FTC warns of cell phone radiation scams

FTC says phony shield scammers are looking to prey on worried consumers

As soon as the new concerns that cell phones might pose a radiation risk to users, scammers were sharpening their online skills to take advantage of the situation. 

That's why the Federal Trade Commission today told cell phone users to avoid products that supposedly "shield" users from cell phone emissions.

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According to the FTC, there is no scientific proof that so-called shields significantly reduce exposure from cell phone emissions. In fact, products that block only part of the phone, such as the earpiece, are totally ineffective because the entire phone emits electromagnetic waves. By interfering with the phone's signal, phony shields may cause it to draw even more power and possibly emit more radiation, the FTC said.

Health studies about any relationship between the emissions from cell phones and health problems are ongoing. But for those consumers who want to limit their exposure to cell phone emissions, the FTC offered these tips:

  • Use an earpiece or the speakerphone feature.
  • Consider texting more, and keep calls brief.
  • Wait for a good signal. When you have a weak signal, your phone works harder and emits more radiation. Phones emit more radiation when transmitting than when receiving, so tilt the phone away from your head when you're talking.
  • Before you buy a phone, research its specific absorption rate (SAR), which tells how much radiation the body absorbs while using the phone. Different phones emit different amounts of radiation. In the U.S., a phone's SAR cannot exceed 1.6 watts per kilogram. The Federal Communications Commission has SAR information for cell phones produced and marketed within the last two years. It's accessible using the phone's FCC ID number (usually found on the phone's case) and the FCC's ID search form.

The FTC has gone after such radiation shield scammers in the past.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

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