Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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Paper Pulp Helmets?

Summary: In the search for supercheap helmets for the shared bicycle programs starting up all over the world, one set of inventors has suggested using paper pulp to make the helmets. They have a prototype, but the next step is to develop a model to meet safety standards.

Three London inventors who were looking for uses for used daily newspapers handed out at transit stations have developed a helmet design using paper pulp, and even a paper strap. Bobby Petersen, Tom Gottelier and Edward Thomas, recent graduates of London's Royal College of Art.

The helmet uses only newspaper pulp blended with water, pigment, and an additive to help it resist rain, a London necessity. It is intended for short term use and can be readily recycled, although if it takes off we would predict that there will be old and tattered ones in use as a badge of environmental awareness. Some will note that it has no vents, probably not a major problem in London's climate.

We can't find the inventors' website any more.