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How does a mask protect you from haze?

Haze in Singapore

Haze in Singapore

The haze is back in Singapore, fuelled by raging fires in Sumatra. Thursday’s PSI was the highest recorded here in almost two years. Experts here said on Thursday the haze might linger over Singapore for a while, due to the prevailing south-west monsoon season conditions, which typically last till late October. If the situation worsen, put on a mask when you go out may be a good way to protect yourselves. Do take note if you do use a mask:

If a mask can not seal your face, it can not protect you from the haze.

Haze is an atmospheric phenomenon when airborn particles such as dust, smoke and other particles obscure the clarity of the sky. The haze particle are very fine and easily get breathe into your lung by following the air flow.

Buoyant haze particle follow the “passage of least resistance”. The working principle of a mask is to seal off the breathing zone such that the least resistant path through the mask is the filter. Air must go through the filters before it can reach the breathing zone. The particle is trapped on the filters and therefore the air is cleaned before entering your mouth or nose.

Regular surgical mask or even N95 mask won’t help if there is gaps between the mask and your face. A gap between the face and the mask is an alternative passage with less resistance than the filter. Air and the particle will leak through the gap rather than going through the filter. One of the key concern when using a regular mask is how can one decide if the mask is truly fitting and sealing the breathing zone?

Here in Totobobo mask we provide the possibility for you to check the fit through the transparent mask. You can adjust the position, the tension of the strap, or even cut the mask to make it better fit to your face. Although we can not guarantee it will fit everyone, yet the chances of fitting is much higher than a regular mask.

In addition, judging by the colour change you will be able to tell when the filter has done it’s job and should be replaced.

For demonstration, here is a pair of filter kindly provided by Kenneth Koh of Advanturenomad. He use the Totobobo mask during his cycling trip in Vietnam. The colour collected on the mask is the result of nearly 30 hours of cycling in Vietnam from Hanoi to Dalat.

Used filter after 28 hours of cycling in Vietnam

Used filter after 28 hours of cycling in Vietnam

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