if a good seal is achievable.
  • – if a good seal is not achievable, the user has to choose a different mask
    – In case of Totobobo, if a good seal is not achievable (by see-through method), the mask can be ReShape or cut smaller to get a better fit

    All those who participated in the demo fit-test will get a free, customized Totobobo mask!
    email us as totobobomask(at)gmail.com if you are interested to join.

    Fit testing Totobobo mask with 5.5 years old

    Happy Lucas wearing a well fitted Totobobo mask
    Happy Lucas wearing a well fitted Totobobo mask
    Conducting a fit-test with Lucas
    Conducting a fit-test with Lucas

    Lucas is the youngest fit-tester ever tested by our Portacount Pro fit-tester machine so far!

    Lucas was born in the year of rat 2008, making him 5 years 6 months old when he visited us for a fit-test. Not long ago Yixuan, Lucas’ mother, send us a photo of Lucas wearing a Totobobo mask and explained that she couldn’t get it to fit him perfect enough. After checking the photo it is obvious that the mask was too big for Lucas. I offered to to conduct a fit-test help to customize the mask for the little boy.

    At first the mask was too big for Lucas..
    Help! Lucas’ Totobobo mask is way too big. Large gaps can be seen below the chin and around the nose bridge. Photo credit: Yixuan

    Lucas’ mum told us he is a very active boy and makes friends easily with both adults and peers. It was fun to have Lucas since he is very playful and active. However the fit-test part was a bit challenging since Lucas has to keep still and perform certain specific action, such as deep breathing, moving the head steadily side to side and up-and-down. The most difficult action turn out to be “breathing normally”, (that sounds so boring for Lucas) and the easiest was “Talking loudly”.

    Optimized Totobobo mask after the fit test
    Optimized Totobobo mask after the fit test

    We were unable to obtain an uninterrupted routine to pass overall “Fit-factor” of 100. On the other hand, although the result during “Normal breathing” was a poor 20, incidental results of over 100 means that it is possible for Totobobo mask to achieve N95 level performance on a 5 and a half years old. For example, during the task “Head side to side” the fit factor was 107, and another task “Head Up and Down” the fit factor was beyond 200!

    Partial result during the fit test
    Partial result during the fit test

    How do we test Totobobo mask?

    We have not yet figured out what the causes of the relatively poor results were from the CCA (China Consumer Association) test report last month. What we can do now is to share how we conduct our own test to ensure a high level of protection is achievable with Totobobo mask. Even Though Totobobo mask is not a certified N95 mask, we make use of an OSHA-compliant fit-tester called PortaCount® Pro+, which is manufactured by TSI in USA.

    由于资料不足我们还没法弄清楚为什么Totobobo在上月中国消费者协会(CCA)的测试报告中表现较差。但我们可以公开我们是如何测试Totobobo口罩,以确定它对PM2.5的高度防护作用。Totobobo不是一个N95认证的口罩,但我们采用符合OSHA标准,由美国TSI公司制造的定量测试仪,PortaCount® Pro+。


    Theory of operation of a PortaCount Pro + Image credit: TSI



    HOW DOES THE FIT-TESTER WORK?
    The PortaCount® Respirator Fit Tester works by measuring the concentration of microscopic dust particles in the ambient air and then measuring the concentration of those dust particles that leak into the respirator. The ratio of these two concentrations is called the Fit Factor.

    PortaCount® Pro+ 的工作原理为何?它是如何进行口罩测试仪工作?
    PortaCount® Pro+ 有两根导管,一根通往口罩测量口罩内的微小颗粒的浓度。另外一根在口罩外测量周围空气的微小颗粒的浓度。PortaCount® Pro+ 根据这两个浓度的比值计算出总保护率(Fit Factor),这包括过滤效率和泄漏性.

    WHAT IS A FIT FACTOR?
    A fit factor is a measure of how well a particular face piece seals against a person’s face. It is expressed as a ratio of the concentration of challenge aerosol outside a respirator to the concentration of aerosol that leaks into the respirator through the face seal. A fit factor of 100 means the air inside the mask is 100 times cleaner than the air outside.

    什么是总保护率-Fit Factor?
    总保护率-Fit Factor是指一个口罩对某一个使用者人的总体保护程度。以口罩内外空气中两个颗粒的浓度的比值计算。总保护率-Fit Factor =100 即是表示面罩内的空气比外面的空气清洁器100倍。N95口罩的总保护率-Fit Factor必虽达到100。

    WHY IS QUANTITATIVE FIT TESTING (QNFT) BETTER THAN QUALITATIVE FIT TESTING (QLFT)?
    The PortaCount® Pro is a Quantitative fit tester (QNFT). QNFT is a better test because it eliminates the subjectivity of QLFT. A quantitative fit test is not affected by the person’s sense of smell, taste or sensitivity to irritant chemicals. One of the most appreciated aspects of QNFT is that the test subject cannot deceive the test operator, as often happens with QLFT.

