Friday, October 2, 2009

Bra to Gas Mask Transformer

This year's Ig Nobles winners have been announced, and Dr. Elena Bodnar has won for her bra that converts into a pair of gas masks — one for the wearer, the other for a friend. It sounds silly, but Bodnar, a Ukraine native who now lives in Chicago, started her medical career studying the effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.

If people had had cheap, readily available gas masks in the first hours after the disaster, she said, they may have avoided breathing in iodine-131, which causes radiation sickness.

The bra-turned-gas masks could have also been useful during the 2001 terrorist attacks, and for women caught outside during the dust storms that recently enveloped Sydney, she said.

"You have to be prepared all the time, at any place, at any moment, and practically every woman wears a bra," she said, noting that a bra cup, no matter what size, is the perfect shape to fit over the human mouth and nose.

Her patented devices also look pretty, no different from a conventional bra, she added.


  1. I think at least some form of giggle snort response is required, though given some situations I would not blink at the very idea of using one to save my life or that of others.

  2. That's a fantastic idea. Over the past year or so I've been preparing myself for possible disaster; building a GHB (Get Home Bag) that I will carry with me everywhere (sort of like an EDC - Every Day Carry) but will hold not only my normal accoutrements but also survival/firestarting implements as well as emergency/self defense equipment. I've even contemplated carrying a gas mask (NBC exposure), ciproflaxin (biological agent exposure), Mark I autoinjector (Atropine Sulfate and Pralidoxime Chloride - for nerve agent exposure) as well as potassium iodide/KI pills for radiation poisoning. I would probably carry a small rad meter as well.

    Sure it sounds kooky and paranoid but preparedness is a good thing and you never know when a terrorist attack or accidental exposure might happen. Even if I don't carry these items with me everywhere I fully intend on making a BOB (Bug Out Bag; also known as a 72-hour bag) and TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) rig to get out of dodge and live off the land in case of socioeconomic breakdown or even a mundane hurricane/earthquake.

    Even if it's just a first aid kit, I recommend everyone carry it with them or in their car.

    Anyway, your post reminded me of that. :)