A new tool would very soon be marketed by the Dartmouth College researchers. The new device is said to offer amazing function in secondhand smoke detection. In fact, this tool could even detect third hand smoke not only from tobacco, but also from marijuana smoke all in real time.
It is a plug-in device that will be initially marketed to hotels in order to enforce no-smoking policies. Yet, the latest product is also attracting interest and attention from other businesses like apartment buildings, condominium associations, nursing homes, public housing, rental car companies, jails and other businesses with residential and commercial settings where it is not allowed to smoke tobacco cigarettes.
There is also a wearable version of the device that is much lighter and smaller than a smart phone. Yet, this version will be up spring season next year.
Advanced Secondhand Smoke Detection Technology
Joseph BelBruno is a chemistry professor who invented the device. He said that it is a big leap forward in the technology for detecting exposure to secondhand smoke.
Compared to other regular smoke detectors, it can sense the physically present smoke. The new product is called AirGuard and it uses polymer films in detecting, measuring and recording any present nicotine vapor molecules from secondhand as well as in third hand smoke all in real time setting.
Polymer is said to be quite sensitive in picking up the molecule concentrations that are measured in parts/billion. Thus, it is possible to compare how much nicotine is present in the air with equivalent number of cigarettes. The device could pinpoint where and when the exposure has occurred.
The device is said to be even more accurate that other secondhand smoke sensors and it is also less expensive. Other smoke sensors could even just provide average exposure in limited areas over a few days or weeks.
The prototype of BelBruno’s research first appeared on the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal last March 2013. The latest version of the prototype is the evolved version of his previous proof of concept. Now, it incorporates some proprietary microprocessors and electronics.
The latest commercial version now also has two sensors. One sensor is designed to detect nicotine in tobacco smoke while the other is attuned for detecting chemical specific for marijuana smoke.
BelBruno is also a co-founder of the FreshAir Sensors. It is the company that markets AirGuard. He has established the company along with Jack O’Toole, who is the chief executive officer of FreshAir.
O’Toole said that their sensor device will enable people to quickly and conveniently monitor unobserved areas and guarantee that the no one will break the law by smoking undetected in areas not meant for smoking.
This technologically advanced device can send signals via WiFi to immediately alert the customers if ever someone is smoking in the prohibited areas. Secondhand smoke is said to be equally harmful as first hand smoke. Secondhand smoke is the smoke that the smoker breathes out to the air. Exposure to secondhand smoke is believed to cause increased risks to cancer, illnesses and cardiovascular diseases. Third hand smoke, according to latest studies also produces the same effects. Third hand smoke is the smoke that is absorbed by materials like walls, car seats, clothing and furniture.
In the journal, it is said that the prototype is about the size of matchbox. When the smoke molecules come in contact with the polymer sheet, electrical signal will be generated and will be sent to the microprocessor. The information would then be wirelessly delivered to the computer or smart phone to be read real time. Since the device has been designed to continuously update data, it can be easily seen how much secondhand smoke bystanders are exposed to.