Toto what???

Smog the Dog is confused… Toto what??? Toto my butt. Looking at the two references below, Smog the Dog couldn’t believe what he was seeing…



1. Cycling Masks And The Shocking Results






2. Totobobo


Did some one shout ‘set up’ or ‘fix’ or some other phrase used to highlight a fake review or did Claire (pictured promoting Totobobo mask on the Totobobo home page) get a no expense spared trip from London to go all the way to the back waters (with her partner) of a far eastern country (Far eastern back drop picture promoting Totobobo mask on the Totobobo home page) to do a review for London Cyclist blog, supposedly in London. I don’t think so.

Either London Cyclist blog (not to be confused with the London Cycling Campaign or their magazine The London Cyclist) takes incentives or takes the public for stupid. Why put a cropped picture on the LC review taken from the homepage of the supplier of the product she is supposedly reviewing. Crass thinking man!

Well, the public aren’t stupid and what little credibility such a mask configuration has, vanishes into the polluted ether.

The Totobobo mask adheres to one out of four of the basic principles that a mask or in technical speak, a ‘filtering face piece’ should adhere to.

1. The mask should be ‘orinasal’ (covers nose and mouth)

It is a given, that we breathe though our nose and our mouth. The mask should cover both breathing orifices otherwise you have to make a conscious effort to breathe with the right technique. This is pain to do and takes concentration otherwise , “oops I forgot to breath through my mouth” “oh well, the pollution really isn’t that bad”

Breathing is a reflex processes that we do not think about and should remain that way. In through the nose, out through the nose,  in through the mouth, out through the mouth,….. it should remain a thoughtless process.

Totobobo Super cool mask is so cool, it lets you breathe through your nose if you want, how cool is that! …cough cough!

2. The mask should have a nose clip.

Masks used in industry have a nose clip of some fashion whether it be a strip of annealed aluminum to bend to an individual users features or something like a spring clasp. This vital component is required in order to seal between the bridge of the nose. This is the most common place for air leakage and without a nose clip you are rendering your mask next to the useless category. This will mean that unfiltered air will pass straight into your lungs by-passing the filter.

In order to create an effective seal the mask needs a nose clip. Totobobo mask….. oooh,… doesn’t have one!

3. The mask should have at least one exhalation valve.

Heat, water vapour and Carbon Dioxide are plentiful when exhaling and the last thing you want is either to breathe them back in on your next breath or the water vapour to start saturating the filter material as it passes out of the mask; it has to go somewhere! The resultant is the ‘wet flannel effect’ which is where you cannot breathe for all the water in the filter material or all the tea in China.

Without valves you also get condensation build up. The only way to avoid this other than by having valves, is if there are large gaps around the sealing area allowing the exhaled air to pass out. Air travels through the path of least resistance, so if the air passes out through the gaps then it will also pass in through the gaps, meaning that the air passing into your lungs is guess what…unfiltered. Surprise!

4. The filter media should have the largest possible surface area.

The key to low inhalation resistance is the amount of surface area the filter is providing for air to pass through, for example try breathing through a biro pen tube and see how much air you an get into your lungs and then try breathing through an empty bog roll. The difference is obvious. Like the filter disk in the Totobobo mask you will have difficulty drawing a couple of litres of air through the filter in one breath which is the average volume of air taken in each breath. Now multiply this by 20 and you will get 40 litres of air trying to pass through the filter every minute…. and back again because there is no exhalation valve.  Exhausting work if you ask me!

Sounds like the scientists at Totobobo school of masks didn’t pass their exams.

Well, simply explained and as far as I am concerned, it is a mask that will pass into history as one of the many masks that have been put on the market by companies who try to cash in on the back of a serious global problem.  The global pollution problem is not going away unlike the Totobobo mask which most definitely will.

by Smog the Dog from Toxin City

11 Responses to Toto what???

  1. applejuzz says:

    Moulding totobobo to one’s face to have proper fit is nearly impossible. This mask is a wast of money and time. Their website tricked me into buying it saying something like “of course it does not fit, you have to mould it”. Yeah… except I spent hours trying to do that to make it fit to my face and I did not manage it (yes I followed the instructions, with hot and cold water and everything).

