Scientists develop Rs 1,000 ‘cooling jacket’ for labourers

JALANDHAR: Labourers in factories and farmers in fields, who work in hot weather conditions, have a reason to cheer.

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 6

Labourers in factories and farmers in fields, who work in hot weather conditions, have a reason to cheer. The National Institute of Occupational Health, a government agency of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has developed a Personal Cooling Garment (PCG) that provides 15 degrees Celsius cooler temperature than the ambient one. It is an assistive microclimate cooling system to maintain comfortable skin and body core temperatures.

It comprises a jacket-like enclosure creating an interior space around a person’s upper part of the body. The ice-chilled coolant is re-circulated through the silicon tubing with the help of a small-size battery-operated water pump.

The workers in ceramic industries, iron and steel foundries, construction, brick-kilns apart from farmers will be the most benefitted by the jacket.

Joydeep Majumder, Scientist, National Institute of Occupational Health, ICMR, said the garment would be used for lowering the temperature of the human body.

The scientist explained, “It has silicon tubes, a box which has 2 kg of ice and 500-ml water, 12-volt battery and a pump. The water goes inside the tubes and the same water comes outside from another outlet. When it comes out, it makes the entire jacket cool; it ultimately cools your body by 15 °C.”

He said, “Silicon can withstand a lot of pressure. One can wear it with ease and it doesn’t puncture easily. The garment can cool the body for two and a half hours even if one is working in 40 degree Celsius or above and after that, one has to refill it with ice.

Majumder added that the PCG was easy to use and it was lightweight too.

The scientist said it would not cost more than Rs 1,000. “The next step is to approach the Labour Ministry to make it mandatory for the industrialists to provide this garment to their workers so that accidents can be avoided,” he said.

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