Wristbands Absorbing Chemicals? What You Need to Know

Those wristbands worn to support favorite charities 
may one day double as a bellwether for environmental chemicals.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
1137
Those wristbands worn to support favorite charities 
may one day double as a bellwether for environmental chemicals.
Wrist Bands

Those wristbands worn to support favorite charities may one day double as a bellwether for environmental chemicals.

Researchers at Oregon State University put wristbands made of silicone, a material that absorbs chemicals like our skin cells do, through a special cleaning process to optimize chemical absorption. Thirty volunteers then wore the accessories for a month. When the wristbands were collected, scientists measured a total of 49 chemical compounds in the bracelets.

See also Ask The Expert: Is The “New Yoga Mat” Smell Toxic?

Most common were chemicals from personal-care products, such as fragrances. Also present: pesticides, flame retardants, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), potentially cancerous compounds released during burning (think forest fires, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, and grilled food) that can seep into our air, soil, food, and water.

See also Ask the Expert: Are Mineral Sunscreens Safe?

To become a “Citizen Scientist” who wears a bracelet and monitors personal exposure, sign up at citizen.science.oregonstate.edu.