Fooling people with radiation protection

I happened to see an advertisement for a “chip” that is intended to minimize the radiation from your cell phone, thus lessening the bad effect of radiation on your brain. The price for this device is 25 euros. I contacted the importer of the product to get more information on how it works, what its effects are, and how it is to be used.

The importer was very helpful in getting me three sample chips, but their information on how this device is supposed to work was limited in the extreme. They claim also on the package that the chip “provides protection for over 99.95% of cell phone radiation”. When I pointed out to them that the sole function of the mobile phone is to maintain a radio link between itself and the base station, and that if you decrease that radio link’s radiation by that much, you have no contact at all, they said that “they use the device and it works.” At this point I became quite irritated.

Let’s have a look at the claims. 

“Radisafe is developed using a unique combination of minerals”. I dug into this and found this device to be pressed out of a mineral called shungite with some tourmaline thrown in for good measure. According to Wikipedia, Shungite is  “a black, lustrous, non-crystalline mineraloid consisting of more than 98 weight percent of carbon.” This device is probably the highest-priced carbon product on the planet per weight. If you take a mineral that is 98% carbon, grind it to a powder, press a button out of it, it still is nearly all carbon. You could take a piece of burnt wood and get the same button out of it.

The protection provided by this product is the biggest oddity. They claim to have tested this protection at “CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF ELECTRONICS AND MATERIALS SCIENCE, California, USA”, and indeed there is a link to a test report. If you look at it, you will not be seeing much. They merely claim that Radisafe provides a 99.95% signal absorption at a frequency of 9.375 gigahertz. They do provide a list of standards they claim to have used in testing, but nothing on the test setup.

To have such an absorption rate would mean that the system should be encased in a box built out of the material. The antennas in mobile phones radiate in many directions, not just into this little button. Also, should the device actually absorb all that radiation energy, it would heat. When I tested this, I found no trace of heating actually occurring. Also, the oddest part of the claim is the frequency. Why test at 9.375 GHz, when the actual frequencies used in mobile phone and WLAN technologies are between 698 MHz and 2.690 GHz?

They also claim this device will increase battery life. This is another anomalous idea. If you cause the signal level of a mobile phone to decrease, the phone will attempt to recuperate by increasing the power to the transmitter. This would of course lead to the decrease of battery life. There is no mechanism that could reverse the drain on the battery if you have to use more power in the transmitter – that is not merely a false claim, it is also illogical.

They also claim that this device will increase the connectivity of the device. I fail to see any natural method how you can first decrease the radiation power of a mobile phone and then get better signal with it. That is simply stupid. However, the stupidest claim of them all is that you can attach such a device on your microwave oven, as well as your television.

Well of course you can attach them, but what sort of radiation does your television emit, outside the visible signal that your eyes see as the picture? A little heat. And given that your microwave oven is tested to keep the radiation inside itself before you can market it, why do you need this button on it? No reason at all.

It is claims like this that make me feel so sad for people who buy these devices, as well as mad at the people who make money out of the sorry folks.

And then there is the claim that the device will decrease the heat generated by the mobile phone during conversations by 80%. Again, this is backed by a test report from an Indian test lab. However, this report has no information about the test situation beyond naming the type of thermometer. How the phone is held during the test affects the temperatures much more than this chip, and there is no report on this.

The importer claimed that the device works on WLAN and any other source of radiation as well. To test this, I placed all three devices sent to me on my own WLAN, and measured the radiation using my laptop as the receiver. I left the systems on overnight. The results were clear:

NORMAL RADISAFE
N 14617 14617
Average signal 99,7563 96,1176
Average RSSI -24,4212 -34,8197
Max signal 100 100
Min signal 95 92
Max RSSI -21 -24
Min RSSI -36 -40
Envelope RSSI 15 16

The average signal went down by 4 percent, not 99.95% as claimed, using all three chips on the WLAN. In a way you can then assume that one chip is responsible for 1.3%. That’s a nice result from my point of view because a WLAN with no signal is as communicative as a hockey puck. As for the reason of that reduction, I am not sure, I should actually measure a few more times with the devices on and off the WLAN.

But in any case, the net result is clear. PT Barnum is right – there is a sucker born every minute, and whoever buys this device at 25 euros a whack will get nothing for the money.

40 Comments:

  1. Thank you for an excellent article! These devices are being fiercely marketed in South Africa at the moment & will recommend this reading to my friends & family.

    • Happy to be of assistance! It’s funny how you can debunk these snake oil products merely by basic reasoning and a little knowledge of how things work.

  2. Hopefully, you didn’t spend any money to get pieces of charcoal, even for the sake of debunking another snake oil -product (?).

