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
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3rd Party Reviews on Totobobo Mask

It is important to study a product carefully before buying it, one of the most important things to take note of are the comments made by other consumers who have purchased the same product. To save you the trouble, we have done up a compilation of the different reviews we have gotten over the years from external sources, therefore they are trustworthy and not made up by us!

(Tips: click on the images below to jump to the sources)

Via News

Totobobo mask on Wall Street Journal

Debra Bruno, a freelance journalist and a jogger in Beijing explains her choice of Totobobo mask to the Wall Street Journal during an interview

“This filter was white when I started and it got this nasty grey after only 10km.” Chas Pope – Marathon runner

“The filters show up an astonishing amount of dirt after just a few cycles, which really hits home how dirty the air we breathe in is. It’s easy to attach and I can move my face when wearing it – a bonus.”

“Tipping the scales at 20g, Totobobo is the lightest reusable respiratory mask on the market. “

“The white filter pads make it easy – and incredibly satisfying – to monitor the particulates that have been caught  “

“There was a visible change in the colour of the filters, and I was more aware of the visible dust being kicked up by trucks and was grateful I wasn’t inhaling this. I suffer from hay fever and could imagine the mask would be a huge benefit in reducing the symptoms. “Chris Lima, a member of IoD Oxfordshire

via avid traveller:

“We have started using our Totobobo masks, and changed the filters for the first time after 7 days of usage in Malaysia, plagued by the haze coming from Indonesia. So far we are satisfied, it works well and the filters are getting grey as expected!” Davide Vadalà and Oti from Nomad Travellers

“it is a well-designed, super lightweight mask that allows me to freely breathe as I wheel around town.” Sahn

via cyclist:

“Totobobo mask has a good feature where you can customize the mask (and the ear loop) by reshaping it with hot water / hair dryer. This is a very crucial feature, a mask that do not fit your face is not an effective mask at all.”

“Given how dirty the pads get, I can only assume this mask is blocking out plenty of pollution. The mask itself is soft and doesn’t rub, even when sweaty.”

via Runner:

PrisChew

“Totobobo mask is also comfortable to wear and easy to breathe with. So it is commonly used by cyclists, motorcyclists and artists when navigating around in polluted environments.” Pris Chew, runner blogger

via artist:

via health sites:

“Aside from an amazing name, this mask is interesting for its design – it gets moulded to your face (using warm water) for a good fit, and when worn, is transparent where it’s in contact with your skin, and translucent otherwise. This means that you can just stand in front of the mirror and ensure that you’ve gotten a good seal on the mask.”

Clean Living Blog

“In other masks, there is no way to find out if it is tightly fitted on the face. Totobobo has solved this problem using an innovative ‘water-mark’ technique in which the frosted surface of the mask becomes transparent where there is good skin contact and remains translucent where there is a leakage.”

“the mask itself is more environmentally friendly. You only throw the filters away – not the entire mask. “

“This is the only mask I’ve been able to get used to. “

“As soon as I take it off, I’m aware of how much pastel is on and around me by just breathing (it’s scary to think I was breathing all that dust before!)”

More related links:
https://totobobo.com/blog/2012/08/why-do-you-choose-totobobo-mask-2/

Why Totobobo SuperCool mask sucks? Traffic fume!

SuperCool pollution mask helps cyclist and motorcyclist to fight traffic fume
SuperCool pollution mask helps cyclist and motorcyclist to fight traffic fume

Cyclists and Motorcyclists! If you are looking for a pollution mask that really sucks, your long awaiting search has come to an end. The new pollution mask from TOTOBOBO, called SuperCool mask, is designed to suck more, traffic fume that is leaving only the clean air for your lung. Its high efficient filter keeps the nasty nano-particles out and doesnt diminish the oxygen you pull in with each breath.

The SuperCool is the worlds first pollution mask with the nose uncovered. Such unexpected feature brings surprising advantages. First of all, exhaling through the nostrils will never fog up your glasses. Having the nose free means you can clear your nose while protecting your lungs a necessary edge when racing traffic or just cruising through town. according to Francis Chu, a cyclist and the designer of SuperCool. You can even switch between nose and mouth breathing instantly when riding through alternate clean and polluted area no need to stop to remove or put on the mask.

Whereas other masks require intense scrubbing to keep them clean, the TOTOBOBO can be washed and dried within minutes. Your breathing gear will no longer have a funky film of week-old bacteria. Even if you do, the SuperCool is easier to clean than the dishes in your sink. The rest of your cycling gear can be smelly and gross, but at least the one that covering your face should be kept cleanand odor free. Oh, and germs? No worries. The SuperCool is embedded with anti-microbial Silver ion inside out so nothing can grow on it.

The SuperCool mask is customizable to fit your face as need be. This helps to keep the best fit and seal. It also prevents your roommate or sibling from borrowing it and getting it covered in their germs.

The only way the TOTOBOBO SuperCool doesnt suck is the SSS-look – Sleek, Slick and Slim, a far cry from other protective masks which look like the gear of a Storm-trooper from Star Wars. The SuperCool is small enough to fold into your pocket and weighs next to nothing (18 grams). It will slide under any helmet and leave plenty of rooms for glasses or goggles.

Best of all, the TOTOBOBO SuperCool mask is reusable, just replacing the filters as it turns grey. The SuperCool mask and filter are now available at totobobo.com. You will even get a free reusable pouch for carrying the mask!

About Totobobo:
Totobobo is the world’s first customizable respiratory mask designed to fit both adults and children. It has been sold to over 35 countries. Totobobo mask uses patented technology that ensures comfort and good protection from pollutants.
Totobobo is a trade mark of Dream Lab One Pte. Ltd.

