Navigation Links
Tel Aviv University invention busts dust
Date:9/22/2009

Worried that dust from a nearby construction zone will harm your family's health? A new Tel Aviv University tool could either confirm your suspicions or better yet, set your mind at rest.

Prof. Eyal Ben-Dor and his Ph.D student Dr. Sandra Chudnovsky, of TAU's Department of Geography have developed a sensor called "Dust Alert" ― the first of its kind ― to help families and authorities monitor the quality of the air they breathe. Like an ozone gas or carbon monoxide meter, it measures the concentration of small particles that may contaminate the air in your home. Scientific studies on "Dust Alert" appeared recently in the journal Science of the Total Environment, Urban Air Pollution: Problems, Control Technologies and Management Practices.

"It works just like an ozone meter would," says Prof. Ben-Dor. "You put it in your home or office for three weeks, and it can give you real-time contamination levels in terms of dust, pollen and toxins." Functioning like a tiny chemistry lab, the device can precisely determine the chemical composition of the toxins, so homeowners, office managers and factories can act to improve air quality.

Using the measurements, Prof. Ben-Dor can sometimes find a quick remedy for a dusty or pollen-filled home. The solution could be as easy as keeping a window open, he says. "We've found through our ongoing research that some simple actions at home can have a profound effect on the quality of air we breathe."

Instant results

Based on a portable chemical analyzer called a spectrophotometer, the invention can be installed and begin to collect data within minutes, although several weeks' worth of samples produces the best assessment of air quality. The longer period allows for fluctuations in both internal and external environments, such as changing weather patterns.

The "Dust Alert" fills an important need. Polluted air, breathed in for weeks, months and sometimes years, can have fatal consequences, leading to asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer. With findings from Prof. Ben-Dor's invention, urban planners can provide better solutions and mitigate risks. "We can certainly give an accurate forecast about the health of a home or apartment for prospective home owners. If somebody in your family has an allergy, poor air quality can be a deal breaker ," says Prof. Ben-Dor.

Prof. Ben-Dor's device may be most useful in the aftermath of disasters, such as chemical fires, heavy dust storms, hurricanes or tragedies like 9/11. Survivors of these situations are usually unaware of the lingering environmental problems, and the government can't do enough to protect them because no accurate tools exist to define the risk. Using a Dust Alert, residents could be advised to vacate their homes and offices until the dust has cleared, or to take simple precautions such as aerating hazardous rooms in a flat, suggests Prof. Ben-Dor.

Putting dust on the map

According to Prof. Ben-Dor, the Dust Alert could also be used by cities and counties to develop "dust maps" that provide detailed environmental information about streets and neighborhoods, permitting government authorities like the EPA to more successfully identify and prosecute offenders. Currently, for example, there is no system for demonstrating how construction sites compromise people's health.

"Until now, people have had to grin and bear the polluted air they breathe," says Prof. Ben-Dor. "The Dust Alert could provide crucial reliable evidence of pollution, so that society at large can breathe easier. We can see the dust on the furniture and on the windows, but most of us can't see the dust we breathe. For the first time, we are able to detect it and measure its more dangerous components."

With their dust maps, TAU scientists have already correlated urban heat islands with high levels of particulate matter, giving urban planners crucial information for the development of green spaces and city parks. Prof. Ben-Dor also plans to develop his prototype into a home-and-office unit, while offering customized services that can help people decode what's left in the dust.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. University of Iowa scientists use blood-brain barrier as therapy delivery system
2. Ben-Gurion University Alzheimers researcher demonstrates specific immune response to vaccine
3. Sakayu Shimizu of Kyoto University recipient of 2009 Enzyme Engineering Award
4. Nanyang Technological University and Karolinska Institutet Sweden launch new Ph.D. program
5. University of Toronto study shows disparity of effect of climate change on UV radiation
6. University of Miami receives NIH grant to support novel technology for tissue engineering
7. Alert status area in brain discoved by Hebrew University scientists
8. Department of Energy supports carbon sequestration research, University of Miami receives $1.7 million
9. Case Western Reserve University researcher demonstrates that messenger RNA are lost in translation
10. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev technology being developed for use in Jordan desalination plant
11. Case Western Reserve University receives $4M from the NIBIB
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... ) - --> - Renvoi : image ... --> --> ... biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour ... de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... PUNE, India , March 11, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Image Recognition Market ... by Application (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises ... Global Forecast To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... in 2015 to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ... (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution at the ... to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using ... and will run until May 2016. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2016)... Israel , May 31, 2016 ... the Rappaport Institute for Biomedical Research at the Technion - ... option and license agreement with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: ... antibody into potential new treatment options for a number of ... a scientific breakthrough made by Prof. Nathan Karin ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 30, 2016 , ... Doctors in ... response may live longer than patients with lower levels. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted ... , Researchers at cancer centers in Genoa and La Spezia, Italy tested the blood ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... Muncie, IN (PRWEB) , ... May 31, 2016 , ... ... National Model Aviation Museum that will be on display Memorial Day through Labor Day ... Earle-Chaffee, Henry Chaffee, and Clark Chaffee. , Bill Chaffee won first place for ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... 10 Morning News in Phoenix, Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice, hand surgeon and founder of the ... at the practice. The Wrist MRI machine is a state-of-the-art technology and only 1 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: