Obviously, Those Radiation ‘Protection’ Stickers Don’t Work, Researchers Find

Illustration for article titled Obviously, Those Radiation Protection Stickers Dont Work, Researchers Find

Photo: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP (Getty Images)

Of all the grifts we came across in 2020, one of the most bizarre was SmartDOTS, a so-called “anti-radiation” device that promised to neutralize the electric and magnetic fields transmitted by devices like phones and laptops. Popping one of these round stickers onto these devices, the company promised, would leave you with a better night’s rest, fewer headaches, and a clearer mind all around.

Naturally, these claims ended up being totally bogus, according to new research.

The BBC reported on Monday that after asking a team of researchers based out of the University of Surrey to test five of these stickers across a range of mobile phones and wi-fi access points, the group wasn’t able to find any effect on the user by these little multicolored stickers.

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The way that the SmartDOTS company claims these stickers work is via a wafer-thin magnetic disk that supposedly “retunes” the electric and magnetic fields—or EMF’s—that your average cellphone emits. Despite the fact that there isn’t any conclusive evidence linking exposure to these sorts of signals with any sort of adverse health effects, conspiracies have linked them to everything from covid-19 to cancer.

And where there are conspiracies, there will always be someone trying to cut a profit. The Federal Trade Commission actually put out its own warning against these sorts of products about a decade ago, cautioning consumers that the sorts of shields being hawked on the mass market were “totally ineffective.” But despite that, we’ve seen companies shilling router cages and USB sticks that all promise to shield from these sorts of EMF’s, largely preying on people’s unfounded fears surrounding the rollout of 5G.

Despite the fact that the BBC team found no difference in the radiation frequency on products regardless of whether they were branded with the SmartDOTS sticker, the company told the BBC that the products were “programmed with ‘scalar energy’ which the scientists’ equipment would be unable to detect.” The only way to assess the full effect of these products, the company went on, is “via biological testing.”

We’ll believe it when we see it.

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