Choosing the perfect mask for cycling in the City

Cycling is a mode of transportation that’s growing in popularity and relevance in our Green-Oriented world.

Worldwide, the numbers of commuters forgoing motor vehicles and switching over to bicycles are increasingly growing. While riding a bicycle is a healthier alternative when compared to driving or taking a bus, due to it’s difference in physical activity, the poor air quality in urban settings contradict the benefits. Heavy traffic spews toxic gases and many fine particles which will then enter our respiratory tract eventually. Aerial pollution causes both short and long term damage to our lungs and the upper respiratory tract, therefore, cycling under these conditions will pose problems in the near future. In order to ride safely without inhaling these harmful particles and gases, a protective mask that is capable of filtering the air you breathe is the best solution.

Things to consider:

An ideal mask for cycling incorporates a number of considerations, specifically for cycling, to ensure it’s effectiveness. 

  • Comfort
  • Filtration Capabilities
  • Ease of use
  • Cost

The selected mask should form a tight seal on the user’s face, so as to make sure the air he/she is breathing, will only get in by passing through the filters. The filters must be capable of keeping microscopic particles and noxious fumes, out of the user’s mouth and nose. Wearing the mask shouldn’t inhibit the breathing of the user during vigorous activities, nor should it cause any discomfort to the user. Cyclists will need to breathe harder than pedestrians, high resistance masks (those that are best for filtering the air) increases the strain on the lungs. An ideal mask for riders will be something that balances between both filtration power and breathability.

During a cycling workout, blood is pumped vigorously through our bodies and heat is generated. A mask that traps heat is a major problem, it reduces the intake of oxygen and compromises the ability to breathe easily. Unfortunately, most masks on the market are “heat-traps”.

After a long ride, the mask will be sweaty, damp and dirty, the last thing you would want is to reuse such a mask on your next trip, not knowing what kind of bacteria will be growing in it. The filters should be quickly replaceable and the mask itself should be easy to disinfect.

TOTOBOBO mask in Bangkok

For cyclists, being able to mount and dismount the mask quickly is critical. While riding in traffic, the rider should be able to remove the mask singlehandedly with a single motion and vice versa, to minimize distraction and lost of time. Weight is also another important factor to consider, anything heavy or cumbersome will only make the ride laborious and difficult. Ultimately, the most important factor for commuters, is the cost of the product. For those who rides and needs a mask daily, the masks and it’s filters should be reasonably priced and easy to come by.

Other neoprene masks, like some cyclist-intended masks, are heavy duty equipment that digs a hole in your waller. In addition, they are heat trappers and turn smelly quickly, yet difficult to clean. All the more so, it is larger and troublesome to carry around. It is a product designed for professional looks, but it would be a little too much for a daily user.

Why Totobobo?

While there are a mountain of masks out there, all offering a range of protection, comfort and price, only one provides the balance between the factors that best benefits the user, TOTOBOBO.

Design:

Our mask is specially designed and moulded with a unique material that allows the user to custom fit the mask to their face, help firmly onto the face by a pair of ultra elastic and flexible straps. The straps are made from elastic polymers and is friendly on the skin. One mask fits all and it can be folded up when not in use, comfortably keeping it inside our pockets.

Seal:

The Totobobo Mask forms a snug seal on the user’s face, ensuring air to only pass through by the filters. Unlike other masks, the Totobobo Mask is a master in both high airflow and filtration. The patented body valve design allows low resistance exhalation so that you can easily take in clear air with each breath.

Simplicity:

Most protective masks need to be professionally checked for a proper seal, it is time consuming to do so as well, whereas the Totobobo Mask’s seal can be easily clarified in a short period of time. Both children and adults can get a good fit with it.

Pollutants collected by the filters from China and India

Filter:

Our filters are European designed and of the finest quality, capable of keeping out particulates as small as 0.1 microns. Using static electricity to snag the particles while they enter the filter, the Totobobo Mask keeps out all the toxic particles produced from motor vehicles, industrial exhaust, cigarettes, wood fire and charcoal fumes and also incense smoke. Biological components such as pollen , mold pores, dust mites and cockroach allergens, dust and common soil particles, can be filtered out as well.

