FAQ | COVID-19, Coronavirus

FAQ | COVID-19, Coronavirus

Is the Totobobo mask/ filters effective against coronavirus?

To lower the risk of virus, we recommend using F96 or F94 filters.

Here is a chart showing the test reports of Totobobo filters:

Alternatively, for sports use, we recommend our new PRO filter provides easier breathing with N99 performance.


How long can the filter last?

When used for air pollution application, we recommend changing the filters after a maximum duration of two weeks, or when the filter discolours from white to mid-grey (we provide a reference picture on the packaging).

For application against the virus, we suggest a maximum duration of one week for normal use in low-risk areas such as shopping mall, office and public transport. However, the filters should be changed immediately after using it in high-risk areas such as crowded hospital or clinic.


How should we handle and clean the filters and the mask after use?

Wipe the mask with alcohol or antiseptic after use. Don’t touch the filters when cleaning the mask.

Leave the mask in an area with good ventilation, and preferably with sunshine.

When changing the filters, dispose of the filters safely. Wash the mask with soap and water. Clean your hands before taking out the new filters from the packaging.


Is Totobobo mask same as N95 mask?

The Totobobo mask has some differences to a typical (NIOSH) N95 mask. There are pros and cons.

A published pilot study by the Prince of Wales Hospital shows Totobobo mask is able to fit more people than N95 mask (70% vs 40%) which is important for providing effective protection. However, when the mask is well fitted, N95 mask provides a higher level of protection than Totobobo (scoring 193 vs 133, where 100 is the passing mark).


Totobobo and surgical mask

Surgical masks are intended for "one-time-use", designed for use by doctors during a medical procedure. It is an important safety barrier between the patient's wound (e.g. blood splash) and the doctor's nose and mouth (saliva droplet can cause serious infection on the wound). Obviously, for such critical application, it is necessary to use a new mask for each operation to avoid potential contamination from the previous operation.

However, for people using the surgical mask in a less critical public area, the risk is much lower than in a surgical theatre. Many reuse their surgical mask without much problem. Consider the worst case that some virus did get stuck on the surface of the mask, with careful handling (not allowing the outside and inside surfaces to touch) and rest it under sunshine (to reduce the lifetime of the virus). Safely reuse the mask is feasible.

However, because a surgical mask is loose fitting air can still escape along the sides of the mask and they do not provide the same level of protection as a well fitted N95 or totobobo mask.

Following the same logic applied to surgical mask use, we recommended changing the totobobo filter after using it in a high-risk area (e.g. visiting a crowded hospital or clinic). For normal daily use, such as a shopping mall or public transport, it is relatively safe to reuse the filter. As a safety procedure, it is advisable to wipe the mask body with alcohol after use (avoid touching the filters). Leave the mask in open area and preferably under sunshine. The recommended maximum duration is one week under the low-risk conditions.

Finally, please dispose of the filters carefully to reduce the chances of spreading the virus in the community. Wash your hands before installing new filters to prevent cross contamination.