Anti-radiation or radiation blocking or phone shield cases. Do they Work? SafeSleeve, DefenderShield, Vest, Alara, Pong, Reach and ShieldMe and other EMF protection phone cases claim to block the radiation from your cellphone or smartphone. Anti-radiation cellphone case brands make enticing claims like this: ". . .eliminate up to 99% of the harmful radiation coming from the phone!"
But Do They Work? Is There EMF Protection?
Because blocking radiation (the electromagnetic fields that come from wireless cell signals, WiFi and Bluetooth) is an excellent idea. A really excellent idea in fact, because that radiation, sometimes called EMF or EMR or wireless energy, has been proven in studies over the last 30 years to be harmful to our health.
Cancer and Other Nasty Things Are Why We Want Anti-radiation Cases To Work
Dr. Leigh-Erin Connealy, Director of The Center for New Medicine, just published her latest book The Cancer Revolution, A Groundbreaking Program to Reverse and Prevent Cancer. Dr. Connealy recommends avoiding cellphone radiation exposure as one component of cancer prevention.
As just one example of the possible effects, here's a graphic about the EMF radiation exposure and breast cancer from the Environmental Health Trust:
You CAN Block 100% of Cellphone Radiation, but You Can't Use Your Phone At the Same Time.
To block enough radiation from your cellphone to be safe, you would have to use an anti radiation faraday case. They really do block 100% of signal. But, while there's no radiation in or out of the Faraday case or bag, there's also no cell signal. Meaning you can't use your phone.
So, We asked Around. Do Experts Think Anti-radiation or Blocking Cases Actually Work?
We couldn't find one legit EMF expert online or anywhere else that would recommend a radiation blocking case or anti-radiation case. Not Tech Wellness Expert, Larry Gust electrical engineer, faculty member of the International Institute of Building Biology and IBE President of the Board and owner of Gust Environmental. Not the Environmental Health Trust or Magda Havas, or Joel Moskowitz, in fact his site, safeEMR cautions against scams and claims for radiation protection. So if a so-called "EMF expert" is recommending any kind of anti-radiation case, then they probably aren't that much of an expert.
Look For Science Backed Answers
I really want to caution you to be careful of any "expert" or EMF blogger recommending anti-radiation filtering cases, stickers that attach to the phone or necklaces to "ward off" EMF.
I get it, when I first realized 25 years ago that I was sensitive to electromagnetic energy and then later, when I understood that without a doubt, man made electromagnetic radiation has a biological effect on my body, I wanted an easy fix.
I tried the shielding materials and cases and I just did not feel any better. Then I bought meters to see if the energy changed and I actually noticed what the California Department of Health now says and it's what the FTC and FCC post warnings about: "Some shielding materials can make exposures worse". So please, be careful and read on for what you can do to avoid electromagnetic radiation exposure.
Updating this Story with a 2019 Research Study on EMF Shields:
Unfortunately--Shielding is very problematic. Shielding cases, clothing and anti-radiation products can increase radiation levels around the shielded area. And any part of the wireless device(cellphones, WiFi, Tablets,etc) that's not completely covered is still EMITTING RF-Radiation.
D.J. Panagopoulos, G.P. Chrousos, Authors of a study on EMF shielding explain why shielding is actually a risk:
"One cannot modify the radiation (frequency, waveform) once it has been emitted by a device. One can only attenuate it (reduce its intensity). Modification would only be possible by modifying the electronic circuits within the devices. Even if that were the case with these products, which is not, once the emitted signal is modified or attenuated, the device (mobile phone, etc.) would lose its ability to connect with the network and communicate. If one simply attenuates the signal without modifying it, which is possible, the mobile phone again will have difficulty in establishing connection with the base antennas and automatically will emit a stronger signal/radiation/EMF in order to be able to connect/communicate . . . .This is why it is dangerous to put the mobile phone within any kind of metal box/ sheath/holster etc. in order to carry it on the clothes/body while it is turned on. Any such product will attenuate the incoming signal, . . thus it will attenuate the connectivity of the mobile phone. The less the connectivity is, the stronger the emission of the device becomes in order to be able to connect with the network."
This New 2019 Scientific Research Report on Radiation and EMF Protection and Risks has just been published. The research study covers how and why EMF has biological effects and the many types of shields including chips, cases and home shielding.