Related:
What Ross has to say about Totobobo mask?

Protect your lungs when riding in the city

More advanced features of TOTOBOBO mask

How to customize TOTOBOBO mask to fit your face?

12 useful features for cyclist

How to clean TOTOBOBO mask for reuse?

Buy TOTOBOBO mask

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.

Chinese patent opens up new market opportunity for Totobobo

The Chinese Patent Office granted a new patent for the innovative Totobobo mask. Considering the increasing difficulties in acquiring a Chinese patent, this comes as a major achievement. The potential sale of Totobobo masks will greatly increase now that the Chinese market has opened to this innovative product.

Sharon Li, Dream Lab Ones managing director believes that, the new patent, along with the rest of our IP portfolio, opens up new opportunity for licensing business.

This development comes as no surprise, though, given the exceptional performance of Totobobo mask that has so far won the trust of customers from 35 countries, from the United States to Mexico to Mongolia, as far north as Russia and as far south as New Zealand.

Demand for the Totobobo mask is believed to be very high among Chinas health-conscious and rapidly expending middle class. Despite great efforts to clear the air, air pollution remains a serious challenge. The recent sand storm swept across 16 provinces in China is a stern wake up call. Experts warn air pollution will remains to be a problem for years to come. According to the World Bank, 16 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China. Time Magazine reports that: Linfen has the worst air in China because of the large quantities of coal being burnt daily. Like Linfen, airborne contaminants abound in Chinese cities, renowned for their smog, soot, and overall poor air quality. Before the air is cleaned, many users can benefit from the protection of Totobobo mask, namely:

cyclists and motorcyclists
– traffic policeman
– tollgate staff
– students and children
– asthmatics and hay fever patients

The Totobobo masks creator, Francis Chu, welcomes the recognition:
“China is an important manufacturing base as well as the biggest market for respirators. This is an important patent today and will become more important in the future.”

This development is good news for Chinese consumers, since the reusable Totobobo mask is both economic and effective for reducing the risk of respiratory disease.

About Totobobo
Totobobo is the worlds first customizable respirator mask designed to fit both children and adult. The highly effective mask is exceptionally comfortable. At 20 grams, Totobobo is by far the lightest reusable respiratory mask on the market. Sales have hit 35 countries since the launch in 2008. Totobobo is a product of Dream Lab One Pte. Ltd. The masks are available at www.totobobo.com.

How to customize the Totobobo Large Mask?

One of the most unique features of the Totobobo Mask is the “Cut to size” feature. The original mask fits most adults except users with smaller faces, for example, women and children.

TOTOBOBO mask can be cut to size

Totobobo Mask is the world’s first customizable respirator. Other products are only available in one size, which only fits a particular age range or facial structure. For many, that is little that can be done to solve this problem. Totobobo Mask, on the other hand, is capable of being trimmed to fit a wide range of faces for optimal comfort and sealing. The mask fits most adults but can also be modified to fit children as young as 5 years old. Totobobo Mask is the most versatile Respirator on the market. Customizing the mask’s size is simple, just follow these steps:

What you need :

A clean pair of sharp scissors

A pair of clean hands

Firstly, you’ll have to determine how small you want the mask to be trimmed to. You can do a quick estimate by covering the mask over the user’s face, or better yet, get a Totobobo Simulator. If you’re uncertain of the exact size, we suggest you to trim the mask down a ring at a time. The mask should ultimately form a snug fit onto the face, but not too tight to hinder the comfort of the user.

Remember to measure twice before you cut.

Then, carefully cut the mask starting from the bottom ring. Follow the markings carefully and slowly cut through the mask. Trim any excess bits and test the size if necessary. The excess material that has been cut out can be disposed and the mask is ready for use.

 

Step 1 - start the cut from the bottom of the mask
1 – start the cut from the bottom of the mask
Step 2 - insert the scissors into one size of the opening
2 – insert the scissors into one side of the opening

Step 4 - turning around to the other side

6 - almost done
4 – make a loop to the starting point
7 - see! you've got your small mask now
5 – see! you’ve got your small mask now

Related:

Test the cut with a Totobobo mask simulator

Buy Totobobo mask

How to wash the Totobobo Mask?

Step by step Instruction on how to wash the Totobobo Mask

Any face mask is bound to get dirty after a period of usage. Totobobo Mask has been praised by many Woodturners that the mask is light weight and easy to clean.

Here is a simple step by step instruction on how you can clean the masks under a water tap. Do make sure to disinfect your hands and fingertips before you start the process.

: Unlock the 2 filter caps and remove the filters, then remove the filter caps from the       mask body itself.

: Apply soap thoroughly on the inside and the outside of the mask.

: Rinse the mask with water on both inside and outside again.

: Let it air out in a dry place or awhile, if you are in a rush, you can dry it yourself           with a clean tissue paper/kitchen towel as well.

: Install back the filter caps, replace the old filters with a pair of new ones, lock the         filter caps, you are good to go again!

 

More advanced features of TOTOBOBO mask

How to put on Totobobo mask?

Edited: 2018-11-20

How to put on your Totobobo mask?
With the new earloop design, you can put on your Totobobo mask just like a regular surgical mask, easy and comfortable plus the extra sealed-protection of Totobobo mask.

put on Totobobo mask is as easy as a surgical mask.
put on Totobobo mask is as easy as a surgical mask.

If you don’t like the earloop style, you can also extend the earloop and connect them at the back of your head with the included “adaptor”, as shown in the picture below:

convert earloop style to head strap style by the adaptor

Related articles:

Choosing the perfect mask for cycling in the City