One in five women will experience sexual violence in her lifetime – an alarming statistic to say the least. And there’s often an occasion when the question arises: ‘Is this safe to drink?’ But thanks to new technology, that may become a question very easily answered.
A company called Undercover Colors has created a nail polish that will change colours if it comes in to contact with common date rape drugs such as Rohypnol (roofies), GBH or ecstasy. So, if a woman is concerned about whether her drink is safe or not, she can stir it with her finger and then check her nails. If the nail polish does detect any of these particular drugs, it will change colour.
This innovative colour-changing lacquer was created by four engineering students -Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney – at North Carolina State University who wanted to find a way to help their friends stay safe while going to bars and on dates.
Ankesh Madan told Higher Education Works: ‘As we were thinking about big problems in our society, the topic of drug-facilitated sexual assault came up. All of us have been close to someone who has been through the terrible experience, and we began to focus on finding a way to help prevent the crime.
‘We wanted to focus on preventive solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use. And so the idea of creating a nail polish that detects date rape drugs was born.’