With statistics showing that prolonged exposure to asbestos is the world’s biggest occupation killer, taking over 100,000 lives globally and is responsible for 1 in 3 occupational cancers, one South-Devon-based company has developed new technology to save the lives of those working in close quarters with asbestos.

Alert Technology is celebrating an investment of £700,000 to further the development of the Asbestos Alert. The device is the world’s first and only real-time warning device for airborne asbestos, which offers an early warning to help reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos.


With a benchmark being set at £1million, they are looking to raise the rest of the money by Friday 9 June using a ‘lift round’ on investor-led platform Syndicate Room.

The lift round, which Syndicate Room defines as a funding round that has raised its minimum funding target from an angel syndicate or other professional investors, will raise capital to help Alert Technology accelerate the development of enhanced and industry specific models.

“From brilliant concept to an industry changing market success”


We spoke to Johnathan Synett, a director of Alert Technology, who tells us, “Alert are getting the kind of wrap-around support, advice and opportunities to take something which clearly has so much potential in safe asbestos removal from brilliant concept to an industry changing market success.”

The vital capital allowed them to expand their business plans through a number of avenues including, hiring key personnel, advance their product development and commence early-stage production.

Red alert

The device uses the power of lasers to detect the asbestos by measuring both the laser light scattering and magnetic properties of individual particles in the air at rates of hundreds of particles per second.

We spoke to Loretta King, from Alert Technology to explain more, she tells us, “From the light scattering it determines whether or not the particle is a respirable fibre, and then assesses how that fibre behaves in a strong magnetic field. Asbestos fibres are paramagnetic, meaning they are not normally magnetic but become so in a magnetic field and can therefore be rotated by that field.”

“We use this technique of light scattering to analyse single airborne fibres”


She adds, “We use this technique of light scattering to analyse single airborne fibres that are far too small to be seen with the naked eye. After identifying the fibres, the device carries them in an airflow through a magnetic field, and uses light scattering again on the other side to tell if the fibres have aligned with the field. If they have, they are highly likely to be asbestos.

“A confidence level of 99%”


Wholeheartedly trusting the technology, Loretta says, “ALERT records this behaviour and uses it to make an assessment of the probability of asbestos being present, to a confidence level of 99%.”

Looking towards a bright and breezy future, the company plans to commence early stage commercial field trials in the coming months with key industry players such as the government’s own Health and Safety Executive’s laboratory, HS Labs.

If you would like to invest in this life-saving tech, you can check out their campaign by logging into Syndicate Room. Alternatively, should you miss the deadline or if you wish to come in as a private investor there is the opportunity to come to them directly. To keep up with Asbestos Alert’s updates you can visit their website to find out more. 


Natasha Baer