Hyderabad: An image of four students has been shared multiple times with the claim that, "Four students from North Carolina State University have developed a nail polish that changes colour when exposed to date-rape drugs. The wearer can stir her to drink with a finger and if her drink was tampered with, she'll know within seconds."


This claim has been in circulation on social media for several years.


This news about students trying to develop colour-changing nail polish to expose spiked drinks was published by several websites in 2014.

Click here for the archive link.

Fact Check:

The claim that a nail polish that can detect date-rape drugs by changing colour when exposed to a tainted drink was developed is false.

Though in 2014, there had been reports of four undergraduate students at the North Carolina State University who announced a project to produce a nail polish that would change colour when exposed to common date-rape drugs such as GHB and Rohypnol. The nail polish, to be released under the name Undercover Colors, would reportedly allow women to detect date-rape drugs discreetly.

The company says the colour-changing nail polish alerts women in time to escape a dangerous situation. The company says it hopes to "make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman's drink because there's now a risk of getting caught."

According to reports, the company is still in development and in the fundraising phase. There's no word on when the product will be made available to the public, though the company did recently receive a $100,000 donation from a single investor.

According to Businessinsider.in, the main goal of the developers of Undercover Colors is to invent the technology that will help empower women to protect themselves from "this heinous and quietly pervasive crime."

The four are still raising money for a better prototype of Undercover Colors through their donations page.

When Newsmeter searched for the website of Undercover Colors, we found no information about the colour-changing nail polish, but there is a product by the name SipChip, which resembles a pregnancy test kit. It is a small, round single-use device that can detect commonly used date-rape drugs with a 99.93 percent accuracy rate when as little as two drops of a drink are applied on the device.

A report by CBNC stated that Undercover Colors scrapped the nail polish in favour of a gender-neutral small, disposable test to detect whether a drink has been doctored. These tests are small enough to carry in a purse or wallet and can be purchased online for $34.99 for a five-test starter kit or for $49.99 for 10 tests.

"We're focused mostly on getting the product out there and we want to hear the first story of how this helps someone because that will make it all worth it," said Undercover Colors' director of research and development, Nick Letourneau, adding that it could eventually display a pattern or a written word like newer pregnancy tests do.

Letourneau said scientists got the nail polish technology to a point where it was working, but executives decided to shelve it in favour of something that could be used more easily by both men and women. Their market research showed surprising demand from men, and not just in the LGBTQ community, he said.

They also created a stick-on nail, but it isn't available for public sale yet.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/05/date-rape-drug-test-allows-women-to-discreetly-check-for-spiked-drinks.html?fbclid=IwAR3Xd74IiRKS9HlaI5AHFnsBgk-4KH7TVf5VzzWSvtgrUV_o4CAUTP0z5hw

This claim was also debunked by AFP fact check and also Africa check.org in 2020.

Hence, the claim that nail polish that can detect date-rape drugs by changing colour when exposed to a tainted drink was developed is false.

Claim Review :   Colour-changing nail polish to detect date-rape drugs have been developed
Claimed By :  Social Media Users
Fact Check :  False

Satya Priya BN

Motivated professional with a zeal to learn, Sathya Priya has more than 5 years of experience as a Content and Digital manager in Press, Electronic and Digital media. She is Andhra Pradesh government accredited Multimedia Journalist. Ms Priya has worked for more than 4 years as Web and Digital media manager in Bhaarat Today, telugu TV channel. Along with news, she has experience in television program production. Demonstrated excellent management and leadership skills to lead the Digital Media staff. Worked collaboratively with staff, management and IT support. A science Post Graduate, with great computing skills, She is a fact checker certified by Google News Initiative. She has also completed Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Certification from Google.

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