Francis Chu is an urban cyclist in Singapore who designed a reusable anti pollution mask for cyclists. Filter masks are nothing new, but unlike some of the other more cumbersome replaceable filter designs, the TOTOBOBO mask folds flat and can be stowed in a pocket until it is needed. It basically offers the convenience of a disposable filter mask, with with interchangeable filters. The mask has been ergonomically designed and supposedly can fit the majority of faces from adults down to children of 5 years old.
As evidenced by some of the pictures shown here, the user can tell when the filters have done their job. Look at the color differences of filters that were used in different Asian cities. As Francis points out, “The filter will turn into a distinguish dirty gray to signal that it’s time to change the filters.”
Francis offed me a mask to try out. I don’t live in a big urban area, so my first though was that I didn’t need such a product. Certainly there is no comparison between the air quality here in Greenville, SC and cities like Bangkok, Calcutta, or even Beijing. Yes the air here is probably pretty clean by those standards, but I might be surprised to find that the filter would still change color over the course of many rides in rush hour traffic. It might be worth a try.