Now, an inexpensive over-the-counter product could help millions of people avoid the adverse health effects of breathing toxic air, The Guardian reports. Medical device company Bitop has devloped an inhaler that uses a molecule first identified in the 1980s. According to their website, "this product utilizes the synergy of the natural stress protection molecule with the well-known effect of alpine salt solutions to reduce inflammatory reactions of the airways." What does this mean in lay man's terms? A key contributor to understanding how this device works is to note that the molecule ectoine, which helps bacteria survive the desert's scorching temperatures, binds to water. This property is being utilized in this new medical device. "
By inhaling the molecule, it joins together the wayer in the lungs creating a natural barrier to air pollution," Josh Davis of IFLScience.com writes. "This helps to prevent and limit the damage caused by the particules breatherd in, in turn helping to reduce inflammation of the lungs that can lead to astma, chronic pulmonary disease, and lung cancer." Because the molecule in this device doesn't interact with service receptors, it is not classified as a drug, which means there are no required clinical trials. However, according to The Guardian, the inhaler has been tested in three small groups of patients particularly at risk from air pollution, due to asthma, COPD and bronchities, "with the positive results due to be published soon. Bitop researchers believe this device could benefit users around the world, particularly in Asia, and in large urban cities, like New York City.