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Escape Hood

May 22, 2008

A lightweight hood provides emergency protection against biological or chemical threats.


Emergency protection from airborne threats. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

People like firefighters and secret service agents need to be prepared for anything, including a biological or chemical attack. But they can’t lug around heavy gas masks all the time. So a team led by Jalal Mapar of the Department of Homeland Security has invented a tough but lightweight protective hood that fits in a package the size of a DVD case. The hood can be pulled quickly and easily over the head; and a rubber neckband seals out toxic agents.

JALAL MAPAR (Department of Homeland Security):
And the filters that are on the outside filter the air very, very well, so you don’t even notice anything, and breathing is very easy.

Mapar says the hoods are portable enough to carry two at a time, which means the users could protect someone else as well, be it a president or civilian bystander. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.