    I hope, the manufacturers of products like these will sometimes get sued. Could universities offer their law students “snake oil” cases as a form of apprenticeship (‘harjoittelu’ in Finnish)?! Governments could provide grants (and get better lawyers – if a “good lawyer” exist), the law students get experience in practice. And the whole society benefits, once fake products’ manufacturers get sued (or/and bankrupt). Win-win-justice situation!)

    • Heikki Hietala

      Oh no, they sent me three items when I said I wanted to test it. I then called them again to tell the results, and the response from the managing director lady of the firm was a classic:

      “Well I have it onmy iPhone and I believe it works perfectly.”

      There’s no point litigating these, because the issue is one of faith, bit your idea is a good one.

      • Well done body ! There are some folks came across to sell this shit to me as well. But i always doubted. The world’s top class engineers and scientists are working in Google, Samsung, Microsoft and Apple, and they are scratching their head to differentiate their product from competitor. Why would nobody came up this mind blowing idea that costs only 25 € here in Finland and costs 150Rs in India that means less than 2€ ? Well the reason is its a scam. Pyramid styled network marketing companies are making people fool.

        • Heikki Hietala

          Thanks Sushil. It’s funny how people don’t understand even the most basic hoaxes to be hoaxes.

  3. Pingback: ”Sirun” väitetään ehkäisevän matkapuhelimen säteilyä | innovaderblog

  4. Late in joining the discussion.. about three months. Better late than never.

    Shungite? Yeah, that will shield radiation perfectly. Why not lace it with Colloidal silver? Then it will for sure protect ones brain And cure cancer… Ehmm yep… 😀

    Superb article Heikki!

    Tom/Ruotsi

    Ps. Uusikaupunki + Saab = Car excellence. Ds.

  5. People like you are agents of
    competing products paid for such
    unscientific propaganda! Are you
    telling us you are better equipped
    and more knowledgeable than the
    California Institute of Material
    science? You tested this product
    in your “lab”?

    You throw around useless
    unsubstantiated data to rubbish
    someone’s well tested product?
    How much have u been paid for this
    hatchet job? It is really low to
    go this far with such propaganda
    just to please your paymasters.

    The facts are there for all
    discerning people to see. Yes
    there will always be characters
    like you in this world hired to
    hack down competitors. It so pathetic.
    I hope u enjoy your lucre!

    • Heikki Hietala

      Thank you for the comment.

      While you are free to have your own opinion, I must disagree with you, and I have just one question for you:

      Since a mobile phone is designed to send electromagnetic radiation to communicate, how would it work if you had a sticker on it that would block 99.5% of the radiation?

      If you don’t agree that 0.5% of radiation is not sufficient for communication to happen, I must ask you whether you would buy a pair of sunglasses that block 99.5% of the light? It is equally improbable.

      Your claim of me being paid by someone is not only insulting, but also irritating. I base my reasoning on simple facts which I have listed above.

      But as I said, your interpretation of reality is your own to bend any way you like.

  6. No Need to tell

    Thank you for throwing some light into this topic…

  7. Let Healthy debate flow. Perhaps CIEMS is better equipped to validate their findings or as a techie, you would know better ways of solving this in a more scientific way….
    Anywa y, mere Rhetoric is not going to help anyone !

    • Heikki Hietala

      Thanks for commenting.

      I wonder what you mean by mere rhetoric? I was sent the devices, and I tested them in the very use they said to use the devices.

      The very basic premise of the device is totally counterproductive: it is designed to decrease radiation, which is the one thing mobile devices do.

      I tested the devices and found they had no effect at all as promised.

      If CIEMS tests some device way outside the frequency spectrum of mobile phones, i don’t believe such results have any bearing on the device operating with mobile phones.

      So, I don’t see being a rhetor here.

  8. Hi I have tested the specimen and if you break open you can fin nothing but little powder and we have tested it through PMI tester it has got 99.3% aluminium powder and some part ferous and some part other alloys.yo can count only small portion 0.7% other alloys ,its waste as you are pasting on your cellphones.

  9. Dear Heikki,

    Thanks for the critical review. It seems odd to me, too.

    However, you didn’t consider the other test results provided by the manufacturer:
    E.g.:
    http://www.radisafe.co/testreport-saveetha.htm

    Assuming the given information is true and I interpret the test results correctly:
    You have to admit that the effects are pretty decent. Many participants showed significant reduction of bloodpreasure/ radial pulse rate.
    It says the study has been conducted by scientific doctors/professors. It seems to be legitimate.

    My knowledge of radiation is very limited. After reading your article and having a look at the test results given by the manufacturer I just can’t tell if it is a fraud or not.
    What about you? Are you sure it’s a fraud? If not, do you think it would be appropriate to adapt your text?