Health:

The mask is anti-viral thanks to Biocote, a silver-ion anti-microbial agent, and important property to be taken into account when heat and humidity of the mask’s interior is involved. This way, you can further ensure the cleanliness and safety of Totobobo Masks. The mask is also easy to disinfect using soap and water. Best of all, the entire mask is reusable, all you have to do is to replace the old filters with a new pair and you’re good to go.

Cost:

As for being economical, the Totobobo mask can not be beaten when it comes to the bang for your buck. Compared to leading competitors on the market, our masks are unparalleled when it comes to value. As the chart indicates below, the Totobobo Mask is more cost effective than any of the leading alternatives, same goes for the replacement filters!

Prices comparison

Cambridge Mask The Admiral: USD 28
Vogmask                                      : USD 43
Respro Techno                            : USD 47 …… Filter : USD 34
TOTOBOBO                               : USD 33 …… Filter : USD 1 – 3.5/pair

User Testimonials:

Cyclists worldwide swore by the effectiveness and usefulness of the Totobobo Mask when it comes to riding in inclement environments. Here are some testimonies of a few elated users from around the globe.

Herve and Bonnaveira and Goska Romanowicz of Develotour, discovered an interesting way to measure and visualize air pollution. On a year long bicycle trek across the continent, the couple traveled through several Asian countries. They visited a number of major metropolises and first handedly experienced the respective air qualities. In each locale they wore our masks to protect their lungs from the polluted air. They wrote to us saying:

Goska and Herve on Develotour

“The TOTOBOBO anti-pollution masks came in very useful in India! Weve tested the masks in Delhi, the Indian countryside and Calcuttaused one filter for a days cycling in each placeand we got varying shades of brown.even far from cities and factories the air is very polluted.”

Herve and Goska appreciated the high quality of respiratory safety they enjoyed by using the TOTOBOBO mask on their journey. When they lectured to students along their trip about air pollution awareness, they also informed them of the TOTOBOBO mask�s unmatched quality and value.

Nagaraj Pudukotai of Bangalore, India, test out the Totobobo Mask during his daily commutes to work by bicycle. The air in Bangalore is terribly polluted, within forty five minutes, the filters were already black! Thankfully, the pollutants were trapped in the filters instead of his lungs. He commented :

“It is very effective. It seals your nose and mouth completely, although you can smell intense odors like that of petrol exhaust and diesel exhaust when you are very close to a vehicle, the emissions do not get in your lungs.”

Montgomery Tufeld of New York City regards the Totobobo Mask’s ability as an invaluable thing. Riding around the city on his daily delivery route, he comes across a lot of smog and dust in traffic. Before he started to wear a mask, he would get home everyday with a sore throat and blackened mucus from the soot he had been inhaling. He tried a number of different brands before touching on ours, since then, it has been life changing for him. He stated :

 

“The mask fits better than anything else on the market. It is snug and comfortable, and easy to put on and take off when riding through traffic. I barely notice it is there.”

Choose Totobobo for Safe Cycling!

Around the world, across the globe, cyclists are adding another item to their must have list, apart from protective gear, they added in the pollution masks. If you’re looking for one, don’t hesitate to try out our Totobobo Masks!

 

 

 

 

 

Pollution mask helps cycling in air polluted cities

Pollution mask helps cycling in air-polluted cities.  Cycling as a form of commute, leisure and fitness activity has a long history. The bicycle was invented over a hundred years ago and since then it has been adopted by countries all over the world as a mode of transport. Not many know roads were first paved for bicycle before the introduction of the automobile. Interestingly, many car manufacturers were started as bicycle factories. However, with the growing population of cars, many cities are planned and designed for driving rather than cycling and walking. The car-centric city planning gives rise to traffic congestions and air pollution. Ironically, cyclists are now unfairly affected by air pollution from the smog from cars.

We know cycling used to be very good for health and keeping fit. However, in some cities, serious air pollution devours the urban environment, it isn’t very healthy anymore. That’s why you have to protect yourself from the toxins with a filtering mask while cycling.

With Totobobo, a respiratory mask designed to cut down the smog, you’ll be able to cycle and exercise without worrying about city pollution anymore.

Comfortable, reliable and reusable, perfect for declaring freedom from the air pollution! 

More reviews on Totobobo Masks for cycling! : https://totobobo.com/blog/sports/

Purchase yours here! : https://totobobo.com/shop.html

Can air pollution negate the health benefits of cycling and walking?

