Smart Wristbands That Will Scare The Daylights Out Of You

Oregon State University scientists have been tinkering with silicone wristbands in their laboratory. I’ve never personally been there but for the sake of this article, please picture the lab to look like this:

black and white image of frankenstein's monster being created by Igor and Dr. Frankenstein

These West Coast scientist are taking what they call “ordinary” silicone wristbands–they must have ordered from our competitors– and exposing them to a chemical solvent. This solvent amplifies the silicone’s already absorbent properties, allowing the rubber product to lock in all sorts of chemicals from the environment around it.

Oregon State University silicone wristband for pollution study

They’ve distributed their smart wristbands to test groups and have found some pretty unhealthy things. Pesticides, flame-retardants, caffeine, nicotine, pet flea chemicals, and much more. When they tested wristbands worn by a group of roofers, they discovered 12 dangerous chemicals the EPA has on their priority list.

So, what is the point of all this? To ensure human beings never go outside again? Perhaps. But more likely the group of young and old scholars have a more altruistic aim.

Kim Anderson, a professor in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, had this to say:

“The wristbands show us the broad range of chemicals we encounter but often don’t know about and may be harming us. Eventually, these bracelets may help us link possible health effects to chemicals in our environment.”

So it looks like they’re not trying to turn us all into shut-ins after all. The aim is to one day be able to compare a person’s health history with their environmental pollution history. They hope to find patterns that could lead to increased environmental safety and awareness. Sounds like a noble goal to me!

When asked why the scientists chose silicone wristbands for her project, Anderson was unable to stop herself from sliding into a silicone swag sermon:

“People are more likely to wear bracelets that are not bulky, expensive or require a lot of preparation. The wristbands are small and easy to wear.”

Preach, Kim, preach!

If you’d like to read more about this smart wristband study, head here!