So Hold On—How Can These Cellphone Radiation Blocking Cases Claim they Work When Radiation Comes Out OF ALL SIDES OF THE PHONE?
Well, look at the information from the Anti-Radiation and Phone Shielding cases websites. It's kind of tricky, but most are clear about saying the "technology" or the "material" used in the cases is proven by a lab to absorb, deflect or block radiation.
Ah hah, so to be super-clear they only claim to be testing the shielding, absorbing, reflecting and/or signal-interfering material used in the cases.
They are Not testing the the actual anti-radiation cellphone cases which are designed to block ONLY some of the radiation coming from cellphones and smartphones.
Here's just one example: The anti-radiation cellphone case company, Safe Sleeve, publishes how the blocking material they use for their cases is certified to block up to 99% of Radio Frequency energy by a certified lab.
SafeSleeve's report is right up front about showing that they do not test or certify the Safe Sleeve case, rather they are simply testing the material they put into the case in a completely artificial environment, in a laboratory setting, using a signal generator and a power amplifier. Safe Sleeve includes photos showing how the measurements are taken. But that may not be how anyone will ever use their phone.
We Bought 6 Anti-radiation Cases to Try Ourselves
These are the highest profile cases available and here's what each company says about how their cases block radiation. The photo below shows a phone with no case measuring at the PEAK LEVEL of radiation.
SafeSleeve Anti Radiation Case: Safe Sleeve website says they integrate FCC accredited independent lab tested "shielding technology" in their products. There are many links to "SafeSleeve, Is it a Scam?" and "Does SafeSleeve work?" online, but if you follow those links you'll find they go to the actual SafeSleeve site where the question of SafeSleeve protection is addressed. You'll see in this demonstration that the radiation level was higher with the SafeSleeve Case on.
Vest Anti Radiation Phone Case: The Vest Website says their case offers 360-degree protection to both you and the phone. They claim to "minimize exposure to radiation being emitted from the phone because the case is integrated with aluminum laminated foil. Together with an aluminum net the composite successfully minimizes your exposure . . ."
Pong Radiation Protection case: Pong website explains: "Pong cases are embedded with a patented , micro thin, gold plated antenna, that reduces exposure to potentially harmful cell phone radiation while maintaining the phones signal. The Pong antenna couples with the antenna in your phone and redirects radiation away from you."
Reach The Reach Case Site says, " The ReachCase's multi patented, miro-thin antenna automatically couples with your phone to expand and extend your antenna."
DefenderShield Cellphone Radiation Case also claims independent testing and says in their website: That a "sophisticated layering of separate non-toxic, human safe materials processed for maximum radiation blocking efficiency. Each material has unique and targeted radiation-shielding characteristics designed to work in unison to eliminate all radiation emissions from 0 to 10 GHZ and Defender Shield technology refracts, conducts and finally absorbs all these potentially harmful emissions." In this demonstration, the radiation level measured when DefendeShield case was on is still quite a bit above the level of exposure that I would recommend. I personally do not recommend-holding a phone with a shielding case to your head as the DefenderShield website shows a young woman doing as she demonstrates the product.
ShieldMe On the ShieldMe site is a message from Wireless Connection CEO Rose Vitale addressing issues with the cellphone industry and she makes some good points. As far as how ShieldMe works she states, " Our ShieldMe cases help deflect up to 99% of the harmful EMF, RF or microwave radiation emitted from a cellphone while carrying around or when on a call." The demonstration of the SheildMe case shows levels that like the "EMF protection cellphone cases" is many many times higher than levels EMF expert Larry Gust follows as a certified building biologist.
We used a meter that measures the type of EMF–Radio Frequency(RF) Radiation that’s emitted when we use our cellphones or smartphones.
Not a Test, A Real World Demo
Our homemade demonstration of all the cases uses a working phone. Not the shielding material by itself, but the actual "shielding" SafeSleeve, Pong, Reach, Vest, ShieldMe, and Defender Shield cases. First we get RF power density measurements from a phone that's on a call and then, in the same location, within minutes of the first reading, we place the same phone as it's engaged in a call into each case and we take additional reading with the meter.
As our video points out: Measurements will vary with signal strength and other factors and that includes ambient energy. I talk about ambient energy in a lot of my videos-it's the energy that's in whatever environment I happen to be measuring in that's coming from a source of wireless energy that isn't the subject of what I'm measuring. My home is not a lab of course, but fortunately it's always measured very low for RF radiation.
