Brizi Baby aims to improve air quality for little ones

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CBS Newspath

LONDON —  For parents raising children in urban environments, the quality of air their little ones breathe can be a big concern. But Brizi Baby hopes to cut the amount of air pollution they’re exposed to while in a stroller, or what the British call a “pram.”

It was invented by Yosi Romano who was concerned for his own daughter’s health.

“When Alma, my daughter, was born I took her in her pram on Finchley Road, one of the most polluted streets in London, and I realized that her pram puts her at the same height of the tail-pipe of the buses.”

Vehicle pollution is more concentrated about two feet off the ground; the same height as infants in strollers.

That’s when Romano came up with Brizi, a device that can detect harmful gases or particulate matter and automatically trigger a dual-fan unit to filter the air.  The patented filter system creates a clean air barrier, delivering 1.5 litres of clean, filtered air to the child’s breathing area every ten seconds.

“We wanted a product that will be easy to use an autonomous for the mum, and that’s one challenge. We wanted a product that does what it says on the box; filter the air in the baby breathing area. The challenges in the beginning were to design it so that the air flow will sustain a clean air cloud in the breathing area of the baby.”

Tests by scientists from the University of Surrey found in more polluted areas – such as near an idling vehicle – Brizi Baby reduces pollution by up to 80 percent.

Brizi recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to turn their prototype into a consumer model. It includes a smartphone app and portable Brizi Sensor that creates a shared heat-map of the more polluted areas to avoid.

Recent studies have linked infants exposed to higher levels of vehicle air pollution with lung problems later on in life.

Romano hopes Brizi will help babies, as well as their parents, breathe a little easier.

Prototypes are expected to be produced in January with the product launch in August 2018.