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The Green Life: New Fashion Line Makes Pollution Detectable

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January 31, 2011

New Fashion Line Makes Pollution Detectable

Air Pollution Shirt We may not be able to detect air pollution with our eyes, but now a shirt can do it for us. As WNYC Culture reported, Nien Lam and Sue Ngo, graduate students at NYU, drew inspiration from the Hypercolor clothes that were popular in the 1980s to create their Warning Signs Fashion Line, which currently consists of two shirts bearing a pink heart or a set of lungs.

The project developed over the course of one semester for a class about wearable technologies. On top of being stylish, the shirts have a sensor embedded in the fabric that detects high carbon monoxide levels in the air, causing glowing blue veins to appear on the organs — a subtle but sure message to smokers.

Lam and Ngo created their fashion in hopes of shedding light on something that has been, until now, invisible. "Everyone from environmental groups to cancer survivors have expressed interest in the project," said Lam.

The shirts have no price tag yet, but the creators are working to produce them on a grander scale once they graduate in May. In the meantime, watch a demo of how the Warning Signs shirts work.

--Shirley Mak

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