FTC Examines The Effectiveness of Cell Phone Filters

Recent complaints reaching the Fair Trading Commission suggest that anti-radiation devices which are currently being advertised and sold in Jamaica are not effective in reducing radiation emission from cellular telephones, as claimed. Pursuant to the complaints, the Staff of the Commission requested of one of the companies trading in the devices, substantiation of the claims made about the product which it has been advertising. The company has not substantiated the claims.

In conducting its own research, the Staff of the Commission uncovered the source of the claims being advertised in one of our local newspapers. That source is BBC news report dated May 10th, 2002. In the advertisement the following statement was lifted as a direct quote from the report: “Hands free kits are the best way of protecting harmful radiation, though shield devices do have some effect, experts say”. The Staff noted, however, that elsewhere in the said report there are other statements which are not cited in the advertisement. Examples are “you can buy shielding devices which do reduce the dose of radiation but many of them reduce the effectiveness of the phone…” and; ”…least effective are earpiece shields, which do very little”.

The Staff also found that the United States Federal Trade Commission (USFTC) has already charged two companies with making false and unsubstantiated claims in respect of shield devices that claimed to block electromagnetic energy emitted from cellular telephones. The Staff contacted twenty (20) major suppliers of cellular phone accessories in Jamaica and of the twenty, fourteen (14) sell shield devices similar to those in respect of which the USFTC has brought charges. Consumers should be aware that there is currently no scientific evidence to support the claims which are being made regarding the effectiveness of these anti-radiation devices.