  2. john scheid says:

    I am a long-time respro fan (never betrayed a respro for a totobobo…). However, I must admit I have been baffled by what I found here…
    Although I think the experiment as conducted on the above site may be a rather biased one, it would be nice to see a “real” filtering test on how a respro and a totobobo mask really work in the same conditions. This, in my view, is the only way to seal the opponents’ mouths… and the fairest one towards your (long-time and new) customers.

    Many thanks in advance and best regards,


    • Hi John,

      Thank you for taking the time to write in and comment on the situation.

      Just when you think the playing field is level, you get a hole that you are not aware of. The testing of masks is based on particulate matter on and not on any of the rest of the cocktail of chemicals that are ever present in the air in urban environments.
      Our comments over the Totobobo piece was about how the playing field us manipulated and not to be beguiled by ‘facts’ and figures as they are presented.

      We at Respro® are actively looking at introducing a level playing field which any mask can be measured. This would be done by an independent and accredited laboratory that certifies respiratory masks.

      When this happens we will introduce the independent findings, In the meantime we have to go on what we have tested which is our masks to FFP1, a recognised standard for occupational masks used in the workplace.

      Smog the Dog

  3. John Haywood says:

    If you are going to ‘slam’ a competitor, you should really take the time to review their products properly.
    Toto Bobo masks have a fairly large surface area for air filtration – if people couldn’t breath through them properly, they would have gone bust a long time ago.
    They don’t need a close clip because you warm the masks (hot air or hot water) so they can be moulded to the wearers face.
    There is a perfectly good reason why Toto Bo Bo masks appear “flimsy” – they are aimed specifically for the Asian market (a source of polution data you keep using) where it is not uncommon to have an average of 80%+ humidity. Your neoprene masks could be the cheapest and most effificent in the entire world but in a lot of asian countries, it would be like wearing a wetsuit in a sauna.

    • Respro UK Ltd says:


      Myhealthbeijing tested the TTBO mask

      “I was also a bit disappointed with Totobobo, but the result is fairly consistent with a recent test from the China Consumers Association, which only gave it 3.5 out of 5. I find their manufacturer’s suggestions to custom fit their masks with scissors or boiling water quite onerous and certainly at a disadvantage when many other masks are far more effective right out of the package, requiring no customization, at a far cheaper price.”

      Richard Saint Cyr and the Chinese Consumer association seem to agree with Smog The Dog.

    • applejuzz says:

      I have one and I could not mould it to make it fit to my face. It’s simply not possible, not for me at least.

  4. Ruggero says:

    I`m an avid cyclist and when I climb at the hardest I cannot keep Tototobo while with Respro, I resist a little more….

    • Respro UK Ltd says:

      When breathing hard you need to expel the heat water vapour and CO2 when exhaling out of the mask otherwise lung function is reduced. This is why we have valves, Totobobo do not, and the Respro® mask is used for running and other sporting activities.

  5. Ruggero says:

    I have both, and I can do with both!
    The Totobobo can definitely let some unfiltered air in from the nose bridge, the amount doesn`t seem that much though and varies a lot according to face shape and wearing way.
    Nothwistanding the fact that I`m a medium built 1.76 man I have to wear the Respro “M” size for better results – good sealing and no fogging of the glasses.
    The fact that T becomes dark so quickly I guess is because the filtering area is way smaller and because the material seems whiter (so more contrast)

  6. Waxy says:

    This type of entry sort of follows an emotional personal attack style of argument. I’d recommend trying a different approach, or at least not slamming other products on your company’s webpage. (I do prefer the Respro by the way)

    • Respro UK Ltd says:

      The “Toto What” entry is not designed to keep the commercial status quo but to get people to think about the information that is being placed in the public domain. It may be a bit candid for some people’s taste but it has more than a grain of truth.

      Have a look at the number of other products purporting to offer relief from pollution, how many of them copy bits of our information and even modify our images under the guise of offering assistance.

      Companies who see a commercial opportunity and then place it under the banner “this product is good for you need to be “outed” otherwise the experience falls short of the description, which in turn leads to disillusion in the market place.

      We have no problems competing with other companies so long as their products say what they do on the tin and not more. In the case of Totobobo product, the tin should have little or no information written on it certainly in terms of value to the end user.

      Smog the Dog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s