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At last you can breathe fresh air while cycling

An Industrial Design and Technology student from Brunel University in West London, has created the first ever respirator for cyclists to filter virtually all contaminants. Luke Pannell's air filtering cycle helmet is ideal for the nine million people in the UK who suffer from hay fever, the five million asthma sufferers, or for anyone who simply wants to breathe fresh air whilst cycling on heavily congested roads.

Breathe Air, the powered personal air respirator (PPAR), cleans the air without the usual restrictions and discomfort of conventional facemasks. The respirator incorporates pleated particle filters with a tested 98.5 per cent efficiency for particles three microns in size which can effectively remove the most dangerous air born pollutants the PM2.5's. A sheet of activated carbon cloth has also been integrated into the product to remove harmful organic vapours.

Comfort has been front of mind when designing this product. Breathe Air has a clear, polycarbonate shield that cups the user's face but makes no contact with the skin. This system is possible due to the large amount of clean air that is blown over the cyclist's face behind the shield, allowing him or her to breathe easily.

Luke Pannell said: “As a severe hay fever sufferer, I have noticed that there are a lot of home air filtering and air conditioning systems available but nothing to protect hay fever sufferers when outside.

“When cycling, hay fever is much worse due to the constant flow of pollen and dust into the face and the increased rate of breathing. When looking further into this it became clear that hay fever was only one of many afflictions caused by particle pollutants that cyclists are exposed to. As a result of my research, I created Breathe Air.“

Stephen Green, lecturer at Brunel University's School of Engineering and Design, commented: “I have been particularly impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of Breathe Air. It's a useful product for all cyclists in terms of maintaining healthy lungs.

“Concerns about pollution and personal safety stop people using this environmentally friendly form of transport. Combining a helmet with effective filtering will provide considerably more reassurance to people while cycling.“