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’.

Bertrand’s hot update from Mumbai

Setting up exhibition in Mumbai Exhibition center

Setting up exhibition in Mumbai Exhibition center


Bertrand Jenner was setting up an exhibition in Mumbai Exhibition Center. The dust and smoke inside the exhibition hall is not much better than the traffic pollution outside in the street. He purchased a Totobobo mask and this is the time to use it. Bertrand is so kind to send us the following photos and comments:

2013-09-15 Sent by Bertrand JENNER from Mumbai

“I finally got my hands on a new mask and I was able to mould it. See the results. I’m in Mumbai this week, so I can really appreciate the mask :D”
“after 1h in hot Exhibition Center during setup, I can tell you that the mask is incredible !
You can share the pictures no problems.
This filter has been used just for 1h…”

It would be nice to compare Bertrand’s filters with others with other examples from Asia
after 6 hours of use in Mumbai.

Thanks you! Bertrand!

Totobobo mask before ReShape, there is a gap around the nosebridge
Totobobo mask before ReShape, there is a gap around the nosebridge
Totobobo mask after ReShape, there the gap around the nose bridge has been closed
The gap around the nose bridge was closed after ReShape
Totobobo mask after ReShape
Totobobo mask after ReShape
1 hour used filter in Mumbai Exhibition Centre
1 hour used filter in Mumbai Exhibition Centre

Totobobo filter after 4 hours use in Mumbai exhibition center.
Totobobo filter after 4 hours use in Mumbai exhibition center.

Related post:
How to ReShape Totobobo mask to get the perfect fit?

Not getting a good fit? “ReShape” your Totobobo mask to get the perfect fit!

Heat moulded Totobobo mask
Heat moulded Totobobo mask

[Click here if you cannot view youtube from China]

Some users feedback that it would be nice to add a nose clip to Totobobo mask, especially for people with prominent nose feature. These users experienced a small gap next to their nose bridge. Many disposable masks comes with an integrated metal nose clip. You can use it to force the mask to “clip” your nose, this is useful to eliminate the small gaps next to the nose bridge. However metal nose clip is not a reliable long term solution for a reusable mask. Our tests have shown that after a limited times of bending, the metal clip will become fatigued and easily broken.

The following video shows how to use a bowl of hot water to mould a Totobobo mask, then use another bowl of cold water to freeze the new shape. This process can be repeated many times and therefore is a better long term solution than a metal nose clip.

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 helps to improve protection and wearing comfort.

Better face fit = fewer gaps = better protection
PM2.5, the very fine airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns that can be inhaled and travel deep into the lungs and enter the blood stream, causes micro inflammation and hardens the blood vessels. Recent studies discovered PM2.5 not only triggers lung and other diseases along the respiratory track, but also triggers cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Common surgical masks or even a poor fitting N95 mask won’t be much help, because airborne viruses or fine particles like PM2.5 can easily bypass the filter through the air gaps. Ensuring face fit is the first fundamental step towards respiratory protection.

Totobobo masks provides three key features to help you to obtain the optimal face fit and protection:

1) Sizing: Totobobo mask is the first and only mask that allows the user to cut to size. You don’t have to risk over cutting your mask. Download this template and test the size with a paper dummy first, before cutting the real mask!

2) Fine tuning with heat moulding: The heat moulding process makes it possible for you to fine tune the face-fitting of the mask. A small gap around the nose bridge or below the chin? No problem, just re-mould the mask and you can eliminate or at least minimize the gaps. You can re-mould the mask as many times as you want. Remember don’t treat the mask with boiling water or you may destroy the mask! Use hot water around 80C instead.

Another point to note, a small gap occurs during exhaling does not affect the effectiveness of protection, and the leak can be beneficial because it helps to release the exhaust air. What you need to check is whether the seal is closed when you inhale, due to the negative pressure while inhaling. Ideally you would adjust the straps so that there are small gaps to speed up the exhaling due to the pressure.

3) Visual seal check: through the unique transparent mask you can check if the mask is touching the chin below and forming a good seal. If the seal is not optimal, you can fine tune the cut, the moulding or simply adjust the position and tension of the strap to get a better fit.

Wearing comfort

If a mask is not comfortable to wear, it won’t get used much and it won’t get much chance to function either.

