Colour-changing bench detects dirty air

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 1, 2019 - Duration: 01:31s

Colour-changing bench detects dirty air

Two coal miners in southern Poland are fighting air pollution with specially designed benches which detect and purify dirty air.

Matthew Stock reports.

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Colour-changing bench detects dirty air

STORY: It's not every day you take advice from a bench.

But this one's trying to protect your health.

Sensors inside change colour depending on the air quality around it.

Green means take a seat, the air is relatively clean.

Amber means maybe don't stay too long.

While red means air pollution is too high, and you should stay indoors.

Ironically, it was invented by two coal miners in southern Poland.

BENCH CO-DESIGNER AND MINER, MICHAL KACZOREK (pronounced: ME-HOW KA-CH-O-REK), SAYING: "For the sake of our children, we wanted to create a product that could easily show us which places we could go for a walk in and in which places it would be better to stay at home." As well as warning about dirty air, it's actively cleaning it with an in-built purifier.

BENCH CO-DESIGNER, MICHAL SZYSZKOWSKI (pronounced: ME-HOW SHISH-KOV-SKI), SAYING: "The purifying system which has been installed in the benches cleans 860 cubic metres of air per hour, which allows it to purify the air in a room which measures 80 square metres." There's currently just one bench installed in the city hall of the maker's hometown, but they have hopes to expand production.

It's a small step towards solving a much bigger problem.

In 2016 33 of the 50 most-polluted places in the European Union were in Poland, according to the World Health Organisation.

Around 80 percent of the country's power currently comes from coal.

It aims to halve that by 2040, with renewable energy and nuclear providing most of the shortfall.

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