    • Heikki Hietala

      Hello Chris,

      the reason I did not use the Saveetha report in my blog is that it is utter and complete nonsense.

      1) why is there only one page of the abstract? It has no info on the surroundings and test environment.
      2) heart rate is dependent on a multitude of values. It simply is not possible to isolate the effect of using a mobile phone and claim that the heart rate is changing whether there is a tiny mass of carbon attached to the phone or not.
      3) how could it even remotely be possible to measure heart rate in one call, then take another call, and claim that the mere existence of the chip did the difference? Surely the content of the call and a myroiad external factors shoud be isolated and controlled but it is not possible here.
      4) This entire arrangement is so uncientific, irreproducible, and unfalsifiable that it must be dismissed out of hand.

      I beg you to consider facts, not marketing claims. Look at my simple experiments which you can repeat yourself and get the same results. This is a hoax of the highest order.

  10. What I didn’t hear in your comments was any thing about the adverse side effects of EMFS on human biology. Pulsed radiation is having serious side effects as is born out by the medical radiotheropy use on cancer patients, causing detramental heart effects so much so that around the world doctors are looking to reduce if not cease all together this theropy. I have a feeling you are heavily involved in the production of radiation omitting devices, or the inventing there of. Don’t allow your own selfishness to get in the road of people wanting to protect themselves from the bad side effects of such devices. I bet you didn’t read the scientific paper on Elite.

    • Heikki Hietala

      Hello,

      you seem to have a differing view on EMF and its effect from what I have.

      First, see the energy levels in EMF therapy. They are many millions of times stronger than what you have in WLAN and mobile phones. Having a WLAN in your room doesn’t produce anything but an infinitesimal part of the medical therapy devices’ radiation.

      Doctors are of course trying to miminize risks on any form of therapy, but I am quite sure no one in their right mind is dreamiong of ending this very successful therapy form.

      Then, consider this: Mobile phones use EMF radiation. The blocking devices say they block 99.5% of such radiation.

      That means that either your phone works, and the device doesn’t, since if it blocks all radiation, your phone is dead.

      Have you made any calls with the blocker attached? See my results on its efficiency in the text. There is no gainsaying that.

      You have not checked my profile. I am a University lecturer with no interest in producing anything but popular science.

      As for “didn’t read the scientific paper on Elite”, I have no time for anything that is not peer reviewed, because that is how science works, and I am not interested in pseudoscientific articles.

  11. I do online marketing, I use my phone most of the day and I started to experience headache recently and tingling of my right eye. I believe it is being caused by my phone.

    I just bought Radisafe from Lazada.com.ph before reading your article. I have not yet received the item and I already want to return it.

    In my view, however, assuming that Radisafe works – it means that it lowers EMF significantly without an adverse impact on radiofrequency that the phone can still communicate.

    Although I have seen a few reviews in Youtube and they appear to confirm your findings.

    Thanks for your review.

    • Heikki Hietala

      Hello, and thanks for your comments.

      Radisafe is indeed a true and complete scam, and especially at that price, it’s a racket of the highest order.

      You may want to consider a hansdfree adapter for your phone. I am quite sure it’s not brought about by your phone as such, byt by your arm getting tired and causing issues with your neck muscles.

      I hope you get the refund for the non-working Radisafe.

  12. Hi Heikki, how about this product called Fazup? it’s made in france and it says it is tested in emitech lab, which is accredited by the national accreditation agency of France (cofrac)? please give us your insights!

    • Heikki Hietala

      Hello Cathy!

      Fazup looks a lot more professional than Radisafe. Having said that, I don’t think it works. They claim that their “passive antenna” directs the radio waves away from your head, thus protecting you. If that were true, you’d have a directional antenna on your phone, and your phone conversation would demand that you turn the phone to face the uplink mast your phone is connected to. This is especially true if it were really so that up to 90% of radio waves sent out by the phone were blocked. Your phone would be bricked and it wouldn’t serve its purpose.

      I did some quick research into this, and at least here the claim is debunked. I also fail to see any benefit in adding this to a phone that is unaware of the added part, as it is designed to work without any externalities. True, it is technically possible to have a benefit to the call, but its effect is immeasurably small.

      I am really angry about sites like this that use technical terms and jargon to create an air of believability to a product that doesn’t work. I haven’t the time just now to read the research reports, but given the fact that any technology that takes the phone signal down is essentially hampering the phone’s only job, ie. keeping contact with the cell mast, I don’t think it a good idea to do this.

      So, whenever someone comes to you with a claim like this, you don’t really have to consider it valid. If it were, the phone company which invented it would be sure to maximize the marketing effort and claim to be the forerunners of technology – especially if the new technology were a printed circuit cosing them nothing but being sold for $25.