To find out more, click here! : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743516000402



Asthma causes : Air Pollution

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.

OzoneImage result for ozone

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.

Airborne ParticlesImage result for dusty air

Source: https://www.lph.biz/blog/2018/february/why-is-my-home-so-dusty-/

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!

For Reference:

http://www.aafa.org/page/air-pollution-smog-asthma.aspx

https://www.asthma.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/our-policy-work/air-pollution-affects-asthma/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465283/

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/ozone-asthma.html

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:

Letter from Dr. Anil Simhadri, a loyal user of Totobobo mask since 2010

Totobobo mask, mould scrubbing, wheezing and asthma

Why do people choose Totobobo mask? (2)

Wearing a mask while traveling in bustling streets? Here’s why!

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).

Totobobo filter test against ultrafine particles (0.1 microns) Test report
Shop for Totobobo Mask!

Air Pollution Essays

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.”

Read More…

“Cyclists should wear an effective air filter mask or better move away from the busy roads.”
Read more…

“What is haze? Where does it come from? What can we do?”

Read more…

“However, that doesn’t mean we are that much better off indoors. In fact, the air in our homes can be far more polluted than the air outside, even in a major city.”

Read more…

“Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have determined that the very air we breathe can be an invisible catalyst to cardiovascular disease.”

Read more…

“Cyclist! Wear an effective mask, or move away from the busy roads!”

Read more…

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

Read more…

“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.”

Read more…

“Air pollution causes premature death for thousands of people in Hong Kong each year.”

Read more…

“While riding a bicycle is a healthier alternative to driving a car or sitting on a bus because of the physical activity it entails, poor air quality in urban setting counteracts those benefits.”

Read more…

A research published on 13-3-2009 in the Particle and Fibre Toxicology Indicates that wearing a respirator may reduce the risk of heart attack.”

Read more…

“Unfortunately, most buses are powered by diesel engines that actually pollute the air inside the bus. Studies show the pollution gets trapped inside the bus, where kids breathe it in.”

Read more…

“Smoke particles from burning incense were found to cause cancer of the upper respiratory track.”

Read more…

Enough of the tedious information, now lets have a look at how some of our users have enjoyed using our Totobobo Mask and how it has helped them battle air pollution!

“Whatever is on the filters, glad that stuff is not in my lungs!”
John from London, U.K.”

Read more…

“After using it for a more than a month, she was happy with the performance of Totobobo and can really recommend it.”

Read more…

“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.”

Read more…

“I can actually smell fresh air when I inhale. I can bike. I can walk outside to buy groceries.”

Read more…

“Wearing a good mask has played its role in sustaining my interest in commuting over the years — so I buy a mask if it seems interesting to me and give it a spin. ”

Read more…

“Since I began commuting to the centre of London where traffic pollution is worst, I started using double 96% filter for my mask.”

Read more…

“Overall, the performance was solid, and is an excellent choice for those concerned about air quality.”

Read more…

“For extended periods of time the mask was comfortable even during the intense workout of a day-long bike ride.”

Read more…

“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.”

Read more…

“Totobobo might not look sturdy but looks can deceiving, if you use it properly the mask last for a long time.”

Read more…

I researched many masks, but still feel Totobobo is the best mask I can get.”

Read more…

“My experience using the mask has generally been excellent, and I have recommended it to many people. Using the mask is very easy. Once it’s on, it is very comfortable and I tend to forget about it.”

Read more…

“We do feel protected – Totobobo Mask sent us specially customized masks for our toddlers.”

Read more…

 

We hope the information provided above has helped you have a deeper understanding into air pollution and how Totobobo Masks are able to fight together with you!

 

Shocking filters from London bike2work trips

G.Richerds-filters-1

Mr. Richards is a Triathlete, trying and trying to qualify for the Ironman World Championships. He advocates clean air after seeing how quickly his Totobobo filters turn into dark grey from pristine white just after a few rides to work.

I was shocked when received the used filter from G. Richards. He collected the used filters last year and the results speak for itself – you don’t want this stuff, such as PM2.5, get into your lungs!

For those curious, here are some details of Mr. Richards’ Bike2Work route:

From February to July, 2014, from Leinster Gardens, across Hyde Park and finished at the other side of River Theme. A 35 minutes cycling each way.

From July to December 2014, from Leinster Gardens to Hanover Park, 20 minutes each way.