Cellphone Cases ONLY Cover FRONT of Phone-That's An Issue
Up, Down and All Around-See the EMF Exposure From ALL sides of the Phone
Moving the meter around the case, we detect readings on the side, back and front of the case. We use the multi-directional TES 593 meter which measures 10 MHz to 8GHz. We use the unit of micro-watts per square centimeter, which looks like this little symbol: μW/cm² and we use it on the max setting which shows the maximum measured value. In non-science speak: the highest level of RF we see, which could be from the back the side or the front.
We did not simply measure energy coming from the front of the case which is the area of the case where the phone would be "shielded" from radiation. If we had taken readings with a directional meter, specifically measuring energy coming from only the front or flap cover where the shielding material is, we assume as the manufacturers claim, that we would have seen a drop in the radiation readings.
However, we measure all around the phone that is in the case because we want to demonstrate what happens as far as wireless energy goes—when you put that baby in your hand. Or, in your pocket (please don't), or purse, or backpack.
The Numbers Please: Did we see lower numbers of overall multi-directional measurements? Sometimes.
Sometimes the numbers we're higher. But Don't Worry, This is Tech Wellness and we Have A Solution
In our demonstration, we see that our naked, non-cased iPhone measures about a 6.2.
We were super sad to see that not one of the cases reduced that measurement even 20% and a couple of times, we saw measurements actually INCREASE with a case-to the point of doubling the measurement! It was an EMF amplifier. Watch the video for the full scoop.
Our RF Radiation Reading Was Higher With Some Cases on the phone.
So of course now that we understand that the cases are not tested and just the material--it makes sense! We measured power density levels all around the case-the shielding material most likely isn't used "all over" because then the phone couldn't receive signal and wouldn't be able to engage in a call. That's why we did not see even close to a 99% reduction when some cases were on the phone. In fact, watch the video and you'll see some readings are more than 20% higher with a case on vs the naked phone.
Can you Trust so called "EMF Experts" who Promote Anti Radiation or EMF Protection phone Cases? The Government Cautions Us About "Cell Phone Radiation Scams"
Yeah they do. Both the FTC and FCC have warnings against what they call Cellphone Scams—and offer step by step cautions to avoid and reduce the amount of EMF exposure from your smartphone.
“If you're looking for ways to limit your exposure to the electromagnetic emissions from your cell phone, know that, according to the FTC, there is no scientific proof that so-called shields significantly reduced exposure from these electromagnetic emissions. In fact, products that block only the earpiece—or another small portion of the phone—are totally ineffective because the entire phone emits electromagnetic waves. What's more, these shields may interfere with the phone's signal, cause it to draw even more power to communicate with the base station, and possibly emit more radiation.”
Links to the Federal Trade Commission Warning and The Federal Communications Alerts:
So What's The Solution to Decrease Cellphone Radiation?
The point is, even with a modest decreased measurement using a case, it's just not enough to make us happy. So we cannot recommend the SafeSleeve, Pong, Vest, ShieldMe, Alara and Defender Shield cases.
The real and most guaranteed fix of all, the magic word, one of the solutions we feel passionately about... DISTANCE.
Energy plumes, spray or emissions from wireless towers and devices are strongest at the source and dissipate with distance. Watch any of our measurement videos to “see” the invisible RF with our meters.
EMF RADIATION READING NEXT TO THE CELLPHONE
THIS IS THE MEASUREMENT ABOUT 10 INCHES FROM THE PHONE! NOTICE HOW MUCH LESS IT IS THAN WITH ANY OF THE CASES!
Before We continue to other solutions-an Update From the Engineer who performed the EMF Protection Products Testing For KPIX:
After this story, Do Cellphone Shields and Cases Work? was published, case manufacturers reached out and asked that I amend this story. One cited a video done by KPIX CBS showing that cases-if used correctly-in some situations-can help with exposure--Honestly this report surprised me, because I know for a fact that they do not stop the radiation coming from the back of the phone where it's being held--and that most certainly they do not stop all the energy even where the case is put up to your head--so I reached out to the Engineer who is shown in the video--doing the testing for his point of view.
