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Particle filters in motorcycle helmets to combat high levels of pollutants

Drive and breathe safely

The roads of the mega-city of Mumbai are packed with thousands of scooters and motorcycles. MANN+HUMMEL developed a new particulate filter in India specially for use with a motorcycle helmet that protects the rider against the high level of pollution on the roads.

Millions of people, animals on the open road, waste, and, in particular, thousands of scooters and motorcycles everywhere. In India, the traffic conditions are greatly influenced by two-wheelers, which are also on the increase. Every year in India, more than five million scooters and motorcycles are sold. In 2017, the sector estimates growth of up to 10 percent. This is no wonder as scooters and motorcycles are not expensive, are practical and can be used by almost everyone. Young people, employees, complete families – almost everybody rides a motorized two-wheeler.

High pollution in the big Indian cities

Today, the consequences are already clearly apparent as exhaust emissions, pollutants and particulates from this large number of vehicles hang in the air. The pollution in Indian cities is higher than anywhere else in the world. According to the World Health Organization every year in India 650,000 people die as a result of the polluted outside air. Those exposed to traffic on a daily basis literally have to fight the air. Many Indians therefore opt for breathing masks which they also wear when traveling.

The solution: a helmet with an integrated filter

MANN+HUMMEL offers a solution to this problem with its own developed technology. Breathing masks are only able to hold back course particles, whereas particulate filters additionally filter out particulates. Bearing this in mind, MANN+HUMMEL researchers and technicians developed a special particulate filter for motorcycle helmets. With its synthetic medium it separates soot as well as particles of all sizes. This enables it to prevent respirable particles from the ambient air reaching the respiratory tract of the rider. The particulate filter is a special design with a compressible frame material for easy fitting and sits in an insert on the front side of the helmet. It is easy to change and is therefore simple to renew.

MANN+HUMMEL developers successfully implemented the basic research project as early as 2011. At the start of 2016, the researchers started a customer project for the Indian market which is currently being promoted.