Muhamadian using Totobobo mask in Jakarta

Muhamadian using Totobobo mask to cut down air pollution in Jakarta traffic

I have been commuting to work for almost about 10 years now and as you might be aware that Jakarta’s traffic is one of the heaviest in the world and consequently the pollution. Therefore wearing a mask is a necessity , I have tried not wearing one for a few days and  got very heavy cough emanating from my chest/lung.

I have tried a few masks but the main problem with most of them is the fact that I find it hard to breathe until I found Totobobo and I never looked back. Totobobo might not look sturdy but looks can deceiving, if you use it properly the mask last for a long time. I like the design of the small/petit mask so I am hoping Totobobo produce the same design for the large one in the future.

Totobobo winter collection

This “Winter collection” is not a fashion series, but the collection of used Totobobo filters throughout the last winter in Beijing, China.

Danni Moody, an English teacher living in Beijing, posts the following picture on her Instagram and Facebook.

Danni Moody's photo of used Totobobo filters over the winter of 2014 in Beijing.   Photo credit: Danni Moody at Junkateer

Danni Moody photo of used Totobobo filters over the winter of 2014 in Beijing. Photo credit: Danni Moody at Junkateer

From Danni Moody:

I’ve lived in Beijing teaching English for 1 year. I ordered my Totobobo in November when the pollution starting getting bad. The pollution is much worse in winter which is 5-6 months long here. 9 out of 10 days in winter are heavily polluted. There were days where the tops of apartment buildings couldn’t be seen because the pollution was so bad. Totobobo is the first mask I’ve used and I love it! I like that I can see the change in the filters as they collect the pollution. I wear it to and from work, about an hour each day and I change the filters twice a week. I decided to save my used filters from winter and take a photo of them when Spring started. It’s scary to see that all of that gunk could’ve been in my lungs if I didn’t have my Totobobo mask! The only downside to these plastic masks is the condensation that accumulates inside of it, but I will still use Totobobo despite that:)

Thank you Danni for the cool pic!

Shocking filters from London bike2work trips


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

Totobobo news features on Reuters

Our recent news about Petit mask make it’s way to Reuters.  Interesting!

Totobobo featured in Reuters News.

Totobobo featured in Reuters News.

SINGAPORE, Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — India air took 6 hours off Mr. Obama’s life during his 3 days visit to New Delhi last week according to The Hill (27, Jan. 2015). Similar to many other big cities in Asia, New Delhi has high concentrations of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, or PM2.5, which is known to cause lung cancer, heart attacks and various respiratory diseases.

Air pollution can be a real concern if you are traveling with children to cities with poor air quality, because children’s lungs are not fully developed and are more susceptive to the harmful effect of PM2.5, according to WHO.

Singapore based company Totobobo Pte. Ltd. introduced a new pollution mask specially designed for children and women. The new “Petit” mask comes with an innovative approach to ensure a good seal between the mask and the user’s face.

Quality of the face seal is essential for protection against airborne pollutants. However, this factor is often overlooked due to lack of accurate method to check the seal. A study of 1500 fit-tests of 500 N95 masks on 50 participants by Tongji Medical College (China), discovered that over 90% failed the fit-test due to poor face seal. This suggests over 90% of the time, consumer may not be getting the expected protection from N95 masks due to poor seal.

The Petite mask came with a simple “Check & Seal” system to address the face seal issue:

1) A patented method to check the face seal, called “Watermark Seal Check”.
2) A “ReShape” feature which allows the user to close any gaps by heat-moulding the mask.
3) In case “ReShape” alone is not sufficient to close the gaps, user may trim the mask to fit smaller children.

Compares with the original Totobobo mask, the Petit is softer and more comfortable. Beta tester, Miss Hu Xiao Fei from Beijing China, commented in China’s micro blog 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!”

Hopefully this small mask will provide some relief for families traveling to, or living in polluted area.

All respiratory masks suck. Except for this one

By Ian Chow / 2013-11-13
Source: Explorations

I’m not a man to give reviews very easily, unless it was bad… or spectacularly amazing. And this one is it, amazing. I’m talking about the Totobobo Mask, of course.

After a few years of use, it was about time I had written something more significant.

My Criterias: Light, Not hot, breathes easy, and non invasive
When I was still working in South Korea, spring time was also a time for a phenomenon called “Yellow Dust“. Fine particles of sand specs picks up from the Gobi desert, collects air pollution as it travels through China and then dumps it in Korea. This can also last throughout the summer. Needless to say, I got sick a lot during the spring. Finally, I had enough and decided to look for a good mask. My criteria was that 1) Was light 2) Not hot 3) Breathes really easily 4) Non-invasive

Climbing with Totobobo mask

Climbing with Totobobo mask

You can rock climb with it!
After searching awhile online, reading reviews, I found that most other masks were lacking in atleast one of these criterias. Some were made of neoprene, some were “good” but once the filter goes on, it’s very hard to breath, and some were just a huge thing in your face. Just as I was about to give up, I found Totobobo Mask.

