Thursday 18 September, 2014
Peer-reviewed

Wristband to measure toxin exposure

Published On: Thu, Mar 6th, 2014 | Environment | By BioNews

From raising cancer awareness to ending cruelty against animals, there are wristbands for most of the noble causes.

Researchers have now discovered that easily available silicone wristbands can also help you keep track of your own exposure to toxins.

Silicone bands can absorb a wide range of compounds that often go untested for toxicity.

A new kind of wristband could help scientists figure out the health risks of currently untested but commonly used compounds. Credit: Image courtesy of American Chemical Society

A new kind of wristband could help scientists figure out the health risks of currently untested but commonly used compounds.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Chemical Society

For the research, the volunteers wore cleaned wristbands for various periods of time.

The scientists measured that silicone absorbed 49 different substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which have been linked to cancer and compounds from pesticides and consumer products.

“We can screen for over 1,000 chemicals that may accumulate in the wristbands,” said Kim Anderson, director of food safety and environmental stewardship programme at the Oregon State University, US.

“Currently, PAHs, pesticides, flame retardants, industrial chemicals and consumer and pharmaceutical products have been quantified in wristbands,” she said.

The study, appeared in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, said the bands could be a valuable tool for finally determining individual exposures and what compounds are safe and which ones come with the risk.

Reference:

Steven G. O’Connell, Laurel D. Kincl, Kim A. Anderson. Silicone Wristbands as Personal Passive Samplers. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014; 140305093951001 DOI: 10.1021/es405022f

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