Researchers from the University of Alberta are attempting to create self-decontaminating fabrics for first responders.

To develop clothing capable of killing viruses and bacteria on contact, the researchers applied a finish composed of N-halamines, which are compounds that kill bacteria and viruses quickly.

According to the research team, the finish can be easily grafted onto protective clothing worn by soldiers, hospital workers, paramedics, firefighters and more.

Further, the team is also developing an accompanying recharging system for reactivating the finish on garments that have to periodically be immersed in chlorine-containing solutions like bleach.

Soldiers specifically don’t always have access to running water or washing machines. As such, the team aims to develop a vehicle for recharging garments in remote environments.

“We want to develop a system with a minimal footprint that’s not bulky or heavy, doesn’t need to be done often and can be easily applied. It could be a powder or a liquid,” the researchers explained.

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