Yosi Romano, a former BBC cameraman from London, was inspired to create ‘Brizi’ after his first daughter was born, three years ago.
“I first became concerned about air quality when I was pushing my daughter along Finchley Road in her pram,” he told HuffPost UK.
“I noticed she was basically level with vehicle exhausts and was breathing in all the fumes.”
Romano researched the issue and was shocked to learn that every year, 570,000 children under five years old die from respiratory infections worldwide.
In response to this, he spent the last three years developing a product that filters the air around a child in a pushchair or car seat.
Romano has today [Monday 18 September] launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £105,000 to fund production of Brizi so it can be made available for parents to buy.
How does Brizi work?
When pollution in the air reaches “dangerous levels”, the fan filter, which is built around a child’s head rest in a pram or car seat, is triggered to clean the air in the child’s breathing area.
Explaining how the device detects these levels, Romano said: “Brizi uses high-quality, commercially-available gas and particulate sensors to detect and measure levels of pollution in the ambient air around where the Brizi sensor is located.
“Our sensor then uploads this data to our app, which in turn activates the fan filter inside Brizi Baby.”
Brizi’s dual fan filter delivers 1.5 litres of filtered air every 10 seconds, forming a “clean air barrier” in the child’s breathing area, reducing their exposure to pollutants.
As the data from Brizi’s sensors is transmitted via Bluetooth to the app, it is possible to record air quality data readings in real-time, based on where you travel.
Data from the Brizi community will then be aggregated and combined with air quality information, helping others to optimise their routes and avoid pollution “hotspots”.
The Brizi has already been tested and recommended by Professor Prashant Kumar, founder and director, of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE).
“When we tested Brizi baby in a real-world scenario, it reduced the airborne pollution levels by at least 49%, creating a much cleaner breathing zone for children sitting in prams,” said Kumar.
“When tested near idling vehicles on the road, this reduction in pollution rose to 80%.”
Three quarters of parents in Britain want to see extra measures put in place to protect children from air pollution, according to a recent poll conducted by YouGov for environmental lawyers ClientEarth after government figures revealed nearly 1,000 schools are next to or near roads with harmful levels of noxious traffic fumes.
Romano said: “Our children are the future and we need to protect them in any way possible.”
To find out more and support the Kickstarter, click here.