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Totobobo to release new facemask

The new (smaller) model is designed for kids and women

Respiratory facemask maker Totobobo will release their third generation mask, aimed at kids and women in the coming weeks.

The new model, called Totobobo Petit, is lighter, softer, and as the name states, smaller, to better fit the face of toddlers (age 3 and up) and slender faced women. The current model is firmer and suitable for children age 5 and up.

Singaporean founder Francis Chu introduced the new reusable mask Tuesday night at the Swanport Cafe inside Soho Galaxy mall, where he demonstrated how to properly customise your Totobobo mask to fit your face. Chu, a product designer by profession, came up with the idea during the peak of SARS, fearing the fatal airborne virus would spread to Singapore.

‘We were quite concerned if it spread to Singapore … what would happen to our kids,’ Chu says.

He began hunting for an N95 mask for his kids and found none as they were mainly designed for adults. After this discovery, Chu began tinkering with paper models, using his two boys as his test subjects. After 200 to 300 different prototypes, Chu says he came up with Totobobo, a reusable transparent respiratory mask that you can trim down to fit your face and is said to block out 92 to 96 percent of air pollutants smaller than 0.3 microns.

Similar to the current model, the Totobobo Petit is made with a secret material that’s latex, rubber and silicon free. Changes have been made to the refillable filter, which is now blue and smaller, to help users cut the mask down to a smaller size.

Last year, Beijing residents experienced the brutal nightmare that was Airpocalpyse, when the air quality index (AQI) shot up to ‘crazy bad’ levels, (according to @BeijingAir) and beyond index to 755 (index caps off at 500). During dreary times like these, there's nothing that excites us more than a new mask to get through the winter season.

The Petit will be available to buy in six weeks time, perfect for the AQI peak season in Beijing, thanks to everyone cranking up the heat. It’s never a win-win situation.
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