This $500 Shirt Could Detect Pollution, Radiation

Aug 01, 2016 08:19 AM EDT

New York designer Nikolas Bentel is releasing a new line of t-shirt designs capable of alerting the wearer if they have been exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution.

The new shirts, called Aerochromics, come in three designs that were made to react differently to three air pollutants: carbon monoxide, particle pollution and radiation. Each shirt costs $500 and will take about five seconds to change from white to black depending on the surrounding pollution in the air.

"The shirts give us the ability to not only participate in the dialogue surrounding pollution, but to speculate and ultimately change the way we move through and think about our urban spaces," Bentel said in a report from Good.

The first shirt in the Aerochromics uses a non-toxic chemical process indicator type that changes with the exposure of gamma or electron beam radiation. The dye will exhibit an increase in color when it is exposed to a higher dosage of radiation. Once it has been exposed to sizeable amounts of radiation the color change would become permanent.

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The second shirt works like the household carbon monoxide spot detectors. Chemical salts oxidized carbon monoxide to turn into carbon dioxide. The oxidation process changes the color of dye. Chemicals salts made by transition metals make it possible for the dye to go back to its original color once the carbon monoxide is removed and the metal salts regenerates with the help of oxygen in the air.

The third shirt utilizes two small sensors located at the front and back of the shirt. When the wearer is exposed to particulate matter in the air, such as dust and smoke, the sensors will alert the micro-controller embedded in the shirt's collar, which will then activated the head pads, changing the color of the thermo-chromic dye dots in the shirt.

The Reactive particle Pollution Shirt and Reactive Carbon Monoxide Shirt is available for $500, while the Reactive Radioactivity Shirt costs $625.

Consumers can also avail a non-reactive version of the shirts with the patterns for $90 each.

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