Back in 2008, Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, had an announcement to make:
[There is a] growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects, including cancer. We shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later.
Herberman joined a growing chorus of cancer and radiation experts who, without yet establishing a definitive causal relationship between cell phone use and cancer, warns that it's too soon to know for sure how safe cell phones are, especially around children and in the long term.
And what better environment in which to develop and market products than a fearful one?
Belly Armor by RadiaShield (based out of Singapore and New York) has certainly capitalized on this climate with its maternity apparel line, which first hit the market a few months back and has just launched in San Francisco. Of course, down the road this apparel could be seen as either a trendy hoax or a legitimate lifesaver, but for now, pregnant women have the option to take a $59 (T-shirt), $69 (blanket), or $109 ("luxe" blanket) precaution.
The Belly Armor patent-pending tech is not only wrapped up in T-shirts but also blankets and belly bands, creating a radiation barrier similar to a Faraday cage as it neutralizes radiation much like grounding wires neutralize electric currents.
"People are expecting the heavy, dentist-office-type aprons but are surprised to find our RadiaShield fabric is lighter than the cotton found in T-shirts," says CEO Aileen Chen, who adds that the silver-based textiles are safe, machine-washable, and soft to the touch.
RadiaShield notes that San Francisco is a great market for their Belly Armor line because it is the first place in the U.S. to pass a local ordinance requiring radiation emission levels to be displayed by retailers selling cell phones. (It is controversial in the U.S., but similar measures have already been taken in Australia, Israel, and throughout Europe, with France going as far as banning cell phones in primary schools.)
For those in the Bay Area, Belly Armor is now being sold at Nest Maternity on Divisadero Street in addition to its online store.