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WDKX.com » Blog » Students Develop Nail Polish To Detect Date-Rape Drugs
Aug 27th 2014 9:06 am
Students Develop Nail Polish To Detect Date-Rape Drugs
by News


When's the last time you got a manicure that could also prevent date rape? The likely answer is never.

But four college students claim they've come up with a way to do just that.

Undergraduate students at North Carolina State University - Ankesh Madan, Stephen Grey, Tasso Von Windheim and Tyler Confrey-Maloney - created a nail polish called "Undercover Colors" that changes color in the presence of common date rape drugs like Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid).

To see if one of the drugs has been slipped into her drink, a woman has to stir it with her finger. Not exactly discreet (or good manners, or very hygienic), but arguably more stylish than similar inventions, like these coasters, cups and straws, that do the same thing.

"We wanted to focus on preventive solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use," Madan told Higher Education Works in June. "All of us have been close to someone who has been through the terrible experience [of date rape], and we began to focus on finding a way to help prevent the crime."

Critics says the clever concept and good intentions don't add up to a product that actually empowers women.

The blog Feministing pointed out that date rape drugs "are not used to facilitate sexual assault all that often. While exact estimates vary, it's safe to say that plain old alcohol is the substance most commonly used in drug-facilitated rape."

"Well-intentioned products like anti-rape nail polish can actually end up fueling victim blaming," wrote Tara Culp-Ressler of Think Progress. "Any college students who don't use the special polish could open themselves up to criticism for failing to do everything in their power to prevent rape."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/26/students-develop-nail-polish-to-detect-date-rape-drugs/