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British scientists have invented a new kind of dress that can destroy airborne pollutants and purify the air. Researchers behind the Catalytic Clothing hope their innovation can increase life expectancy and improve air quality.
This dress could save your life - well, that is the claim.
Its designers at Catalytic Clothing claim the nanotechnology "Herself" dress reduces pollution and purifies the air.
Although the dress looks like something you'd see on a catwalk, at a molecular level, some interesting science is happening.
Behind the chiffon is a photo-catalyst, which breaks down airborne pollutants by harnessing energy from sunlight.
Prof. Tony Ryan of Pure Science, University of Sheffield, said, "A light ray comes in, hits the particle, that excites electrons. Those electrons then interact with oxygen and it makes peroxide and that peroxide does all the rest of the reactions."
The technology is not new and has been featured in paints and glass to coat buildings; but it has never been applied to fashion garments before.
In theory any item of clothing could use the technology, either by spraying photo-catalyst on the clothing or weaving it into the fabric. However, some are more suited than others.
Prof. Tony Ryan said, "Any item of clothing could be treated, but in order for the technology to work you need light. So, for example, you wouldn't want to coat your underpants."
Air pollution is a serious health risk - particularly for those living in busy urban centers.
One dress is not going to make much difference to the air quality in London, but Professor Ryan believes if the technology became widespread, it could cause a dramatic reduction in the levels of pollution.
Prof. Tony Ryan said, " A conservative estimate would be that those 10 million people - if they only took one gram out each - that would take out ten tons of nitrous oxide in London every day."
Technology changes life, and maybe this high-fashion dress is a precursor for cleaner air.