Forget fitness and sleep–now chemical exposure tracking

click to enlargeChemical exposure is no laughing matter. MyExposome is a seemingly simple silicone rubber wristband similar to those issued for various causes. But the silicone is different–it absorbs and stores environmental chemicals to which an individual may be exposed. It’s the commercialization of research from Oregon State University undertaken by Drs Kim Anderson and Steven O’Connell, who founded the company.  The test is a simple one: wear the specially packaged bracelet for one week, mail it back in its impermeable pouch, and they will run tests that screen for 1,400+ chemicals (full list on their website). There’s a separate, additional cost panel for flame retardant chemicals. The wearer then receives a report detailing their exposure to specific chemicals, and against their database of MyExposome users. The analysis process is the complicated and expensive part. It is designed to pick up external chemicals, not ones ingested unless excreted through the person’s skin. The company also makes it clear that they don’t make recommendations or give advice re the chemical exposure.

Currently the founders (plus another OSU program director and a CEO/entrepreneur) are reaching out via Kickstarter for funding and to determine acceptance of the present design and pricing. Based upon this, the band pricing including testing and reporting is $995; if flame retardants are included, $1,495. The pricing eliminates the casual ‘gee, I think I work in a sick building’ types and makes it a serious, considered purchase to screen for toxicity. It is also less expensive and more aesthetically pleasing than current environmental monitors.

There is a real need for a less tracking the chemical exposure of individuals who work professionally with hazardous substances, pesticides or who may have been exposed in a short time. Unfortunately the pitch over Kickstarter vacillates between appealing to worried maybe-sicks plus Quantified Selfers, Hypochondriac Edition types and those with serious reasons (and funds) who need to determine their environmental ‘toxic load.’ If you are interested, you have 10 days left to support them in achieving their $50,000 goal (of which they are up to ~$8,800). Gizmag.

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