NID and ATIRA develop a facemask using nanotechnology for Ahmedabad Traffic Police. These affordable and comfortable masks will save the traffic police from breathing air pollution by absorbing particulate matter up to 2.5 microns.
According to the latest WHO Urban Air Quality Database, Ahmedabad is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Prolonged exposure to air pollution can cause respiratory troubles, throat infections and even lung cancer. According to various studies in India, traffic police personnel are particularly vulnerable to these. At an event organised at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA), on May 5, to launch a new facemask for the police, City Police Commissioner A K Singh explained, “A traffic police officer is completely dependent on the uncontrollable harsh environmental forces. He is exposed to tremendous heat, extreme pollution and speedy vehicles every day.”
To cope with this crisis, two iconic institutes of the city, Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA) and National Institute of Design (NID), have released an advanced facemask. The mask will help the traffic police of Ahmedabad breathe clean air by screening out the tiny air pollutants in the environment. “The mask will be of incredible help for our latest 1000 recruits, who will be serving at the city’s busiest routes and traffic junctions for the coming 5 to 7 years,” said Police Commissioner A K Singh.
The facemask uses nanotechnology, and was developed by ATIRA, with significant support from textile giant Arvind Limited. NID students designed it. The masks have an easy-to-wear feature and use unwoven fabric that is skin-friendly. They absorb 99% bacteria, viruses and particulate matter up to 2.5 microns. The facemask was released in the presence of Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh, NID Director Pradyumna Vyas, ATIRA Dy Director C R Prayag, various other dignitaries and the traffic police force of the city. At the event, the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh also requested the authorities of both the institutes to develop fabric for police uniforms that can spare officers the scorching heat and special helmets that can ensure safety.
ATIRA Dy Director Prayag addressed the audience about the affordability of the mask, “These efficient masks cost only Rs 20 to Rs 50, as compared to the currently available ones in the market, which cost between Rs 100 to Rs 300.”
Authorities have decided to distribute 5000 masks amongst the traffic police personnel of Ahmedabad initially. Following in the heels of the Delhi Traffic Police, which distributed 10,000 masks last year for its personnel, this is a hugely commendable step by the Ahmedabad Traffic Police.
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