Mr. Richards found that his right-side filter alway turns darker than his left-side filter, because he rides close to the curb and traffic is always on his right. Each pairs of filters were used for two weeks for riding to and from work.

G.Richards-filters-2 G.Richards-filters-3

Singapore first “Petit” mask protects women and children from PM2.5

Children’s lungs are are more susceptive to the harmful effect of airborne particles call PM2.5. Air pollution can be a real concern for children staying in polluted cities such as Beijing, Delhi, Jakarta, or Manila.

Singapore based Totobobo Pte. Ltd. introduced a new pollution mask specially designed for women and children. The new “Petit” mask (TT-02) comes with an innovative system to ensure a good face seal and protection.

Water Mark Seal Check of Totobobo UNIFit system
Water Mark Seal Check of Totobobo UNIFit system

Quality of the face seal is essential for the effectiveness of protection against air pollution such as PM2.5. However, it is often overlooked due to lack of simple and accurate method to check the seal. A study of 1500 fit-tests of 10 popular models of N95 masks on 50 men and women by Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University in China, discovered that over 90% of the tests failed due to poor face seal. This suggests at consumer level, over 90% of the time, even a certified N95 mask may fail to provide the expected protection due to poor face seal.

Totobobo UNIFit system addresses the important issue of face seal with “Check & Seal” approach: 

1) An easy and accurate method to check the face seal, called “Watermark Seal Check”.

2) A “ReShape” feature which allows the user to shape the mask to close any gaps identified by the Watermark Seal Check.

3) A “Cut to size” feature which allows user to trim the mask to fit small children, in case ReShape alone is not sufficient to close the gaps.

“In addition to better fit and better protection, the UNIFit system also results in more comfortable wearing mask.” said the inventor Francis Chu, who has 20 years professional experience in product design.

Woman wearing Petit mask
Woman wearing the Petit mask. One can easily check the seal through the transparent mask.
A boy wearing Petit mask (customised to size)
A boy wearing Petit mask (trimmed to size)

Compares with the original Totobobo mask, the Petit is smaller, softer and more comfortable. Early Petit mask tester, Miss Hu Xiao Fei from Beijing China,  commented in Weibo:

“When I put on the new Petit mask, I was amazed! It fits so well all around my face, there is nothing I can say. I just love it!”

 

There is nothing I can say, it fits so well and seal my face all around! Miss Hu Xiao Fei (胡笑非), Beijing China
There is nothing I can say, it fits so well and seal my face all around! Miss Hu Xiao Fei (胡笑非), Beijing China

More information about the Petit mask can be found from the official website: totobobo.com, or contact us here.

Martie’s Totobobo filter in London

Martie use her Totobobo mask for cycling in London traffic
Martie use her Totobobo mask for cycling in London traffic (Southampton Row, London)

Why do you choose cycling to work?

I realised cycling is a cheaper, more reliable and (even) enjoyable mode of transport compared to the unreliable, overcrowded & expensive public transport. I’m least interested in cycling sports, but I’m glad that I made the decision to cycle for my everyday transport.

Adding all the bicycle-related cost (bike, locks, mask, clothes etc. altogether) is equivalent of buying a 4-month travel ticket in London. Even including maintenance cost, I’m financially better-off cycling than using public transport.

Another factor is reliability. Cycling may take a bit longer and require more physical effort, but at least its duration is predictable. Commuting on a public transport is always full of confusion and frustration due to unreliable service and overcrowding. But once I started cycling, to my surprise the whole set of travel-related stress has disappeared and I discovered happier me.

When I started cycling I was scared my socks off for the first 2-3 months, but if you take it as a small adventure for the first time and repeat the route carefully, the nervous excitement will wear off and cycling will become everyday activity after a while.

To cycle safely amongst large vehicles, you just need to know the DOs and DON’Ts around those vehicles. As long as you adhere to it, those big guys won’t harm you. If you respect other general traffic rules, the motorists will respect your presence in return. You cycle alone but you share the space with everyone else.

How is your experience of using Totobobo mask in London?

Martie at Kingsway, London, WC2B
Martie at Kingsway, London, WC2B

filters facing outside of the mask.
Totobobo mask after cycling in London about a week, the distance covered is approx 80km.

I use Totobobo mask all the time as I cycle everywhere in London.