The heat moulding process can make the mask follow your face profile closely. Therefore you can reduce the tension of the straps while still getting a good fit. Ideally you can adjust the tension to a minimum level to keep the mask on your face. When you exhale, the internal pressure pushes the mask outwards a bit and breaks the seal around the face, quickly releasing the exhaust. When you inhale the mask “sucks” to your face due to the negative pressure and the elastic strap, closing up the gaps and letting the air in only through the filters. The entire mask functions like a one-way valve, but without a physical valve. Some users describe this state as “The mask is breathing with me.”

Got a question? leave a comment or send your question to totobobomask(at)gmail.com

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任何口罩的舒适和保护性,在很大程度上取决于口罩的设计是否能够密切遵循你的脸型。
该视频演示了如何使用一碗热水从新塑造Totobobo口罩,然后用另一碗冷水把口罩定型。
这个过程可以重复许多次,一般金属鼻夹,这往往经过几次弯曲而导致疲劳断裂。
热塑处理适用于口罩任何部分(例如下巴),不仅在鼻梁区域。
您可能需要尝试热塑处理口罩几次,以达到最佳的贴脸效果。
“热塑处理”功能有助于提高Totobobo口罩整体的贴脸密封性(保护性)和舒适性。

Related:

Advanced features of Totobobo mask

Totobobo simulator (free download)

 

 

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!

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

Worlds first UNIVERSAL Earloop Respirator

Singapore company Dream Lab One Pte. Ltd. today announced the arrival of the world’s first UNIVERSAL reusable Ear-loop respirator, called Earloop-UNIVERSAL or UNI in short. The new entry is the latest of a series of innovative anti-pollution respirators including the Classic, Earloop (L,M,S,XS sizes) and SuperCool (Mouth mask).

Typical reusable respirators by major producers are designed for heavy duty occupational use. They are able to achieve good face seal and protection. However, due to the weight, these respirators require heavy duty head bands to secure the respirator. Such head bands can be irritating and sometimes entangle with the users hair. On the other hand, normal users prefer to use cloth mask, like people in Japan or motorcyclists in Vietnam, as these are light enough to be hung on the ears with a pair of ear-loops. The ear-loop design is easer to use and is preferred by ladies with delicate hair styles. However, these cloth masks provide neither good seal nor protection for airborne contamination.

World's first UNIVERSAL Earloop respirator by Totobobo
World's first UNIVERSAL Earloop respirator by Totobobo

The new UNI achieves the best of both world by combining the best-of-class light weight property of Totobobo with an adjustable ear-loop design. The 20 grams reusable mask is the only one in the market that can be secured with a pair of flexible ear-loops. Through innovative ways of looping around the filters, the tension of the ear-loop can be adjusted to suit anyone including adults and children. The UNI is comfortable and easy to use, just like a cloth mask. Most importantly, the protection is not compromised either.

Scientific tests in the Prince of Wales Hospital (Hong Kong) have shown that the Totobobo filter is able to achieve a 135-fold reduction of airborne particles as fine as 0.3 micron, compared to a 195-fold reduction of 3M N95 mask. Such performance is considered by experts like Doctor Richard Saint Cyr to be ‘Very impressive’.

“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”, wrote Dr. Saint Cyr in his popular blog “MyHealthinBeijing”.

The Totobobo Earloop-UNI is available now from the website: http://totobobo.com/buy.html

Totobobo with Earloop, Universal size

Earloop UNI (UNIVERSAL customizable) = $21

Easy to put on and take off, suitable for most adult size

Add to Cart

About Totobobo and Dream Lab One

Totobobo is the worlds first customizable respiratory mask designed to fit all faces from children to adults. The highly effective mask uses a patented advanced technology that ensures respiratory seal, offering users guaranteed protection from pollutants. Tipping the scales at 20 grams, Totobobo is by far the lightest reusable respiratory mask on the market. The mask is made from FDA approved material, using a custom-engineered SoftTech plastic formula which makes it remarkably flexible and comfortable. Launched in 2008, the Totobobo mask has since hit sales in over 40 countries. The masks are available at www.totobobo.com. Totobobo is a product of Dream Lab One Pte. Ltd.

