Crouch End dad crowdfunding to launch new air pollution monitor for families

Chris Turner, with his new BREATHE Smart device. Picture: Chris Turner / Breathe Tech

Chris Turner, with his new BREATHE Smart device. Picture: Chris Turner / Breathe Tech - Credit: Archant

A Crouch End inventor is crowdfunding to launch an innovative and wearable air pollution monitor inspired by his own worries as a new dad.

Chris Turner, 37, has invented the BREATHE Smart Monitor, an air quality monitor which both shrinks existing technology so that it can be attached to – for example, a bike or a pram – and which works independently of a smartphone.

Chris, 37, has a background in manufacturing and wanted to build a product that tackled an issue that troubled him.

“I came to this as a parent concerned about air quality. We all worry about the effect it has on us, from if you’re walking with a pram, or perhaps out running on the roads on the way to a park or up to Alexandra Palace.”

“I’m constantly concerned about the negative effects of air pollution on my family’s health, and with every new study, the evidence gets stronger.”

Chris, who used to work in the cosmetics industry, thinks his product can help famililes negotiate air pollution.

“I read that even if you can’t avoid it completely, exposure to air pollution could be reduced by as much as 50 per cent, just by adjusting the route we take to work, school or nursery.”

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Chris has used his background in product design as a starting point, with worldwide contacts giving him the know-how to try and turn an idea into action.

He said: “I’ve been taking technology that the Government uses and then shrinking that down so it can be used easily at home.

“There are other products which rely completely on connecting to your phone, and an app, but you don’t necessarily want to walk around with your phone in your hand, especially in London. A thief on a moped will have it.”

The product is designed to appeal to parents too. Chris said: “All the gadgets you buy it can be overwhelming. I’d like people to see this as part of a parenting kit. People often don’t realise that air pollution can be an indoor issue. We think of gridlocked motorways but sometimes it can be as bad in the family kitchen after you cook in terms of particulate matter in the air.”

Chris is is crowdfunding the product on IndieGoGo.

He has had “a good start, so far” and seen the product raise, so far, more than $10,000 towards its $25,000 goal.