For sustainable society


Yarn Detects the Creeping Toxic Gases

Some of toxic gases are colorless and odorless and may make people addicted without even noticing. Poisoning accident can occur not only at factories handling dangerous gases but also at home, and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to insufficient ventilation while using an oil stove. While electronic devices are used to detect toxic gases to prevent poisoning, Tufts University in the United States has announced a method for detecting toxic gases without using electronic devices.

The university has developed a method to produce dyed yarn that changes color when detecting toxic gases. It is said that, even at concentrations as low as 50ppm, the change of the yarn can be recognized visually or even using a smart phone camera.
The yarn is not accurate enough to replace commonly used electronic devices, but it can detect toxic gases without special training or equipment. And surprisingly, this yarn also works in water. It is possible to detect ammonia in the water as well.

On the other hand, we expect that many people are wondering if the detection accuracy may become low when washing the yarn many times since it is a fiber.
To this concern, the researcher who developed the method answered as follows: “Since repeated washing or use underwater does not dilute the dye, the fabric can be relied upon for consistent quantifiable detection many times over.”

This is considered to bring great benefits to not only workers and employees working around dangerous gases, but also communities that can’t purchase any detection device.