The Federal Trade Commission has charged two companies that sold devices that purportedly protect users from electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular telephones with making false and unsubstantiated claims.
In separate court actions announced Feb. 22, the FTC alleges Stock Value 1 Inc. and Comstar Communications Inc. falsely represented that their products block up to 97 or 99 percent of radiation and other electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones, thereby reducing consumers' exposure to this radiation.
According to the FTC, the defendants lacked a reasonable basis to substantiate their claims. The Commission is seeking permanent injunctions, consumer redress and other equitable relief.
"These companies are using a shield of misrepresentation to block consumers from the facts," said J. Howard Beales III, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "There is no scientific evidence that their products work as they claim."
Stock Value 1 Inc., based in Boca Raton, FL, and also known as SV1, and its president, Deborah Jenkins, marketed and sold two products - SafeTShield and NoDanger. These products consist of metallic fiber patches placed over the earpieces of cellular and cordless telephones.
Comstar, based in West Sacramento, CA, and its president, Randall Carasco, marketed and sold their products under the names WaveShield, WaveShield 1000, and WaveShield 2000.
According to a May 2001 report by the General Accounting Office, "Scientific research to date does not demonstrate that the radio frequency energy emitted from mobile phones has adverse health effects, but the findings of some studies have raised questions indicating the need for further investigation."
The FTC has issued a new consumer alert, titled "Radiation Shields: Do They 'Cell' Consumers Short?" The alert gives suggestions for cell phone users who want to limit their exposure to the electromagnetic emissions from their phone. The complaint against the SV1 defendants was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, in Fort Lauderdale, on Feb. 13. The complaint against the Comstar defendants was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento, on Feb 13.