It’s a fine day when science and sexy come together (no pun intended) to bring the world’s preppers and emergency responders another useful tool in case we face a SHTF event. You just never know these days when all heck will break loose at home or in public.
The eBra – emergency bra – is the brainchild of Ukraine native Dr. Elena Bodnar, head of the University of Chicago’s Trauma Risk Management Research Institute. Her amazing story begins in her home country.
After a sudden surge of power during a reactor systems test destroyed Unit 4 of the nuclear power station at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union on April 26, 1986, the massive explosion and raging fire that followed released massive amounts of radioactive material into the sky, water, and soil. Four months after the worst nuclear accident in human history, radiation exposure had killed 28 of the site’s 600 workers.
Dr. Bodnar was sent in to treats patients with toxic radiation symptoms and to study the effects of exposure from the Level 7 International Nuclear Event – termed a MAJOR ACCIDENT at the top of the incident/accident Pyramid of Catastrophe. The Chernobyl accident poisoned over 38,610 square miles of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, along with its millions of residents.
Prypiat, a nearby city on the Belarus border, with a population over 50,000, was swept with extremely high levels of deadly nuclear radiation. As Dr. Bodnar saw more cases, the scientist realized that inhaling radioactive particles did as much harm as from exposure.
The radiation expert became sure that gas masks could have saved lives at Chernobyl. But who carries a gas mask around? Bodnar came up with a feminine working solution: the RAD Emergency Bra.
Combining safety engineering and economical design without sacrificing style, the eBra comes in – what else? – fire engine red with a lacy top border, sturdy webbed back strap, and a handy emergency-release front clasp.
When the SHTF, simply remove the eBra and separate the two cups. Presto-change-o, the wearer now has two facemasks – one for herself (or himself) and one for a friend!
Positioned over the nose and mouth, the mask filters out chemicals as damaging as the ones present at Chernobyl. The snug fit and full coverage minimize contaminated bypass airflow. Plus, it comes with a radiation sensor.
The similarities between a brassiere and a particle mask were observed by the young child of ManSitChoAzzDown who tweeted this exchange on June 27, 2018:
My 4-y/o daughter tried to jam me up today.
Kid: Mommy, why is your bra in daddy’s car?
The Mrs hit me wit a killer side eye. She ain’t been in my car in weeks.
Me: Ain’t no bra in my car!!
Kid: Ya huh, cup thingie with straps.
*we all go to garage & look in car*
[Photo of standard white dust mask lying next to car’s shifter – lol!]
It turns out that the kid was remarkably prodigious. A news article about the “patent for a brassiere that can do double duty as a pair of particulate-filtering FACEMASKS featured in the Nov. 3, 2008 Newscripts column of Chemical and Engineering News prompted reader feedback on disposable dust masks and respirators under development at the same time by rival 3M (formally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing), the American transnational mega-corporation that supplies industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods with more than 60,000 branded products.
3M’s facemask “sprang from a collaboration between the company’s Gift Wrap & Fabric division and its Retail Trades Tape division. While the former had developed a method for heat-molding nonwoven polyester fibers into three-dimensional forms—initially used to make stiffer ribbons—the latter was trying to come up with a disposable surgical facemask. The divisions got together and the rest is respirator history.”
For her notable achievement, Dr. Bodnar received the 2009 Ig Nobel Public Health Prize, a ribbing reference to the Nobel Awards originated by the Swedish chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895. Ig Nobel Prizes acknowledge inventors and scientists whose work takes them outside the mainstream.
During her acceptance speech, the creator of the eBra exulted:
“Isn’t that wonderful that humans have two breasts, not just one? We can save not only our own life but also a man of our choice next to us.”
Shirts off, then, to the world-renowned Dr. Elena Bodnar, whose more than 20 years of clinical research and development experience has gifted us with new, practical diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.
We thank you for your support (pun intended).