Masks – they’re a fact of life in Beijing on those high AQI days. But what if your kids, like many others, resist wearing one? Also for those with glasses, masks can be mafan, misting up your lenses. And however hard manufacturers try to make them chic, one can still end up looking like Darth Vader.
Now an American entrepreneur claims to have come up with the answer to all these problems. Carlton Solle was visiting Hebei when he fell ill, and was shocked to learn that his sickness was caused by air pollution. When he returned to the US, he discussed the issue with his wife, and they came up with the Bioscarf, which they describe as “the first scarf with protection built right in.”
We asked Solle how the Bioscarf works.
“The Bioscarf is like a traditional scarf as far as how you wear it,” he told us. “As far as protection, it works very similar to how a mask works, except the Bioscarf has the possibility of multiple layers protecting you and the ability to adjust and tighten as needed.”
But is it effective?
“It protects you from many of the common airborne contaminants associated with air pollution,” Solle says. The material has an N95 rating which was done in China, which means when fitted correctly, it is capable of blocking 95% of all non-oil based airborne particulates 0.3 microns in size or larger. So it covers PM2.5, which has been a popular question. The material rating is just for one layer and in most cases when wearing the Bioscarf around your face you have two to three layers depending on your body size and on how you fit it.”
And is it suitable for children?
“Absolutely it’s for kids, and although our donation efforts have been focused here in the US to start they will quickly turn to China and India where we are hoping to partner with groups to help us distribute scarfs to children in need.”
The donation scheme he mentions means that for every scarf they sell, they will donate one to someone in need.
“We are planning another photo shoot,” Solle continues, “featuring kids and adults using the scarf to protect themselves from air pollution in their daily lives, and we are also working on a new section of the website that goes into greater detail on all the product’s technical specifications, that will include an animated short on the material and how it works and a video tutorial on how to wear the scarf.”
Is it available in China?
“We manufacture in China, and I travel there every couple of months. We are working on setting up a distributor there, and possibly keeping inventory there for orders in China and Japan, but right now we ship everywhere in the world so it’s not an issue. We have had a lot of orders for China this past couple weeks.”
At the time of writing we haven’t yet had access to a Bioscarf so can’t verify Solle’s claims. But if it works as promised, it could become a significant new player in the competitive world of pollution protection.
Photo: courtesy of Bioscarf