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World’s First Real-Time Airborne Asbestos Detector Wins Innovation Award

World’s First Real-Time Airborne Asbestos Detector Wins Innovation Award
25 May 2023

Alert Technology has won 2023’s Product Innovation Award for the Asbestos ALERT PRO Connected, the world’s first real-time airborne asbestos detector.

The awards are run by The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) - the UK's leading trade body within the safety industry.

The ALERT PRO Connected is an IoT monitor and warning device with patented technology designed to help prevent prolonged exposure to airborne asbestos. The monitor distinguishes airborne asbestos from non-asbestos fibres with 99 per cent confidence providing the world’s first and only real-time alarm.

The technology was trialled by SOCOTEC’s Asbestos team in 2021 during intrusive surveys, managing risk on sites and also during remedial projects.

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 and causes around 5,000 deaths every year, according to the HSE. 90 per cent of UK hospitals and 86 per cent of schools are likely to contain asbestos.


Asbestos Data Including Particle and Fibre Counts


The ALERT PRO draws in particles which are then illuminated as they pass through an optical chamber which produces a light scatter pattern. Each particle type has a distinguishable scatter pattern which enables the unit to determine if the particle is a fibre or not. The light scattering technique alone is not enough to differentiate between asbestos fibres and other fibres, and the magnetic alignment of asbestos fibres is also used to confirm presence. The angle of fibres is checked between two laser beams as they pass through a strong magnetic field. The unique paramagnetic properties of all asbestos fibres cause them to align with the magnetic field. This change in angle enables a distinction to be made between asbestos fibres and other non-asbestos fibres.

Users have real-time access to time-stamped particle and fibre counts, asbestos warnings and alarms, GPS tracking and personalised sampling and project information in real-time anywhere in the world via a data platform.

Alert’s Global Sales Manager, Dan Rushton said: “We see the ALERT PRO range becoming the new best practice - offering an additional layer of safety data for use in conjunction with the legislative methods such as PCM, PLM, SEM & TEM which remain the evidentiary requirement.”

Loretta King, MD of Alert Technology explained, “We truly celebrates winning this award – this is hugely personal to us. We are lucky that our Founder Alan Archer’s asbestos-related illnesses were treatable. He was fortunate he did not develop mesothelioma, 100,000s of others have not been as lucky. Alert will continue innovating and working towards improving asbestos safety as the world’s biggest occupational carcinogen.”

Picture:  a photograph of the device. Image Credit: Alert Technology

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 25 May 2023


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