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B. Pesticide-Protective Clothing for Farm Workers

Narrator: This is Science Today. Farm workers and even home gardeners may benefit from chemically treated clothing similar to anti-bacterial fabrics in the works for the healthcare industry. Gang Sun, a professor of textiles and fabrics at the University of California, Davis, says his lab is working on developing cotton/polyester fabrics treated with a chemical that can detoxify pesticides on contact. The chemistry is based on the safe disinfectant compounds used in swimming pools.

Sun: Because we realized that the disinfectants not only kills the germs, it also decomposes some toxic chemicals.

Narrator: In initial testing Sun and his colleagues found fabrics treated with this compound almost instantly broke down two toxic agricultural pesticides into small, harmless fragments.

Sun: We are still studying what would be the fragments after the decomposition on the fabric because we want to prove all the fragments should be a safe chemical than the original pesticides. We're still doing the research on it.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.