Pregnant Women Need Fear No Cell Phone Radiation: Belly Armor Is Here!

By Jennifer Welsh | September 15, 2010 3:02 pm

prego phoneIf requiring stores to label their cell phones with radiation-output levels wasn’t enough, San Francisco has found a new way to revel in cell phone hysteria: Now one of its trendy maternity boutiques sells radiation-shielding maternity clothes.

These clothes are specifically designed to shield their little unborn hipster babies from computer and cell phone radiation. Radiation-shielding maternity clothing has been popular in China for years, but a young company is now marketing its line of Belly Armor directly to San Francisco’s expectant mothers.

The clothing, which start at $59 for a T-shirt, is made by a company called RadiaShield, whose website encourages expectant mothers to “protect their child within” from the radiation of daily lives. Fact check: most of the radiation that a cell phone emits is actually a low-frequency, non-harmful type of radiation called non-ionizing radiation. It doesn’t contain enough energy to remove electrons from an atom, unlike higher-energy, higher-frequency, known-to-be harmful radiations like x-rays and UV light.

As our daily exposure to these non-ionizing radiations have increased with the advent of personal electronics, people have started to worry that this additional exposure may have health implications. Though many studies of non-ionizing radiation have shown it to be harmless (and in one strange study, possibly even beneficial), not all expectant mothers are reassured by these studies. Laura Riley, medical director of labor and delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital, told TIME her point of view on the product:

… products like Belly Armor prey on consumers’ unsubstantiated fears. “There are no conclusive studies that have shown that low radiation from everyday devices is harmful to anyone, much less to a pregnant woman,” Riley says.

The fabric used to make these T-shirts and blankets, which RadiaShield claims is woven with 82 percent silver fibers, blocks most wavelengths of the non-ionizing radiation emitted by electronic devices. With its typical subtlety, The Register makes the point that while the Belly Armor does protect from the small range of low frequency radiation we encounter from our cell phones and wifi computers, there are still other types of radiation being emitted in our homes that the fabric doesn’t protect from:

OK, so wear a Belly Armor T-shirt, or drape yourself in multiple blankets. But you’re still not out of the woods, actually: look up there in the corner of the ceiling! My God! The burglar-alarm MOTION DETECTOR is quite possibly BEAMING OUT DEADLY RAYS at 10.5 GHz – WELL OUTSIDE the tested band in which Belly Armor is known to work!

The best advice so far also comes from The Register:

But frankly, if you’re the sort of person who is seriously considering the purchase of Belly Armor, you probably already own and wear a hat made of tinfoil. Why don’t you simply wrap a length of trusty kitchen aluminium round your midsection, too?

Related content:
80beats: Cell Phone Towers Cleared: Study Finds No Link to Childhood Cancer
80beats: Can You Fear Me Now? Cell Phone Use Not Linked to Brain Cancer
80beats: Cancer Doctor Issues a Warning About Cell Phones, and Causes Panic
Discoblog: Worst Science Article of the Week: Use a Cell Phone, Damage Your Baby
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: OMG! ur cell phone is mkng u impotent.

Image: iStockPhoto

  • Idlewilde

    I didn’t know there was any ‘cell phone hysteria’….young and old alike walk around texting or talking so much that they nearly run into people. Seriously! Walking in the store, a woman was so preoccupied texting that she would have run into me and my sister if we hadn’t seen her and avoided her. A young man texting on the sidewalk would have bumped into me if I hadn’t avoided him. More seriously, a man talking behind the wheel and going about 25 miles in the store parking lot would have run down my little brother if I hadn’t been there to stop him from walking out into the road. He was bringing the cart to the cart return and thank god I was there to say ‘look both ways’ . Believe me, cellphone use is alive and well, for better or worse. no one is really afraid of radiation. this company is a joke-I’m surprised they get by at all.

  • Bob Heide

    Some facts for Belly Armor Journalist:

    Heres a few facts for Belly armor reader, before you buy, or throw away your money.

    Belly Armor states: “protection guaranteed”
    The real data: There website disclaimer states; “Belly Armor does not guarantee that the information is accurate, current or suitable for any particular purpose.

    So Belly Armor may believe that its ok then, to say anything that is not truthful or pertains to the product?

    Belly Armor: States “Effectively stops radiation”
    The real data: The actual current safe level of protection is about 100 decibels of shielding, ungrounded. At the current W/m2 levels we have in society, Belly armor would have to be 100,000 times more powerful then currently states, and the fabric would never be flexible.

    Belly Armor: Shows a lab test report indicating maximum shielding ability of 49db at 99.9%?
    The real data: The product there testing is not undergoing a “stretch test” at the times measurements are taken. This is flexible cotton with a silver thread woven into the fabric. As the material stretches, the attenuation ability decreases, thus allowing for more frequency radiation to pass through. Because of stretching and movement, the product shielding is inconsistent.

    Belly Armor: To prove the product actually works, belly Armor asked people to try the signal test, by wrapping there phone into belly armor fabric and watch the cell phone signal go down.
    The real data: This is an incoming signal only. The cellular transmitter may be miles away with very little power; And this does nothing in the way of protecting the cell phones transmitting power, which by the way can actually have a stronger signal using the silver as a antenna; Increasing the output signal by hundreds of times.

    Personal Note: This is disturbing, because this fabric, before it became a wearable product, was not intended for this use, and someone is gaming the system without knowledge of the product.

    FYI; Silver is extremely conductive, and in close proximity to strong transmissions, can have adverse effects. The most effective shielding materials are dense, low conductive materials such as iron & cobalt.

    Digital frequency radiation is a problem; And you will hear about it in the near future. Just like we did with tobacco. But don’t worry about the news so much, because who is ever telling the truth anymore.

    FYI; its not the radiation; its the “Digital modulated frequency coming from the radiation that is dangerous”. But don’t believe me, just ask someone in France, where cell phone are band to children. Yes, thats right. Those little heads are five time more susceptible to frequency radiation then the adult models the FCC has been using.

    Bob Heide,
    Electrical Engineer

  • debra orena

    what fabric that is stretchy lightweight do you recomend to protect from cell phone radiation?

  • קידום אתרים

    I liked read your block, im be back 😉

  • anti radiation

    I’ve been warning people about the risks of using wireless technologies
    during pregnancy and by children for a long time – but hopefully the
    recent exposure of the WHO report which is being covered by CNN and all
    the major news networks will finally get the public to really realize
    this is a serious issue. It takes a long time to clarify all the details
    of the science because our environment has become so complex – but it’s
    now becoming quite obvious to those that are willing to listen.
    mobile radiation

  • Xiaoyi NIU

    It is totally a scam!  I bought their blanket and a T-Shirt, both don’t work at all.  I tried the cellphone test many times and they failed.  I am going to send them back!!   


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