Almost everyone seems to have a cell phone, and there is reason to be concerned about the long-term health risks. If you’ve seen ads for cell phone “radiation shields” or “radiation blockers” online, you may be wondering if they are worth getting.
The ads and websites often claim to have scientific evidence that their radiation shields work, but the Federal Trade Commission reports that there is no scientific proof that these products reduce exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and warn that these products may actually increase the radiation the phones emit.
A study by the Corporate EME Research Laboratory and Motorola Florida Research Laboratories tested 9 different cell phone radiation shields, 5 of which claimed to block 99% of cell phone radiation. The other 4 shields tested claimed to emit a reverse radiation that would cancel out the harmful radiation from cell phones. The study found that all of the radiation shields had no effect on the amount of radiofrequency radiation a cell phone user is exposed to from their phone.
However, there are some things you CAN do to limit your exposure to cell phone radiation. A few of these include:
- Having fewer and shorter calls on your cell phone
- Using hands-free devices or speaker phone mode instead of pressing the phone against your ear
- Avoiding phone calls in places with bad reception (your cell phone emits more radiation to make up for poor signal strength)
For a more complete list of ways to limit your exposure to cell phone radiation, read our article on cell phone health risks here.
All articles are reviewed and approved by Dr. Diana Zuckerman and other senior staff.
- Oliver, JP, Chou, CK, Balzano, Q. (2003) Testing the effectiveness of small radiation shields for mobile phones. Bioelectromagnetics 24: 66-69.