The Naso filter, developed by a team of young innovators at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, consists of a thin membrane which fits inside the nose.
The idea of nasal filters is not new, and some are available in Western countries to help reduce exposure to allergens such as pollen. One study conducted in 2016 on a product made in Denmark found it reduced symptoms of allergies and was comfortable to use.
The Indian device, however, focuses on the country’s pressing problem of air pollutants. Working out of one room on the sprawling IIT campus, which has been the home of several innovations, the young team is optimistic it will find acceptance in a city where the toxic cocktail of vehicle fumes, construction dust and burning waste spikes to as much as 30 times the safe limit in winter.
Shaped roughly like a fingernail, the dark brown membrane is made by assembling millions of small-sized pores and resembles a fine, porous cloth.
The costs have been held down to ensure the filter is within the reach of most people: It is priced at approximately Rs 10. Effective for around eight hours, the innovators claim it can filter out 95 percent of the pollutants.