Testing exhaled breath could be a swift way to tell whether people have been exposed to toxic substances.
Scientists have designed a simple, non-invasive hand-held device to test whether one’s breath contains traces of any toxic substance that they may have inhaled.
The test has been developed by Andrea M. Dietrich, Masoud Agah and their students Heather Vereb and Bassam Alfeeli in civil and environmental engineering, University of Virginia, the journal Environmental Science & Technology reports.
Sampling breath is less invasive than drawing blood, more convenient than taking urine samples and shows promise as an inexpensive method with a fast turnaround time, they state, according to a Virginia statement.
The technology can detect minute amount of substances in the breath and do so quickly — offering the promise of helping limit human exposure and improve health.