They matched all my criteria.

This mask is incredibly light. You can even mash it up, fold it in your pocket and carry it around with you. No harm will come to this mask.

Not hot
Despite scorching 36 degrees and 110% humidity, the mask doesn’t make it any hotter when you breath into it. Ok, a little bit, but despite that I’m a sweaty guy, (I use a sweat band that channels sweat instead of a sweat absorber in high cardio exercises in the summer) the mask doesn’t really make that much of a difference.

Breathes Easy
Yeah, as I said, I do lots of sports outdoors. And so breathing hard into this mask is no problem. The air flow doesn’t really slow down. It does a bit, but not that significant.

Once I got it, I started wearing it riding my bike to work. And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t sound like someone who had been smoking for 10 years and you can see the physical debris of dirt that gets caught up in the filters. Not only do I ride my bike with it to work, I also rock climbed with it. It never got in the way.

After using it for biking and rock climbing, I had brought it to India and Nepal. Even just sitting in the rickshaws in Nepal for 20 minutes, I had realized my mask is completely filthy and needed a filter change. With good foresight, I had bought a lot of filters.

Some other cool features?

30 minutes in a can in Kathmandu, Nepal

30 minutes in a can in Kathmandu, Nepal

How good are these filters? Well, if you don’t know what N95 is, that is pretty much the standard for “The American National Standard for Air Purifying Respiratory”. This means it filters out practically every airborne pollution, which refers to 95% of the pollution. Also, I ended up getting N96 filters too!

Changeable filters, renewable everything! Less waste!
Unlike other masks where you have to throw out the entire thing and get a new one, Totobobo only throws out the filters. This produces a lot less garbage and being environmentally aware, I feel a lot less guilty doing this. To be honest, I didn’t think this was a thing I’d really like about it, but it has grown on me. Recently doing lots of construction work, I’ve been throwing out and purchasing a lot more face masks than I feel was necessary. This changed everything

In a nutshell
Get it. My lungs and health significantly got better, you can see the pollution being filtered out, it’s not invasive, not hot, light, easy to wear and reusable. There are so many pro’s about this one filter! I’m very happy with it and you should totally get one, by clicking right here!


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Przemek from Poland


Always happy to know that Totobobo mask make it possible for a person to continue using bicycle even when the air pollution gets worst. Through words of mouth, Totobobo mask is now selling to over 50 countries. Poland is a relative recent phenomenon.

Przemek Maciolek from Cracow, Poland sent us the following in 2012-12-16:
“Cracow, while beautiful, is one of the most polluted cities in EU (I believe that during the winter the air quality is even worse than London). Few months ago I started using bicycle for commuting and cannot look back for any other option. Cycling is just so right from a number of reasons. (editor:YES!!)

But now, we have winter here, and the pollution levels are many times over the dangerous zone. You can pretty much feel you are breathing toxic fumes… I needed to find a solution – that would allow me to cycle to work, but keeping me safe at the same time.

I was considering many options… but almost every review I have found was pointing to Totobobo. Even if this wasn’t my first choice, I gradually changed my mind and decided to try it. I am very curious of the results. Will be happy to share my opinion as a user in few weeks. Thanks!”

After 10 months of using Totobobo mask, we received another mail from Przemek:

“My first Totobobo was bought year ago and it came with ear loop rather than the headstrap (as I ordered it). I used it quite a few times and thought that it would be nice to replace the ear loop with headstrap accessory for this winter and buy another one for my daughter. ”

Thank you Przemek!

Air pollution in London due to road traffic

Cyclists should wear an effective air mask or better move away from the busy roads. That’s the conclusion I got when looking at the animated 3D ‘Pollution map’ video of London. The orange yellow color, mainly along the main roads, indicates high level of air pollution where the blue color are area with better air quality. It is intuitive to think air pollution level is higher along the main roads and lower away from the main roads, but I could never imagine the differences can be so huge!

In the short video below you can see the highest air pollution concentrated right along the main roads and junctions, likely the result of slow moving vehicles there. Most of the area away from the main roads are much better.

If you are waiting for the green light at any of such junctions, hold your breath. Because the ultra fine particles (0.1-0.3 micros, currently not being regulated) can travel deep down into the lungs and stay longer there than their bigger brothers (>2.5 microns). Ultra fine particles reduces the health benefits of physical exercise. There are increased evidence showing these ultra-fine particles are the silence killer closely links to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

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

Pollution Masks: Which Are Best?


My Health in Beijing by medical blogger Dr. Richard Saint Cyr

My Health in Beijing by medical blogger Dr. Richard Saint Cyr

Real World Testing

I tried it around town for a bit, and the overall comfort is good. It definitely is less awkward-looking than the typical N95 with exhalation valves. I was pleasantly surprised with the seal and that my glasses didnt fog up, although I got those mask lines on my face that other masks also cause. Its relatively easy to keep on, with straps either behind the ear or behind the head (which always provides a closer fit).

