Monday, September 26, 2011

Totobobo Dust Mask Quick Review.

I received a Totobobo Dust mask in the mail today for review. In this initial review I want to talk about a few things I like about this mask already. Later after I have time to use the mask during cleaning of my shop I'll come back and talk some more about how well it works.

Everyone should be aware of the dangers of breathing the dust from our saws. Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer. It needs to be taken serious. Some people will see symptoms almost immediately while others might work for years before they realize their health has been affected.

This can be a complicated subject. I am not trained in the science of airborne particles or the mechanics of keeping those particles out of your lungs. This review is strictly unscientific. I will just be talking about my opinion of the ease of use, comfort, fit and features.

I received the mask from the manufacture in Singapore. They had seen my review of the Dust Bee Gone mask and asked if I would test their mask also. Now I'm a pretty big fan of the Dust Bee Gone mask so it will take a good mask to make me switch.

I opened the package to find the plastic mask already fitted with filters and a supply of extra filters. The first thing I noticed was what looked like a delicate head strap. After a closer look it is actually quite durable. It's obviously made from some high tech plastic. The strap is a single loop that goes around your neck through the mask and then over your head. There is a small clip that allows the mask to be tightened for a good seal. Because the strap is so thin it is very comfortable.

The body of the mask is also made from a transparent plastic. The transparency is actually a feature. When you put the mask on your face you can look in a mirror and see through the mask. This lets you see the seal where the mask contacts your face. The body of the mask is made to be trimmed for a perfect fit. A good seal is very important for dust masks. This one seals very well. In my opinion it is easier to get a good seal with the Totobobo than the Dust Bee Gone.

It's also important that a dust mask be comfortable or you are less likely to wear it. The Totobobo might be slightly less comfortable than the Dust Bee Gone but not by much. After you get it trimmed the comfort is very good compared to most non-fitted masks on the market. I wore the mask for nearly an hour with no serious discomfort. The plastic body of the mask is very soft and feels good against your face. Breathing felt natural and like the Dust Bee Gone I had no fogging of my glasses. If you wear glasses and have worn other masks you will probably know how much trouble fogging is. The Totobobo and the Dust Bee Gone do a great job in this area.

The manufacturer states that the mask filters down to 0.3 microns. It weighs in at a very comfortable 20 grams. The mask contains an anti-viral agent that stops bacteria and virus form living on the surface. It is reusable and can be cleaned with soap and water after you remove the filters.

So far I like this mask. This will probably be my go to mask for emptying my dust collector. I get a large amount of dust in the air during the process and this mask seals better than my Dust Be Gone. If it filters the dust as well as I think it will then I might give this mask a slight edge over the Dust Bee Gone.

This mask is comparable in cost the the Dust Bee Gone after you buy extra filters. In the long run the Dust Bee Gone might be cheaper because there are no replaceable filters to buy. I don't know how long the filters will last at this point so that remains to be seen.

If you think you are interested in this mask you can get more details at the manufactures web site.

More to come later.