      I don’t see Apple, Samsung, Huawei or any other manufacturer scrambling to be the first to incorporate this into their products, so no, I don’t think this is valid.

  13. I think there is some confusion about shungite blocking or shielding EMF and RF radiation. It is my understanding that shungite attenuates the harmful radiation into coherence by force of the spin rate of the fullerene molecules. 2 billion cycles per second. This effect changes the left torsion field of counterclockwise spin of the harmful signal into a right torsion field clockwise spin which is beneficial and biocompatible to humans and animals.

    • Heikki Hietala

      Hi, just a few comments:

      1) there is no fullerene in shungite beyond trace amounts. Trace amounts are too tiny to affect anything in this sense.
      2) there is no “spin” in electromagnetic radiation that could be “forcing it into coherence”. Quanta have spin.
      3) as there is no spin in radiation as such, there cannot be “beneficial” or “harmful” spins either way, hence, no harm or benefit can be produced by this.
      4) your comment sounds rather like having an idea and picking up terms to support it, but with no data to back it up with, it’s an opinion. You are free to have it, but it isn’t true in the conventional sense of the word.

  14. Just curious, what are your thoughts on pyramid orgonite? There is a lot of noise about these and zappers, cloud busters, and pendents coming from OrgonizeAfrica. They claim to follow the research from Wilhelm Reich, Don Croft, and even Nikola Tesla. With that, it looks substantial to the uninformed viewer, by that I mean I know nothing about radio, electo, magnetic, physics.

    • Heikki Hietala

      Hello Amanda, and thanks for your comment. I was unable to see the OrgoniseAfrica website, because it is crashed at the moment, but I had a look at “orgone”. It’s 100% nonsense. As always, if the claims are extraordinary, so should the proof be too.

      One site claims this: “Orgone energy is a hypothetical universal life force originally proposed in the 1930s by Wilhelm Reich. It’s the most positive energy on earth, it turns negative energy into positive energy. it blocks radiation and harmful EMF. It has a very positive effect on us as well as pets, plants and the home environment.”

      There is no positive energy or negative energy as such, except in metaphorical speech. Anything that claims a “Universal life force” in operation is automatically a hoax, since such energies are not known to any reliable scientific source. There is electromagnetic radiation on a wide spectrum, and we are using that energy at many frequencies, but these people alwys claim their force is immeasurable. If it’s immeasurable, how does it affect you, I always ask.

      This energy cannot “block radiation and harmful EMF”. What blocks them are substances that actually prevent the radiation from passing, and that always depends on the frequency.

      I am very sorry that peoole with a very lare following such as Alanis Morrissette have fallen for this hogwash, and lend their credibility (?) to these utterly fallacious principles.

      I actually don’t want you to take my word for this. See the Skeptic’s Dictionary on Wihelm Reich, and see why he died in jail.

      • Anything actually effective, then? Especially with very deadly, devastating 5G soon dawning upon the human species? My acutely ill partner is a walking very adversely affected “barometer” to such cruel inhumane technologies.

        Thank you.

        Phil.

        • Heikki Hietala

          First, I am very sorry to learn of your partner’s ill health.

          I have seen only very few research efforts into the effects of 4G frequency radiation on humans. They were all inconclusive in that they could not show a link between the sensations of people and radiation. I would love to see someone place people who claim to be sensitove to communication technology radiation in an electromagnetically shielded room and randomly turn on and off a signal in the room, then measuring the sensations of the subjects.

          I also don’t see how it could be generally harmful to people, with the current flood of signals passing through all of us, as it doesn’t show in epidemiological statistics. This is a new situation, and a researchable one, since radio communications in these frequencies have only been massively used since mobile phones appeared, but we have cancer statistics etc. from much earlier times.

          But as I said, I cannot comment on single individuals’ reactions – I can only hope the situation gets better.

  15. Thank you.

    For your perusal the evidence regarding 5G from the scientific community is conclusive, and therein most alarming.

    I refer you to:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.isde.org/5G_appeal.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjxlN7giangAhVTeH0KHSteCUwQFjAAegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw2nkp8CRzRZk0CSXk8cByMw.

    Cheers.

  16. Your most welcome.

    I forward you also the following, including recent scientific conclusive evidence of very harmful 5G EMF radiation – for your perusal at your convenience.

    In Hope, always.

    Phil Sayers
    Down under,
    Australis
    18:00.

  17. Your most welcome.

    I forward you also the following, including recent scientific conclusive evidence of very harmful 5G EMF radiation – for your perusal at your convenience.


    https://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/dangers-of-5g/
    https://mdsafetech.org/5g-telecommunications-science/

    In Hope, always.

    Phil Sayers
    Down under,
    Australis
    18:00.

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