As we go about our daily lives, one thing is certain in our modern world: we constantly get exposed to chemicals, whether those be pesticides, flame retardants or some other chemicals that we aren't even aware of being in our environments.
On a daily basis, how many chemicals do we get exposed to, though? How do you figure out exactly what chemicals exist in our daily environments?
Meet MyExposome, a plastic Livestrong-like wristband that you wear on your arm that absorbs chemicals and lets you know exactly which ones you actually get exposed to.
"[I]t's porous, like a sponge," says Marc Epstein, CEO of MyExposome to Fast Company. "There's lots of space for it to absorb things from the environment. It soaks up what's around it, whether you're swimming, showering, or walking down the street."
The MyExposome team believes that the wristband is so accurate that users might find themselves shocked when they see the results. Of course, results take about a week to come in and you have to send the wristband to a lab for testing to get the full list. However, it's still an eye opener in a world where chemicals are all around us.
The wristband can't really do much with the chemicals we often eat, although if it's something excreted by the pores, MyExposome will pick it up. For example, if you drink a lot of coffee, the wristband's report will show some levels of caffeine.
So far, the wristband absorbs around 1,400 different chemicals, although the team working on it might narrow that down once testing is complete. So far, they have only run a small test with a limited number of participants, so researchers recently started a Kickstarter campaign to get the wristband on more people so that they can determine which chemicals are most important and if they need to add or delete any to or from the list.
"We realized that if we could harness the power of social media and the Internet to connect with people who really wanted to know what chemicals they were exposed to in their daily life, we could get a big enough group of individuals together to make it economically viable to do all these tests," writes MyExposome on its Kickstarter page.
For those who would like to get in on MyExposome early, a $29 donation to the campaign nets a MyExposome wristband.
Photo credit: MyExposome