For more information, photographs or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Francis Chu
Dream Lab One Pte. Ltd.
Tel: +65 81183083
Email: totobobomask@gmail.com

New released in Medical Product Asia

bobo a piece of cloud to bring back the fresh air from good old days

bobo is the name designer Francis Chu given to his latest contraption which will be showcased in the National Museum of Singapore next month, along with 18 other product designers from Singapore. All designers are part of a local collective called Little Thoughts Group. The exhibition called Imprints- Designing from Memories is sponsored by the National Heritage Board of Singapore. All exhibits derive from local heritage and demonstrate how designers cohere their childhood memories with their skills in designing to come up with new and innovative ideas for modern day living.

bobo is a cloud shape air purifier which doubles up as lighting. It makes use of high tech filters from TotoboboMask to purify polluted air. At night, bobo also illuminates the surrounding with growling light as if the moon is shining behind the cloud, providing relax, serene atmosphere. There are altogether eight unique bobos presented in the exhibition, all in different sizes and shapes. Each “bobo” is labelled with a Chinese name which can be seen when the light is on.

In the designer’s own words:

Inspiration of bobo came form my childhood memories. As a curious kid I was fascinated how clouds change and move across the sky. I enjoy spontaneous imagination triggered by the changing patterns. e.g. a white rabbit slowly morphing into a huge snail or an airplane suddenly changed to a dancing dragon. Free from computer games and traffic pollutions, those were the days that life was simpler and air was cleaner. The design intent of bobo is to bring back the clean air and memory of those simple days.

bobo-cloud filter is patent pending, the project is sponsored by Totobobo Mask

About the exhibition: Imprints: Designing From Memories
Following its successful first-of-its kind product design exhibition in Singapore last year, the Little Thoughts Group is geared up once again to showcase the creative talents of local product designers in December 2010 at the National Museum of Singapore.

“Imprints: Designing from Memories” features a significant collaboration with the National Heritage Board, as the theme will revolve around the exploration of heritage and culture in product design and the notion of “Singapore Design”.

The upcoming exhibition boasts an even more impressive showcase which will comprise the works of 19 local product designers. Spurred on by encouraging reviews of the last show, this year’s showcase promises to be even more awesome and inspiring, with its ‘blast from the past’ take.

4th Dec 2010 – 1st Jan 2011
10am – 6pm daily
The Atelier Gallery
National Museum of Singapore

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

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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

Related:
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What Ross say about the Totobobo SuperCool?
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Protect your lungs when riding in the city

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

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SuperCool- the Coolest Cycling mask

The coolest pollution mask
The coolest pollution mask

TOTOBOBO SuperCool is the perfect filter mask for cycling and outdoor sports in polluted cities. This innovative respirator covers only the mouth. By removing the nasal cover from the original design, you can exhale easier through the nostrils without filling the mask with uncomfortable heat and moisture. The SuperCool mask is truly the coolest breathing mask in the world. With the nose free there is no concern of fogged up glasses. It is also slim and sleek, easy to wear while cruising around.

The coolest pollution mask for cyclist and motorist, Totobobo Super-Cool mouth mask
The coolest pollution mask

The TOTOBOBO SuperCool uses top-quality High-Efficiency-Air-Filters to keep unwanted airborne particles out of the respiratory system. Test in the Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University, Hong Kong, has demonstrated the effectiveness of the Totobobo mask.

The unique SoftTech material enable TOTOBOBO mask to fit snugly and comfortably to the face. It forms an air-tight seal so air can only get in through the filters. Remarkably, the mask can be trimmed to fit any face.

The mask is reusable and a pair of disposable filters is less than a dollar for a typical week long use in highly polluted cities. The TOTOBOBO SuperCool Mask is of superior quality and is the best value amongst competitions.

The SuperCool’s streamlined design is tailored for use with a helmet and goggles or glasses. Talking is more easily done and your smile is not lost behind a bulky mask, so communicating while riding is not an issue as it is with other masks. Cleaning your nose is also quite possible if you ever need to. This product is a must have for any city riders. The SuperCool mask is now available from http://totobobo.com/buy.html .

Related articles:
SuperCool, the coolest cycling mask
Philippines: Cool picture of SuperCool
SuperCool respirator review by product design student
What Ross say about the Totobobo SuperCool?
Mike Mc Carthy and his experience with SuperCool 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
How long does the filter last?