Smoke Sensor Updates…
Researchers unveil first real-time secondhand smoke sensor
October 27, 2014
Dartmouth College researchers are going to market with the first-ever sensor that detects secondhand and thirdhand tobacco and marijuana smoke in real time.
The plug-in device will be marketed initially to hotels to enforce no-smoking rules, but it also is attracting interest from rental car companies, apartment buildings, public housing, condominium associations, dormitories, nursing homes, jails and other commercial and residential settings. A wearable version, which is smaller and lighter than a smartphone, will go to market in spring 2015.
“This is a big leap forward in secondhand smoke exposure detection technology,” said Joseph BelBruno, a chemistry professor who invented the device.
Unlike ordinary smoke detectors that sense the physical presence of smoke, the new AirGuard device uses polymer films to detect, measure and record the presence of nicotine vapor molecules from secondhand and thirdhand smoke in real time. The polymer is sensitive enough to pick up concentrations measured in parts per billion, making it possible to correlate how much nicotine there is in the air with an equivalent number of cigarettes. The device, which pinpoints when and where the exposure occurred, is more accurate and less expensive than other secondhand smoke sensors, which provide only an average exposure in a limited area over several days or weeks.
BelBruno’s research on a prototype appeared in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research in March 2013. Its latest incarnation represents an evolution of his earlier proof-of-concept and now incorporates proprietary electronics and microprocessors. It has also been expanded to include two sensors. The prototype version incorporated just one sensor that recognized nicotine. The new commercial version has two sensors, one attuned to the nicotine in tobacco smoke and another that recognizes a chemical specific to marijuana smoke.
BelBruno is co-founder of FreshAir Sensors, the company marketing AirGuard, along with Jack O’Toole, chief executive officer of FreshAir. “Our sensor device will allow people to monitor unobserved areas and ensure they are not being smoked in. It sends a signal over Wi-Fi that immediately alerts customers to someone smoking in a prohibited area,” O’Toole says.
Secondhand smoke increases the risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and illnesses. Thirdhand smoke is nicotine off-gassing from clothing, furniture, car seats and other material.
Feds Spend $402,721 of our money on this?!!
Feds Spend $402,721 on Underwear That Senses Cigarette Smoke
May 7, 2013
By Elizabeth Harrington
(CNSNews.com) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded more than $400,000 to a research project involving underwear that can detect when a person smokes cigarettes.
The University of Alabama has received two grants totaling $402,721 for the project, which so far has produced a “very early prototype” of the monitoring system, which — in its current state — fits like a vest.
The goal of the three-year study is to “develop a wearable sensor system comprised of a breathing sensor integrated into conventional underwear.”
The Personal Automatic Cigarette Tracker (PACT for short) is intended to accurately measure when and how often people smoke as well as how deeply they inhale. The real-time information would be used to design strategies for smoking cessation.
“The modern methods of monitoring smoking, primarily you rely on self-report,” said Dr. Edward Sazonov, an associate professor at the University of Alabama who is leading the project. “There are few devices which actually allow a more computerized health report,” he told CNSNews.com.
“We are trying to eliminate the need for self-report from people about how much they smoke, when they smoke, how many puffs they take from the cigarette,” he said.
Sazonov has created two wearable sensors: a small bracelet worn on the arm that monitors a smoker’s hand-to-mouth motion; and the underwear sensor that monitors breathing.
“The combination of these two sensors, hopefully, will allow us to monitor cigarette smoking without asking people when and how much they smoke,” he said.
The PACT Sazonov created is a “very early prototype,” that fits like a vest with multiple straps and wires, far from the “non-invasive, wearable” underwear the project developers had in mind.
“It’s not very user friendly,” Sazonov said. “Right now we’re actually in the process of integrating this whole system just so it’s in an elastic band, pretty much like a heart rate monitor.”
The project began in March 2010, with the University receiving $187,368 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.? That grant was followed by an additional $215,353 in 2011, though the project will not end until August of this year.
The grants have yielded two studies. In one of them, people were brought into a lab and fitted with the sensors, which tracked normal activities such as eating and physical activity. The goal was to see if the monitor would also detect cigarette smoking, differentiating it immediately from other activities.? Sazonov said this study was successful.
A second study had people wearing the PACT for a full day. Those results are still being analyzed.
“The results can be used in support of cessation because potentially in the future we should be able to detect smoking in real time,” Sazonov said.
When asked if he will be applying for more grants in the future when the current funding ends this summer, Sazonov said, “We definitely want to continue with this research, yes.”