Here's highly respected EMF Expert, Michael Neuert EMF Engineer and owner of Neuert Electromagnetic Service who is featured on the story for KPIX CBS News on Anti Radiation and Cellphone Protection Clothing and Shields.
His opinion on Cellphone Cases and the BEST WAY TO PROTECT FROM EMF RADIATION:
"I have tested many phone case shielding products. Many of these products will provide some shielding of the RF to the person using the phone. But in most situations, the user can reduce their RF exposure to a much greater degree by holding the phone itself a foot or more away from their head (more than they can by using a shielded phone case). And with any phone shield product, there is the possibility that in certain situations, the shielded phone case can actually make the person's RF exposure worse! Therefore, if a person must use a cell phone, I recommend that people use the phone on speaker mode, with the phone located as far away from their body as possible.
And if using speakerphone mode is not a good option, then another good option I would recommend is to use an airtube type of headset, allowing the cell phone itself to be placed as far away from the body as possible. A good airtube headset has two important features: (1) the magnetic fields from the speaker are moved farther away from the head, and (2) any RF signal that accidentally conducts itself up the metal headset wire is stopped where the airtube begins and thus does not reach the ear."
Here's our favorite Airtube headset
There are solutions That really Do work.
Faraday Cases. A small pocket encases your device with signal blocking material that protects you from the EMF/RF energy your devices give off. Please know that this will not allow your phone to function, but all signal is blocked, therefore, all EMF is gone when in use. You can use this while walking around (if you’re worried about what your phone emits) or while asleep.
There are many sizes and many price points for Faraday Bags. We offer a very low-end case on Tech Wellness as well as the beautiful August brand cases.
We leave you with this Tech Wellness Mantra: DISTANCE. Be aware, mindful, and caring of the space between yourself and the technology in your life.
We have a couple of nice options for cases which provide you distance from your smartphone or cellphone. We LOVE both of these cases for two reasons:
- EXTRA LONG crossbody strap. This strap allows your phone to be a full 8" to 12" from your reproductive organs. So important! Most crossbody cellphone cases lay right over your abdomen. Not good.
- WE INCLUDE a double Wristlet chain so the phone can dangle 8 inches from your wrist. LOVELY
You can do it with your purse, a backpack back pocket or carrying the case by a strap-in a long cross body or a wristlet- however you do it, we recommend putting 8 to 12 inches between you and your Cellphone—or anyone else’s phone that’s enabled for that matter. And if you like that easy tip, you might really love our Smart Smartphone Tips
As Michael Neuert mentioned above, Airtube headphones do a great job putting a nice distance beween you and the radiation plume coming from the cellphone. Even if you choose to use a "filtering" phone case, your hands, and any body part that's in close contact with the "sides" or "back" or andy "unprotected" part of the phone(even in the case) will be exposed to the radiation plume of wireless energy. So using the air-tube technology really does allow you to distance your self and eliminate the radiation that can travel up wired headset wires to the ear piece.
Wireless EMF Energy vs. Body Energy
August has been doing EMF measurement videos on cell phones and mobile phones since 2000 because she wanted to show people the "energy waves" that can't be seen, felt or touched.
In many of the videos, she pointed out that the energy coming from a Smartphone or a Bluetooth speaker, negatively affected the energy of her body. She felt that the wireless energy wasn't interacting with her body's energy in a good way.
So How Much Wireless Energy is Too Much?
Well let's start here: the Environmental Health Trust points out, "science has not yet determined a safe level of wireless radiation." Bummer.
Our recommendation is to reduce your exposure from wireless sources. We advocate what’s referred to as the Precautionary Principle. Basically, this means that because there’s research, lots of it actually, saying the energy that powers our cellphones (RF radiation) could be causing health concerns like tumors and cancer. We ought to take care when using our cell phones and all devices that emit RF, using them mindfully.
The International Institute of Building Biology has Building Biology Standards for Electromagnetic Sensitive people and to what degree they should limit exposure to in rooms where they sleep. The levels we detected in our anti-radiation cellphone case review were MUCH higher.
In a real-world setting, August, having ES herself, hopes people who are trying to control their exposures, will refer to the following chart:
EMF Radiation: A Guide for You and Your Family
If you think EMF Radiation is messing with the energy in your body, please visit our complete EMF Radiation, Wireless Energy and Electrosmog Guide.