I didnt do any fancy technical testing with it, but on a bad, smelly day I put on the mask and instantly could no longer smell that pollution.

Also, there are a few other real-world advantages:

Its not totally uncool-looking
Its reusable and washable, and its easy to carry in a pouch (provided by them)
There are kids sizes
You can quickly cut the mask to fit better
The masks and filter refills are very reasonably priced

My Bottom Line

Totobobo didnt pay me anything, and I get no income from them for this mention. Im simply trying to find well-researched options to protect myself and anyone else from Beijings air pollution, and Id be more than happy to review other masks as well and to publish the results. Last year I tried to find good studies on other brands, including Respro, but I found no well-designed studies on other masks. Does anyone have such information?

I think Totobobo is a good and affordable option for people. And a 135-fold drop in pollution is very impressive; even on an emergency day with the AQI over 500, the mask would bring your air to WHO-safe levels.

Member of Medical code of conduct

DR. RICHARD SAINT CYR is a member of "Medical code of conduct"

Give cyclist a Safety Wing

Riding in Seoul with a safety cyclist wing

Riding in Seoul with a safety cyclist wing

A conceptual work as mentioned by UrbanVelo.
Cyclist safety is one of the main concern that stop potential cyclist to choose bicycle as a mode of transportation.
Many drivers, even some cyclist, believe cyclist enjoy the road at the expenses of road tax paying car-owners.
The “Cyclist Wing” enhance cyclist visibility and safety on the road. From the driver’s perspective, the “Wing” makes cyclist becomes 300% more visible, and therefore easier to avoid.
“Safety by number” is an important factor supported by a huge body of research finding. More cyclist = more safety for cyclist .
The “Wing” makes the visual population of cyclist in any city increased to 300% with the same number of cyclists. Driver need to drive more carefully due to the apparent increase number of cyclists on the road.

With the air-cleaning function of the “Wing”, cyclists make a tangible contribution to the environment, at the same time return the right-of-way to cyclist.
it is also a subtle reminder of the harmful pollution from cars. The “Wing” earn the right-of-way for cyclist from a social perspective.

The “Wing” will help to tilt the favor towards cyclists and turn more potential cyclist into real cyclist.

Do you think the air-cleaning-cyclist-wing concept can work in your city?

Read more :
advanced cycling mask

What Ross say about the Totobobo SuperCool?

A big thanks to Ross for providing his first hand experience with the SuperCool mask. You can follow Ross at twitter

The coolest pollution mask

Ross using Totobobo SuperCool mask

SuperCool mask helps Ross to cut down air pollution while cycling in traffic, Photo by Ross, L.A. USA

The SuperCool mask is great hands down. I don’t work for Totobobo nor am I paid to say this, and I’ve been using this mask for a few months now. I first started with the original one that covered the nose and mouth. I liked the simplicity and that I could easily wash the mask but as a glasses-wearing cyclist, my glasses seemed to fog up when stopped at red lights or slowed down (at higher speeds the breath exhaust seemed to present less of a glasses-fogging problem). This was a problem.

But when I wrote to the company informing of my problem they were willing to offer a few suggestions. One was to try cutting the mask to better fit my head, but the other was about this new version that only covers your mouth. I gave it a try.

That I am no longer exhaling into the mask, the fogging glasses issue has completely disappeared. (I breathe in through my mouth, which is in the mask/filter, and out through my nose.) Actually, I think I get a better seal with this smaller mask than I did the full one. And I find there is much less condensation collecting in the mask (no humid exhale within the mask), which means I do not need to wash the mask as often. This may also have a positive impact on the filters (keeping them drier), but I’m not a scientist, so I can’t credibly comment on that.

Pulling down the mask to talk to other cyclists is also very easy with this mask. You can talk through the mask, but you might sound a little like Darth Vader, so I simply pull the mask down around my chin if I want to talk, then pull it back up when I ride on. The side straps are very stretchy.

I also have a mask by another company it’s neoprene and velcros in the back. I haven’t really tried this mask extensively due to a few reasons: 1. it looks like it would tend to get hot in the summer days here in Los Angeles as it covers a lot of skin on your face and neck essentially with a wetsuit, 2. the metal nose bracket, which I thought would be beneficial to get a good seal, seemed to irritate my nose, and 3. the Totobobo is just so light and easy to use I just haven’t had a compelling urge to try another mask.

Big props to the company who has seemed to design a great, simple product and whose customer service has been very responsive and helpful. When I change out the filters they are visibly discolored and I’m glad that at least some of that stuff that I otherwise would be breathing (dirt, pollution, particulate matter, brake shoe dust, etc.) is in the filter instead of in my lungs.

Ross, the dudeonabike
Los Angeles, California, USA

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