Since I began commuting to the centre of London where traffic pollution is worst, I started using double 96% filter for my mask.

With single filter I get discomfort in my throat after every journey because of the heavy traffic, but with double filter I can clearly feel the improvement. Previously I keep producing small amount of sputum for a couple of hours after every journey, whereas with double filter, I don’t get that ‘ahem…ahem, ahem…’ phase, virtually none.

Obviously using double filter limits my inhalation, but I’m happy to take this trade-off for greatly reducing discomfort caused by pollution.

I have been using double filter nearly every day for about 4 months, and so far there’s no lasting respiratory impact, only short period of breathlessness immediately after a journey.

filters facing outside of the mask.
filters facing outside of the mask.

With the mask, I’m more willing to travel longer distance without worrying about the level of pollution, it also allows me to cycle safely as I’m not compelled to move away from the rear of a vehicle when it is unsafe to do so.

I do intensive exercise regularly so I know my respiration capacity is stronger than the average person, but I’m also aware that there might be a long term negative impact of having double filter.

(Note: Double layer of filter may cause discomfort and can be damaging for special group of user. Consult your doctor before applying double filter on your mask.)

Have you tried other brands (of mask) before?

No, but other products didn’t look so air-tight while Totobobo taking less space to carry around. Other product looked either too elaborate or too flimsy. Totobobo seemed to me hitting the right balance.

The rather clinical look of the mask sometimes raise eyebrows, but I think it’s just an outcome of that famous principle ‘form follows function’.

In door Air pollution and Domestic Chores

When you discuss air pollution, most people think of the chemicals and particles breathed in when outside. Of course, traffic and industrial pollutants are a real hazard for our health. However, that doesn’t mean we are that much better off indoors. In fact, the air in our homes can be far more polluted than the air outside, even in a major city. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests the air inside air homes can be even more damaging to our health than the air outside because of the prolonged exposure to it.

The good news is that many of the pollutants in our home or office lie dormant in the carpet or furnishings, so they do us very little harm when we are just relaxing on the couch watching TV or are sat at our desks working. However, when we do the domestic chores and start vacuuming and dusting, these dormant particles become disturbed and can spread into the air, resulting in our exposure to them increasing. For commercial cleaners, the problem is even worse. Worst of all, prolonged exposure to some of these pollutants in our homes and offices can have quite dramatic effects on our health.

Dust

There is a common misconception that dust is comprised mainly of human skin cells. Actually, the truth is that dust can contain anything, but human skin cells are fairly common, and while breathing in these particles is pretty harmless, some other components lingering in household dust can be much more hazardous to our health. One pollutant found in dust in virtually all homes and offices, is dust mites. Dust mites live in our carpets and bedding, even in the cleanest of homes. As they mainly eat human skin cells, it means our homes and offices are abundant feeding grounds. Dust mites are the leading cause of allergies in the UK and United States and have been linked to causing and aggravating conditions such as asthma.

While dust mites themselves don’t cause these allergies, their feces does, and it is this we are breathing in when we start cleaning the carpets and bedding. Of course, regular cleaning can drastically reduce the number of dust mites in our homes, but even in the cleanest of houses, they will still exist in abundance. Furthermore, vacuuming, bed stripping, and cleaning disturbs the tiny dust mite particles, so when we carry out these activities, we are most at risk of up breathing in this common pollutant.

Tobacco smoke

While everybody knows the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke, what it is less well known is that the particles in smoke can still be harmful a long time after people have stubbed out their cigarettes. Not only can these particles still cause cancer and respiratory problems, but also they can cause throat irritations, headaches and other health problems. Because these particles are fairly large and heavy, they often linger in carpets and curtains, so when you start cleaning, they become airborne again, resulting in you breathing them in. Of course, if there is a smoker in your home, by far the best solution is to encourage them to stop, and there are plenty of products available these days that can help you quit smoking. However, for those that share a home with somebody unable to quit, or for cleaners who have to work in environments where people have been smoking, tobacco particles can represent a serious health concern.

Mold and other pollutants

Another common pollutant in our homes and workplaces is mold. Mold is a fungus, and as such, it puts out spores that can be breathed in. However, in small quantities, mold spores are fairly harmless, but when they land on wet or damp surfaces, the mold grows, producing even more spores, which in greater numbers can cause chest irritations, allergies, and problems with the eyes, nose and throat.

