Takachar

SUMMARY: Many low-income households burn mosquito coils to repel mosquitos, but their smokiness causes lung diseases. Takachar produces a new brand of affordable coils up to 90% cleaner, and are derived from unmanaged waste instead of deforestation. Having sold more than 1 million coils profitably, we are scaling to 40 tons/month.

PROBLEM SPACE: Mosquitos are a health risk in many developing countries, transmitting diseases such as malaria and Dengue fever. While interventions such as bed nets and mosquito lamps are generally beyond the affordability of many low-income households, burning mosquito coils is a popular, effective, and low-cost strategy. Throughout the world, about 50 billion coils are consumed annually (Liu et al.).

However, recent studies reveal that the toxins emitted from burning mosquito coils indoors are quite shocking. Liu et al. showed that burning one coil (overnight) in a household emits as much particulates as 135 cigarettes. This particularly affects children who tend to sleep in small rooms.

One main cause for this severe emission is that traditionally, mosquito coils are manufactured using a biomass base material (such as sawdust) laced with traces of active ingredients (insecticides such as pyrethrum and allethrin). While these active insecticides are generally not toxic to humans in trace amounts, the biomass base material causes incomplete combustion and creates toxic particulates. More than 100,000 tons/year of particulates/soots are thus emitted into the air, contributing to brown clouds.

We focus on providing a new product that has equal insecticidal potency, but much less toxins and emissions compared to traditional coils.

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