The Fraunhofer Research Institution in Germany has created gloves that indicate if hazardous substances are present by changing colour.
Threat To Our Health
Employees in chemical production, the semiconductor industry or in laboratories are frequently exposed to harmful substances. The biggest problem with this is that many of these toxic substances are imperceptible to human senses, meaning workers don’t know when they’ve been exposed.
The Helpful Gloves
According to the researchers, the new gloves use sensor-activated dyes which turn the protective garments from white to bright blue when a chemical such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen sulfide become present. The gloves could aid workers by alerting them to gas leaks before they’re otherwise able to detect them.
The researchers are working on developing the technology to detect a wide array of chemicals, and the team says the same innovation could eventually be used in other applications, such as determining if food has been improperly stored and spoiled.
The expert already has new ideas about how the solution could be developed further. For example:
- A miniaturized sensor module
- Integrated into textiles
- Could record toxic substances
- Store the measurement data and even transmit them to a main unit
This way, you could document how frequently an individual within a hazardous environment was exposed to poisonous concentrations over a longer period of time.
The wide range of applications this invention may provide is sure to improve workplace safety for many people, worldwide.
Read more about how it works here: http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2013/may/glove-shows-its-true-colors.html
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Image courtesy: U.S. Army Materiel Command