It contains a detailed list of symptoms from people who report how they feel when exposed to wireless energy. Here's a sample:
- Insomnia and sleep issues
- Headaches and head pain
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Lethargy and extreme tiredness
- Memory, fog, cognitive issues
- Burning, tingling, numbness
Let's Hear from an Expert in the EMF Radiation Space
We asked Dr. George Carlo his thoughts on EMF cases and shielding products, “most offer some protection, some of the time, to some people, because they can alter the immediate electromagnetic field environment around the person,” and immediately emphasizes the importance of “some,” which seems to tell us that it’s vastly unpredictable. “All waveforms in the environment are highly variable and they interact with other factors in the environment that make them even more variable.” This pretty much sums up that the artificial electromagnetic energy universe is vastly unpredictable.
"To expect relief from radiation exposure from one specific device, is nearly impossible. It’s crucial to weigh in the MANY environmental factors; such as, temperature, atmospheric pressure, other radio waves, emissions from other devices, energy shifts from others around you, and Schumann Resonance shifts. Therefore," he explains that “relying on alteration of the environment as a safety precaution is always a game of chance…and signals affect people differently,” which adds another variables in the game of chance.
Dr. Carlo, wrote a Medical Alert ten years ago. He cautioned people with EMF sensitivity against relying upon widely-available EMR Protection Products to prevent the effects of EMF exposure. He noted that EMF sensitive individuals were reporting the opposite effect: people found their symptoms and/or sensitivity worsened. Specifically, severe “symptom relapses.” Dr. Carlo noted:
“When symptoms are not addressed comprehensively– for example, using symptom amelioration without simultaneous elimination of exposure – cell membrane adverse reaction and damage continue to occur while the patient is assuming the cause of the problem has been eliminated. This lulls patients into a false sense of security, causing them to aggravate their exposures through the increased use of their wireless devices. When the damage reaches a critically harmful level, even the symptom amelioration can no longer be sustained by the damaged cells.”
Anti EMF Radiation Filters, Stickers, Chips and Decals, What You Need To Know:
We really do not recommend any kind of EMF Protection or Anti- Radiation stickers, chips, guards, anti-radiation "filters" or incomplete shielding cases because honestly, how could they NOT provide a false sense of security? Folks could believe these products make them “invincible” against radiation so they are comfortable holding the case right up to their heads-and the radiation seeping from the back and the side of the phone case is in very close proximity to their precious brains. Oh no!
We purchased some anti-radiation decal stickers that claimed to diffuse radio frequency radiation with negative-ions. We didn't expect them to affect the RF levels detected by any of our electric, magnetic or RF meters, so we weren't surprised when the decals didn't result in any reading change. We've recently ordered a negative-ion detector to see if we get a reading off the anti radiation decals or stickers that look like little plastic chips with adhesive.
If we do detect negative ion readings we'll be happy to share that information with you and we'll ask our expert team to comment on exactly how increased negative-ions could effect the RF radiation and/or magnetic fields coming from devices.
Personally, I know people who attach these chips to their phones and feel confident that they are making a difference. But for me, I haven't found any that alleviate the tingling, zapping electrical sensations I feel when I hold a smartphone that's powered on.
Honestly, I often think that if protecting from RF radiation was as simple as affixing a decal chip or putting a phone in a case that was made with EMF reflecting and/or absorbing material covering the top part of the case--that all mobile phone companies would either sell them or include them with every phone purchase. Right?!
Finally, to address questions that have come in as a result of this story: More from Michael Neurt, the EMF test engineer quoted above. Here are photos from his presentation noting how you must know where the cellphone tower is when using a one-sided case on your cellphone in order to be certain that you are not increasing the radiation because of the case. . . I usually don't know where the cellphone tower I'm accessing is. Do you?
Earlier in this story, Michael tells us that even though you could get some protection from a case, he has the same recommendation that Tech Wellness advises: Distance works better and is far more consistent- i.e. you don't need to actually know where the radiation is coming from-or you don't have to be certain if you're facing towards or away from the tower.
Hope this helps the community that has commented below!
Let us know what you think. We always love your ideas and comments! We can live mindfully with our technology as long as we know our options and what really truly works.
If you found this honest review helpful, we hope you'll share it with someone your care about.
And Please . . .
X.O. August and the Tech Wellness Tribe