    为什么定量测试比定性测试更准确?
    PortaCount® Pro+是一款定量测试仪。 定量测试比定性测试更好,因为它消除了定性测试中会影晌结果的一些主观因素。例如受试者的嗅觉,味觉或对刺激性化学品的敏感度。在定量测试中测试受试者不可能欺骗测试仪。

    Below is a 9 minutes video showing the entire process of a Quantitative fit test. The final result shows the Totobobo mask with a pair of F96 filters is able to reduce ambient particles by 142 times (Video @ 8:48), or a fit-factor of 142.

    以下是一段9分钟的视频显示PortaCount® Pro+定量测试的全个过程。最终的结果显示Totobobo口罩可以提供142的总保护率(Fit Factor)。面罩内的空气比外面的空气清洁器142倍,即总过滤效率=1-1/142=99.3%。(视频@8:48) http://tinyurl.com/totobobo-test

    Fit-test-Totobobo Mask with TSI Portacount Pro 8038 from Francis Chu on Vimeo.

    Intro to Quantitative Fit Testing (TSI)

    Totobobo mask in NIOSH site for “No Fit Test Respirator”

    Clearly a Better Way to Check for Safety

    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.

    How to ReShape your Totobobo Mask for a perfect fit?

    Heat moulded Totobobo mask
    Heat moulded Totobobo mask

    [Click here if you cannot view youtube from China]

     

    Some of our user’s feedback stated that it would be great to add a nose clip to the Totobobo Mask, especially for people with a prominent nose. These users are experiencing small gaps between the mask and their nose’s bridge. However, a nose clip is not a reliable solution in the long run for reusable masks. Prototype testings have showed that the clip breaks or loses it’s rigidity after repetitive bending and will break eventually.

    The following video shows how to re-mould the Totobobo Mask, using hot and cold water. The hot water helps to soften the body of the mask, while the cold water helps to harden the mask after reshaping it to the desired shape. This method can be done over and over again, there fore, making it a more reliable solution.

    The heat treatment can be applied to any parts of the mask (e.g. the chin), not only the nose area. The possibilities are limitless. You may need to try moulding the mask several times to achieve the best fit.

     

    Moulding feature further enhances protection and comfort for the user.

    Better face fitment = lesser gaps = better protection

    PM2.5, a very fine airborne particle, is smaller than 2.5 microns which can be inhaled and travel deeply into our lungs, which will then enter our bloodstream. These particles causes micro inflammation and hardens our blood vessels. Recent studies have showed that the PM2.5 not only triggers diseases in our lungs and other respiratory organs, but also triggers cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Common surgical masks or even a poor fitting N95 mask won’t be of much help due to the cunningness of the PM2.5. Ensuring a secured face fit is the first fundamental step towards respiratory protection.

    Totobobo Mask have three key features to aid you in obtaining a optimal face fit.

    1. Sizing : Totobobo Mask is the first and only mask that allows its user to cut to fit. You don’t have to risk over cutting the mask. Download this template to test the size using a paper dummy first, before proceeding to cut the actual mask.
    2. Fine tuning with heat moulding : The heat moulding process makes it possible for the user to fine tune the fitment of the mask. Small gaps around the nose or under the chin? No worries! Just re-mould the mask and you’ll be able to eliminate, or at the least, minimize these gaps. You can re-do this step as many times as you like! Remember to not use boiling to re-mould the mask, otherwise you’ll risk destroying the mask. Use warm to hot water around 80C instead.

    Another point to note, a small gap occurring during exhalation does not affect the effectiveness of the protection, in fact, it may be beneficial as it helps to release exhaust gases quickly. What you need to check is whether the seal is closed tightly when you inhale, due to the negative pressure while inhaling. Ideally, you should adjust the straps so there there are small gaps to speed up exhaling and feeling comfortable at the same time.

        Visual Seal Check (VSC) : Using the transparent property of the Totobobo Mask, you can check if the mask is touching the areas below the chin, forming a good deal. If the seal is not optimal, you may fine tune the cutting and moulding of the mask, or simple adjusting the position and tension of the strap to get a better fit.

    Wearing Comfort

    If a mask is not comfortable to wear, the user will use it less often, so the chances of it being functional is generally lesser as well.

