Monitor air pollution with these reactive sweatshirts

Aerochromics drives air pollution awareness with smart textile garments.

Air pollution is a contentious environmental problem because it’s not as obviously visible as waste, which makes it easy to ignore. To further educate people about the seriousness of pollution and its impact on our health and the environment, products and air quality apps are making pollution-monitoring visuals and data available to the public.

One of the latest innovations in this sector is Aerochromics, a line of clothing that reacts to air pollution to warn the wearer of harmful pollutants or radiation in urban spaces.

The fabric used in the sweatshirt line is dyed with a specially developed aerochromic dye, which causes the pattern of the garment to change according to the level of pollution in the air.

When a wearer enters a zone where the air quality is 60 AQI (Air Quality Index) or over, the fabric begins to change from black to white, gradually revealing more of the pattern as the air pollution goes higher. The pattern is completely revealed at 160 AQI.

The dye is activated by heat pads when built-in sensors detect different concentrations pollution in the air and transmit this information to a micro controller embedded in the collar of the sweatshirt.

The startup has developed three sweatshirts designed with unique patterns to each monitor a specific kind of pollution. One reacts to carbon monoxide, one to radioactive particulates and one to common air pollution.

Aerochromics maintains that 30 per cent of the global population breathes unsafe air at 60 AQI and above. Its sweatshirts offer a more natural interface to keep track of pollution in toxic city environments so that its wearers can take precautions during urban commutes.