AN innovative South Devon company has developed what is believed to be the world’s first real-time asbestos warning device.
The groundbreaking, portable, hand held, piece of equipment is called Asbestos ALERT (Asbestos Locating Equipment in Real Time) and has been developed by Paignton based ALERT Technology Ltd.
ALERT works by being able to distinguish between asbestos and non-asbestos fibres by measuring both the laser light scattering and magnetic properties of individual respirable particles.
Loretta King, director of the ALERT Project at The Select Group of Companies Ltd, said: “This exciting new portable development will help to reduce risk and safety concerns, save time and work delay and is relevant to over 30 industry sectors.
“When commercially available the Asbestos ALERT will provide a real-time warning for professionals within the asbestos industry, occupational health, emergency services, maritime industries, hazardous waste companies, decommissioning, construction and demolition teams to name a few.”
According to the World Health Organisation, asbestos, a Category 1 human carcinogen, is the biggest occupational killer in the world and responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths every year.
And according to the Health and Safety Executive, in the UK alone, it claims 5,000 lives a year, 20 per cent of which are tradesmen.
Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 but due to its extensive use for generations, asbestos presents a massive legacy problem.
Many homes, commercial and public buildings built prior to 1999 may contain asbestos which, when disturbed or degraded, releases toxic fibres into the air.
Alan Archer Brixham-born managing director of ALERT Technology Ltd, said: “In the UK and Europe, legislation is moving towards greater monitoring, control and ultimately the safe removal of all asbestos which means the market is ripe for new disruptive technology such as Asbestos ALERT.
“It is lightweight and portable and once launched, will provide users with a real-time warning if asbestos has been disturbed and fibres released in to the environment.”
Alan, a former tradesman himself, feels passionately about Asbetos ALERT and said: “Over the years I’ve lost friends and former colleagues to asbestos related diseases and I hear more tragic stories weekly.
“A real-time warning device such as Asbestos ALERT could help prevent prolonged, inadvertent exposure – providing users, such as tradesmen, with a vital first line of defence and help to prevent future lives from asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and other related cancers.”
He added: “Asbestos ALERT currently has two models ready for rapid commercialisation and has just launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise the equity investment needed to fast track its global market launch, create new jobs in the area and begin research and development on new industry specific models.
“ALERT Technology Ltd is looking to raise a total of up to £2.5m over the next two years.”
The company has chosen the Exeter-based Crowdcube for its investment crowdfunding platform.
“Crowdcube has more than 300,000 registered members and over £185 million successfully raised to date proving daily that people are willing to invest in innovative British businesses. It has successful completed its own funding round recently, raising over £8m in growth capital from 3,700 investors.”
Loretta added: “Our development proves that investment in our post-Brexit world is far from flat and that British businesses continue to lead the way in technology and fintech.”
Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube commented: “Being a South West based business ourselves, we’re very pleased to see ALERT Technology fundraising on Crowdcube, creating awareness about the great businesses that are developed in this region.”
Investing involves risk and should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. Investing equity in start-ups and early stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution. Crowdcube is targeted exclusively at investors who are sufficiently sophisticated to understand these risks and make their own investment decisions. Approved as a financial promotion by Crowdcube Capital Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 650205).
Source: Torquay Herald Express