Researchers at the University of Alicante involved in the development of a respiratory protective hood for rescue teams
Alicante, 3rd July 2012
The project has been selected as an example of tangible results within the EU and will be presented at the Global Forum for Security and Fire Prevention to be held in Essen (Germany) in September.
Researchers from the Advanced Materials Laboratory (AML) at the University of Alicante, participated in a European consortium in the development of the adsorbent material that is integrated into a hood to protect individuals in case of accidents and/or chemical/bacteriological attack.
After 4 years of work, the end result of this research has been the development of a hood able to protect both rescue teams (firemen, policemen, doctors, etc..) and those people affected during the the evacuation from the scene.
This device may be used by the first rescue teams involved in an accident or disaster situations where there may be emissions of toxic, radiological and/or bacteriological compounds.
One advantage of the prototype designed hood is its high versatility, able to fit and protect any person regardless of age, sex or facial morphology who may be unconscious. Additionally, the hood provides good visibility, and adequate external hearing, key factors to avoid early anxiety in victims.
This protection includes chemical warfare agents such as sarin gas, toxic industrial compound, such as phosgene, including radioactive vapors, biological agents like anthrax or the Spanish flu, etc..
The research, led by lecturer Francisco Rodríguez Reinoso, is part of the European project FRESP (Advanced First Response Respiratory Protection ) involving three European universities (Alicante, Brighton and Budapest), and that includes the participation of the main European companies involved in the development of carbon-based adsorbents (MAST Carbon and Norit) and toxicological essays (TNO, Proqares and DLD). The programme has had a budget of four million euros (of which the EU has contributed 75%) and has had a duration of four years.
The Research 'Group Laboratory for Advanced Materials' has been involved in projects funded by the European Union since 1990. In total, 8 projects dedicated to developing new materials for the automotive industry, materials for use in extreme conditions, materials for energy production and porous materials. €3,400,000 is the amount the University of Alicante has received through this research group.