First made popular by Lance Armstrong’s yellow Livestrong bands, silicone wristbands have gained new popularity among public health specialists wanting to study individuals’ unique exposures. The wristbands are a low-cost, shelf-stable, easy-to-transport, and easy-to-store passive sampling device.

In Harvey’s wake, multiple research teams sprang into action. In the biggest Harvey wristband study, a team at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) deployed wristbands in three communities around Houston that experienced different types of flooding. 

Walker and her team—as well as the other researchers working on post-Harvey exposure studies—believe that reporting findings back to affected communities is especially important when doing science amid a natural disaster. The data from all the Harvey wristband studies will be shared with participants so they can understand their chemical exposures.