Double Ds that double as gas masks? It may sound like a joke, but Elena Bodnar’s “Emergency Bra” is no laughing matter, especially if you find yourself in a situation where having a gas mask handy spells the difference between life and death. Worn under clothing like a regular brassiere, the undergarment separates into two masks that can be pulled over the nose and mouth to filter out harmful airborne pollutants, including those released by fire, radiological or biological attacks, explosions, and natural disasters. If people had readily available gas masks in the first hours after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, Bodnar says, they might have avoided breathing in the iodine-131 that resulted in radiation sickness.

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Inspired by Bodnar’s own experience with the devastating aftermath of Chernobyl, the Emergency Bra is available for purchase online for the affordable price of $29.99 (a small cost to pay for getting away with your life when disaster strikes). The bra, which won the 2009 Ig Nobel Public Health Prize, is available in sizes 32B to 40C. It also performs multiple functions: an everyday bra, a nursing bra, a strapless bra, and two face masks.

The Emergency Bra performs multiple functions: an everyday bra, a nursing bra, a strapless bra, and two face masks.

While you might think that such a functional piece of underwear would be blase in terms of style, the Emergency Bra is actually an alluring red with frills. We love the fact that this bra not only saves women’s lives, but it also empowers them to save another person’s life, as well. “Isn’t that wonderful that women have two breasts, not just one?” Bodnar tells CNET. “We can save not only our own life, but also the life of a man of our choice next to us.” (Don’t worry, gents, a counterpart design is in the pipeline.)

+ Emergency Bra $29.99

[Via CNET]