Given the increase in air pollution across all cities and towns in India, it’s a common sight to see people wearing masks while riding or even walking down the streets during heavy traffic hours. However such masks can also become suffocating for the wearer. But there is now an alternate solution thanks to a dedicated team from IIT Delhi.
Debayan Saha and Shashi Ranjan, a research team at the institute, have developed a unique product to have everyone breathing easier just by a little bit more – they have developed a nasal aid that can actually filter pollutants in the air and will only allow clean air to flow thus ensuring the wearer is breathing air that is purer than his/her surroundings.
Unlike masks that aren’t always effective and are large in size, the nasal aid, which has been dubbed Nosacle, is tiny and reusable. Similar to the nose plugs that are used to treat sleep apnea, the device is able to keep 90% of the pollutants away from the nasal chamber.
Image for representation. Image source: Flickr
The idea of the nasal aid was born when the team did the Stanford-India Biodesign fellowship. This idea was then further developed into the fully realised product under the Pfizer IIT-Delhi Innovation and IP Programme.
Debayan Saha spoke to Times of India and said that this device will be far more comfortable for users than regular face masks. He said, “Face masks have membranes with smaller pores that can attract bigger particles. But the small pores pose greater resistance for breathing and carbon dioxide retention. In our device, we do not have a membrane. This makes it comfortable for the user to wear it most of the time.”
The filters in the device are cartridges and have to be replaced every eight hours to ensure that the device is running to its full efficiency. And it also happens to be cheaper. While it is only slated to hit the market by the end of 2017, the researchers say that the market price for this mask won’t be more than a third of that of a reusable mask.