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Cape Cod Academy Students Breathe Deeply — for Science

Students at Cape Cod Academy got the chance to participate in a scientific study on Friday.

Inventor David Edwards, a former Harvard University professor, is testing a product he says reduces the amount of inhaled particles that reach a person’s lungs, potentially reducing disease transmission.

Researchers measured the airborne particles in students’ breath before and after inhaling the mist, called FEND, which contains saline enriched with calcium.

“It felt odd,” said Hunter Kadra, a junior from Sandwich, about breathing into the measuring device. “They told you to breathe normal, but it is also kind of hard to do that because it's such a different experience.”

He was assigned to the control group, which received standard saline spray.

Faculty, staff, and parents were also invited to participate.

Edwards said educational environments are a major focus of the study.

“And we're looking at what happens if you're in a very polluted environment versus a not-polluted environment,” he said.

The study involves participants from Cape Cod, Michigan, and India.

Cape Cod Academy Headmaster Jeffrey Thompson said an Academy parent got the school connected with Edwards.

In return for participating in the study, the school will get a supply of FEND for school nurses to administer to members of the school community who want it, Thompson said.

Andrew James, a senior from Barnstable, said he was glad to participate in research for the first time.

“It was a cool experience,” he said.