Not many women think of bras as a blessing. At best, we see it as a necessary evil, disposed of the moment we hit home and have had our quota of human contact for the day
But what if we told you that there's a brassiere that could save your life?
Dr Elena Bodnar, a Ukrainian scientist, invented the Ebra- a garment device that can be converted into a protective face mask during an emergency, enabling the wearer to breathe normally. The garment, that otherwise functions as a regular bra, can be separated into two parts, thereby becoming of use to the wearer as well as a needy bystander.
Now based in Chicago, Dr Bodnar got her idea after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. She explains, “If people had had cheap, readily available gas masks in the first hours after the disaster…they may have avoided breathing in Iodine-131, which causes radiation sickness,” adding that a bra-mask could also be used during such disasters as fires, dust storms or a swine flu outbreak. She says, “You have to be prepared all the time, at any place, at any moment, and practically every woman wears a bra“.
For this invention, she was awarded the Ig Nobel Public Health Prize in 2009. The Ig Nobel recognizes developments which first make people laugh, and then think. Here's her presentation ceremony, where she also demonstrated the Ebra on two Nobel laureates!
Title image: miamiherald