The exponential growth of Mobile phones and IoT devices has led to a whole new industry that supports numerous applications ranging from consumer to healthcare to industrial and many more. Despite its usefulness, there are problems that need to be considered.
In November 2018, an FDA nominated study under National Toxicology Program concluded on the hazards of high Radio Frequency exposure (Non-ionising Radiation) from Cell Phones.
The conclusions were :
- Clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas.
- Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas.
- Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant, or complex combined pheochromocytoma.
It is generally believed that the FCC has set limits on cell phone radiation and if any devices exceed the limits, it will not reach the market. However, the NTP study showed that harmful effects can be seen even at levels below the SAR limits set by FCC. This is because, the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) requires the devices being tested at a short distance away from the human dummies and not in contact with human body, which is how people use the phones and keep the phones in their pockets.
A wide variety of scientists, clinicians, and national medical associations have raised significant visibility towards this issue, ranging from European Scientists calling for a moratorium on 5G rollouts, until the effects are better understood, to asking for further scientific information from FCC and FDA chairpersons on the radiation hazards.
Whilst this complex problem gets resolved by future scientific studies and regulatory mechanisms, there could be an extremely simple alternative solution.
DFF with technology from AiQ Smart Clothing, has developed an innovative RF shielding fabric, leveraging its leadership position in the conductive textiles industry. The fabric blends very fine stainless steel fiber (typically about 10 micron in width) with a variety of commercially available yarn using special purpose machines to produce what looks, feels and behaves like regular textiles. It can blend all types of textiles, build different structures and yarn counts just like regular textile. The clothing or other textile form factors such as curtains etc built out of this RF shielding fabric are also machine washable just like any other clothes.
It is capable of blocking upto 99.99% of a 30 dB signal at 2.4 Ghz, making it ideal to create a wall of protection around places on the body which typically host the mobile phones. For pregnant women and small children, one could create complete clothing using the shielding fabric.
Dr. Mohan Kumar R, Co-Founder , Digital Fashion Factory™ and Satya Bhavaraju, VP, Biz Development, AiQ Smart Clothing