Other potentially harmful particles in the air include wood fibers, particularly from self-assembly furniture as these contain glues and resins that can cause rashes, nausea and asthma attacks. In addition, machines such as computer printers are also pretty hazardous to our health as they spit out tiny particles of ink, ozone and toner, which are all lung irritants. These are of course much more prevalent in offices, which means that commercial cleaners are at an even greater risk.

Totobobo mask

Despite all these pollutants in the home and office, nobody is suggesting you should wear protection such as a Totobobo mask when just sitting on your couch watching TV or sat at your computer working. However, when cleaning, vacuuming, changing the printer cartridge or putting up self-assembly furniture, keeping these harmful particles out of your lungs may reduce potential health problems. Furthermore, for commercial cleaners, protection such as a Totobobo mask is even more important because the prolong exposure to these pollutants makes health problems even more likely.

Related articles:
Burning Joss Sticks can cause Cancer

Pollution in School Bus

More advanced features of TOTOBOBO mask
How to customize TOTOBOBO mask to fit your face?

How to clean TOTOBOBO mask for reuse?
Buy TOTOBOBO mask
How long does the filter last?

London cyclist Claire tested Totobobo mask with shocking results

Thanks to the introduction of Andreas from London Cyclist Blog, I got in touch with Claire , she was looking for a better pollution mask to cycle in London. Claire want to use Totobobo mask to help her to cut out the air pollution during her daily 12 mile commuting. After using it for a more than a month, she was happy with the performance of Totobobo and can really recommend it.

Here is Claire’s detail report:

At the beginning of April I was suffering with a sore throat that was worse in the morning and evening – a trip to see my GP confirmed that it was a reaction to London pollution that I was sucking in during my 12 mile commute twice a day.

I had previously and sporadically used a Respro mask which is the only anti-pollution mask that I’ve found in the UK – but I used it sporadically because it has several big drawbacks for me:

My experience of using Respro mask

1. The mask itself is pretty big on a girl’s face and can chafe my skin. It’s like wearing a muzzle and covers most of my face, plus the velcro is very strong and keeps getting caught in my hair.

2. Even using the ‘sports’ filter makes it exceptionally difficult to breathe in sufficient amounts of air when going at speed, leaving me heaving like a fish out of water.

3. The amount of condensation produced inside the mask is incredible – after a couple of miles at a decent pace, my nose felt as though it was submerged, and when breathing hard, condensation was projected out of the mask – when going fast it occasionally splattered all over my shades!

So, in desperation I emailed the London Cyclist blog and asked Andreas if anyone had any ideas about alternatives – then he put me in touch with Totobobo.

Totobobo sent me 2 different masks, the Classic and the SuperCool – both made of very lightweight soft rubber with 2 small round white filters that sit on either side of the face. The masks come with instructions on how to cut the rubber to suit your face – initially I was a little concerned about cutting too much of my Classic away, but eventually after much cautious trimming I fashioned a mask that covered my mouth and nose and felt comfortable.

Riding home with it on was interesting – people in London are generally used to seeing cyclists wearing Respro masks and resembling Darth Vader, but here I was looking as though I had forgotten to take off my surgical mask. I got loads of odd looks and questions about how good it was.

The answer is that I highly recommend Totobobo (apart from the name, which is impossible to make anyone understand whilst actually wearing it!). When I got home I checked the filters and was amazed to see that even in 30 minutes the pristine white had turned to sludgy grey – I am quite horrified by this amount of pollution in London – I only wear each pair of filters for 2 or 3 days, by which time they are nearly black. With the Respro mask, until you’ve worn it for a couple of months you just don’t see any change of colour and probably don’t replace the filter when you should.

There is a little condensation produced by both the Classic and SuperCool, but the SuperCool doesn’t cover your nose, so there’s even less with that one. The thin straps fit behind your ears and afford a surprisingly secure fit and there’s a alternative strap that fits both masks but is a little more complicated than just fitting around your ears.

There are also different filters – a matrix filter and 2 different grades of particulate filter – 94% and 96% – both are easy to breathe through and the 96% gives a slightly higher grade protection from particulates.

So, in summary, buy a Totobobo and breathe easy – I’ve discovered just how horrifying London pollution is, and I value my lungs. Since I have been using my Totobobo my sore throat has disappeared – that makes me happy!

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