September 30, 2013
EMFacts statement on the Cellsafe mobile phone cases
On January 25th, 2013 I released a paper titled The case for a precautionary public health policy for cell phone, smart phone and cordless phone use. This paper presented the evidence of health risks and gave advice on ways for people to reduce their cell and smart phone microwave exposure, but still allow them to use the technology. http://www.emfacts.com/download/Cell_phone_paper_jan_25.pdf
One of my recommendations was the use of Cellsafe mobile phone cases as one of a number of ways to reduce exposure. This is because I am satisfied that use of this case does significantly reduce the specific absorption rate (SAR) into the head of the user. Before making this recommendation I have examined the test results as listed on the Cellsafe web site http://www.cellsafe.com.au/full-test-reports-summary-test-results
I have also seen the full test results for the Cellsafe cases from EMC technologies, the iphone 5 case done by TA Technology Ltd. and Morlab Communications Technology on the Cellsafe radi cushion. All these tests confirm a reduction in the specific absorption rate (SAR) when the case is used.
Besides these tests, there is an interesting impromptu test on YouTube that also shows a reduction with the Cellsafe case. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71bp3fb_R_w
One issue raised in Fact Sheet 14 from the Australian Radiation & Nuclear Safety Agency is that “devices which claim to act as “shields” may significantly interfere with the normal operation of the phone. Reduced or redirected transmission levels caused by shielding products can interfere with call reception and quality and cause calls to drop out.” Further on it is stated: “In fact, a handset fitted with a ‘shielding’ device may have difficulty connecting with a network and the handset will have to ‘power-up’ to make a connection and this could actually increase a user’s RF exposure, which is counterproductive to what these devices claim they can do.”
It needs to be stated here that the Cellsafe case is not a ‘shield’ but operates by diverting the part of the signal that is directed at the user’s head. It does not block the connection between the phone and nearby base station and will not cause the phone to ‘power-up’ in order to maintain communication. There is no evidence that I have seen that indicates that use of a Cellsafe case causes the phone to power up. If this was happening, it is my understanding that the test results would have picked this up.
As for the need for a precautionary policy on mobile phone use, the IARC decision to classify radiofrequency non-ionization radiation as a possible human carcinogen certainly calls for caution, especially for children. For further reasons see my http://www.emfacts.com/download/Cell_phone_paper_jan_25.pdf
It is my opinion that the use of the Cellsafe case for mobile and smart phone use is a valid part of the recommendations in my paper. Please note that I have no financial ties with the Cellsafe company.
My qualifications to write on this issue:
I have been directly involved in standard setting specific to possible health effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) since 1993. I served on the Standards Australia committee for telecommunications EMR exposure standards and was a consultative committee member for a revised Australian government powerline exposure standard (now concluded). In 2010 I received a PhD from the University of Wollongong for my thesis on conflict of interest and bias in telecommunications standard setting. I am a member of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) since 1999 and have published a number of papers in the ACNEM Journal on various health aspects of EMR exposure,including on mobile and cordless phone use. I runs an environmental building survey consultancy, maintain a web site and blog. I am a presenter at WorkCover Tasmania’s annual Worksafe Tasmania Month and lectures on EMF issues to community groups.
Don Maisch PhD