    The heat moulding adjustment allows the mask to be re adjusted to fit your face profile closely. A good fit is beneficial as it not only provides a good seal, but you’ll also feel more comfortable wearing it and also not forgetting, you can loosen the tension on the straps as well. During exhalation, the internal pressure pushes the mask and forces the seal to be broken, releasing the air quickly. During inhalation, the process creates a “sucking” motion due to the negative pressure, which closes up the gaps, forcing air to enter only by the filters. The Totobobo mask functions like a one-way valve, without it being a valve physically. Some users described it as “The mask is breathing with me.”

    Got a question? Leave us a comment or send your questions to totobobomask@gmail.com

    How to perform a seal check with the “Water Mark” Method?

    The protection a Respiratory mask provides solely depends on two factors:

    1: How effective the air filter is

    2: How well the mask is able to fit to the user’s face, making sure the air you breathe        in is only passed through from the filters.

    The filters are test by reputable laboratories and certified reports are produced.

    We have sent files to Nelson Labs in USA and the results were published.

    However, it isn’t that easy for users to check if the mask is providing a perfect fit on their face, without any gaps. Totobobo Mask, by far, is the only mask on the market which allows this method to be applied, the “Water Mark Check”.

     

    Water mark shows poor and good seal before and after ReShape of Totobobo mask.Water mark shows poor and good seal before and after ReShape of Totobobo mask.

     

    The edge of the Totobobo Mask, which is frosted, turns transparent when it comes into contact with wet skin. This is called the “Water Mark”. The following shows a step by step approach on how to check the sealing of the mask using the water mark.

    1 : Apply a thin layer of water on the user’s face with cotton wool, mostly around the nose bridge and the chin areas.

    2 : Put on the mask and carefully examine the water marks.

    3 : Check if the water mark forms a complete, continuous loop, from the nose all the way through the mouth and under the chin. If the water mark forms a complete loop, it indicates that the mask is providing a good seal and fitment around your face. The mask is then ready for use.

    4 : If there are segments of frosted markings that breaks the continuous loop, that means the the mask is not sealed perfectly to the user’s face and has gaps in between. You will have to adjust the mask to improve on the sealing of it.

    There are several things you can do to improve the sealing of the Totobobo Mask.

    • Adjusting the position of the mask. (Shifting it up and down)
    • Adjusting the tension of the elastic straps. (Firm but not too tight)
    • ReShape the mask (Using Warm but not boiling water and a hairdryer.)
    • Downsize the mask by trimming it down. 

    Your mask is ready for use and provides the best protection only if you have a good seal. Do use the water mark method to have a confirmation on the seal!

    How to customize the Totobobo Small Mask?

    Getting a face mask that will fit you perfectly isn’t an easy task. However, with Totobobo Mask, we’re here to make things easier for you!

    Our masks are fully customizable, you can cut them down to whatever size you like. Of course, this isn’t an easy thing to do without any guidelines, therefore, we’ve posted this up to help our users have a better insight on how to customize their masks.

    Before we proceed, it will be best if you have the Totobobo Mask simulator, it comes together with the product. If you happen to not have one with you, feel free to download it here : Totobobo Mask Simulator

    Here is a step by step instruction with photos to guide you :

    If the paper mask is too big, cut away the first line near to the chin-edge. Put it on the user's face again to test the size.
    If the paper mask is too big, cut away the first line near to the chin-edge. Put it on the user’s face again to test the size.
    Continue to cut the mask smaller, and test the size. Line by line until you get the mask size fitting your children.
    Continue to cut the mask smaller, and test the size. Line by line until you get the mask size fitting your children.
    Here showing the situation after the second line is cut away. Suppose this is the size fitting your children.
    Here showing the situation after the second line is cut away. Suppose this is the size fitting your children.
    Now insert the paper simulator into the middle of the mask. Try to align the red circle with the filter cover.
    Now insert the paper simulator into the middle of the mask. Try to align the red circle with the filter cover.
    Use the paper dummy as a guide, cut the mask with a pair of scissors. (The simple scissor shown in the photo is very good for cutting Totobobo mask)
    Use the paper dummy as a guide, cut the mask with a pair of scissors. (The simple scissor shown in the photo is very good for cutting Totobobo mask)

    The final result: a new Petit mask matching the size of your children. You may still need to ReShape the mask to fine tune the seal. The final result: a new Petite mask matching the size of your children. You may still need to ReShape the mask to fine tune the seal.

    A fitting mask for a happy child!

    For further enquiries of assistance, please email us at totobobomask@gmail.com