According to a recent study conducted by the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, pollution-related diseases accounted for 9 million premature deaths in 2015, concentrated in low and middle-income areas.
That's what the inventors of Treepex had in mind when designing the first-ever device that transforms polluted air into fresh oxygen.
"Imagine while cycling instead of breathing toxic, polluted air, you can use the Treepex device and have very clean, cool fresh air. Or if you walk down the street, you no longer have to worry that you're going to kill yourself for simply breathing. Using the Treepex and you guarantee that you have fresh air in your lungs."
The device may sound -- and look -- strange, but its concept is not entirely new. Take, for instance, those in polluted-rampant countries, such as China, who wear surgical masks to create a buffer between the air pollutants and their lungs.
Coming in three colors, the inhaler-like device is compact but durable. According to Treepex, the device is made out of stainless steel and non-toxic materials that ensure you'll be able to "breathe your own forest" with each inhale.
"So, we tried to replicate this process how tree cleans the air and enriches with different minerals," Treepex co-founder Lasha Kvantaliani said. "We replicated as much as possible with these complicated processes and made, of course, the same processes inside of our cartridges."
Here's how the filtration system works:
First, a removable cartridge filters out potentially dangerous solid particles, like lead and carbon, from the air. Then, the active filtration process begins through a series of chemical reactions. Next, non-toxic catalytic converters help oxidize the harmful compounds, leaving the remaining carbon dioxide to be converted to pure oxygen.
Treepex may rely on biological processes that have been studied for ages, but the device is very much a modern invention. Like most gadgets in 2017, the wearable pollution device connects to an app available on your smartphone. From there, users can monitor their pulmonary activity, the status of their cartridge filter, as well as battery level.
Besides providing the device with its core functionality, the cartilages also come in three different types of trees: Pine, Oak and Maple--providing fresh air comparable to a mature tree, the company noted.
Though the device is still in its early stages and hasn't undergone any sort of testing, doctors described Treepex as a product that's on the right track.
"We do not know yet about the results, long lasting results of this device," said Dr. Liza Goderdishvili, a pulmonologist at Tbilisi City Hospital. "May be it needs to be inevstigated in the prolonged time, or may be we should monitor the reustls of the device, but the idea itself is very good."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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