Do Cell Phone Safety Gadgets Work?

I love fielding your questions, and I’m often asked, Do Cell Phone Safety Gadgets Work? The answer is fairly simple. They provide a false sense of security. What I’m referring to here is a range of devices including stickers, phone cases, and purses. These gadgets purport to block the radio frequency radiation (RFR) that your cell phone emits.

After I wrote about my life-changing experience with radiation in The Green House That Almost Killed Me, I received hundreds of questions from you. One of the most frequent was about shielding yourself from your cell phone. Below are my thoughts on whether this works and how to protect yourself from RFR.

Phone Shield Devices are a Scam

Unfortunately, phone shielding devices are money making gimmicks. They are not as effective as switching your phone off, which costs nothing. If these shields were effective they would protect you from radiation and thereby block the phone signal. If it’s getting through you are exposed to radiation. Sadly, the levels that come from cell phones are high.

How to Shield Yourself for Free

If you want to shield yourself from RFR set your phone to airplane mode. If you are using a shield and you’re still getting calls and texts then you remain exposed to RFR. It might provide emotional comfort, but is not a real solution.

The Problem with Phone Shields

When your phone is out of range it creates more RFR. This leads to concern that the phone will actually work harder to connect to WiFi or the cellular network and actually emit more RFR.

Are Cell Phones Dangerous?

If you’re wondering whether or not to keep your cell phone on your body you’ll definitely want to hop over to my post called Are Cell Phones Dangerous? In it, I link to everything from Scientific American to research studies conducted by the National Institute of Health.

Do you carry your cell phone on your body? Did you know that the cell phone manufacturer’s manuals advise against this? Leave a comment and let me know what you do to reduce radiation from your cell phone!

Thank you for all of your efforts on this matter. The changes that cost money will be done over time, but the behavioral changes, I can begin today.


20 responses to “Do Cell Phone Safety Gadgets Work?”

  1. My oldest is about to get his first phone, and I am dreading it because likely he will carry it in his pocket :( Any suggestions for teenage boys with this issue in mind? He won’t always have a backpack, but I don’t want him with a cellphone in his pockets all the time either.

    • Deb, thanks for your comment! Best advice would be not to let him have it from dinner time to when he goes to school. That will reduce his exposure to RFR by 50%!

  2. Elena I’d love to know if in your research you came across the R2L cell phone protection product? If so, your thoughts?
    Thank you

    • Colleen, thanks for your question! I tested a number of products and found that across the board the best method is to turn your phone to airplane mode, all of the experts in Building Biology agree with this :-)

  3. Go to settings and Turn off the bluetooth, wifi and locations and then put the phone on airplane mode.
    I use a wired landline.

  4. I was merely intrigued by the article’s title, and then I read it. I continued to follow your various links and learned how ignorant I was about this hazard. Thank you for all of your efforts on this matter. The changes that cost money will be done over time, but the behavioral changes, I can begin today.

  5. On a similar topic, do you know if the ALEXA device from Amazon always has wifi coming to it, even if it is not broadcasting?

    • Kari, I don’t have one of those because we have eliminated all sources of wireless technology from our home. I’m guessing that in order for Alexa to hear you at any time it needs to be continuously pulsing a WiFi signal.

      • Environmental Health Trust has put together information on this topic . Most people are unaware they emit radiation.
        “(Washington)—Wireless virtual assistants expose children to untested levels of microwave radiofrequency radiation- the same radiation emitted by cell phones. Before coming on the market, radiation exposures for virtual assistants are compliance tested with an 8 inch separation between the device and a large adult male body phantom. Radiation levels are not tested at body contact. Health organizations are issuing an alert that children who sing and play close to these devices are exposed to radiofrequency microwave radiation levels that could greatly exceed these tested government radiation limits.”

  6. HI Elana,

    Are any of the EMF protection devices work? I work at home and my modem is right next to me on the desk. I use a wired connection and I was told by my service provider that I could not disable the wifi without losing phone service due to how this is set up. Do you know if those EMF covers for modems really work an if, so, what brands are best to buy?

    Thanks….love your website and recipes! I’ve been eating paleo for years.


    • Mary, I have heard mixed things about the modem protectors and that they’re not all bad. I will look into this further and do a post on it in the future :-)

  7. My phone is off most of the time and in my purse on the far side of my body. When I am out of the house and I turn it on in the car. it is down on the gearshift console so I can hear GPS signals and most often then in airplane mode. I don’t trust the shielding devices as I tried some to shield one’s body or to shield computers/tvs/phones and didn’t feel they helped me at all. Thank you for sharing this information.

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