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Question #: 266

Question: ARE THERE PRODUCTS AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT CAN BE PURCHASED PROTECT CELLULAR OR PORTABLE TELEPHONE USERS FROM RADIATION? IF SO, WHERE THESE FOUND?

Current Solution

There are a number of opportunistic gadgets on the market to allegedly protect the user from hazards of cellular phones. You can search the Internet to find the latest, ranging from antenna shields to whole-body shielding materials. Most experts believe that these devices take advantage of customers' misunderstanding and unfounded fears to sell products with no real value. First of all, cell phones that operate within the guidelines established by national and international safety panels have never been shown to pose a health risk to the user (see answers to other questions on cell phone safety on this website). Secondly, placing any kind of shield over the antenna of a cell phone will in most cases cause it to increase its RF output as it attempts to compensate for signal loss in the shield and maintain a quality phone call. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published an advisory on cell phones several years ago that said if you are concerned about risks of using a cell phone, then simply use it less. That is still good advice today. Gary Zeman, ScD, CHP Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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