back to article Tinfoil 'radiation shield' maternity wear hits 'Frisco

A fearmongering company has this week launched its brand of maternity tinfoil, dubbed "Belly Armor", in San Francisco. The makers of Belly Armor claim that it offers "guaranteed protection" for a pregnant wearer's unborn child from the dangers of "everyday radiation", for instance from mobile phones or computers. Pic …


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  1. Stone Fox
    Thumb Up

    a title is NOT required!

    Fantastic article.

    That is all.

  2. F111F

    The new fashion trend...

    <quote>Why don't you simply wrap a length of trusty kitchen aluminium round your midsection, too? </quote>

    You do realize you've just started an entire product line of wrap-around aluminum, designed to be hidden under clothing so you're protected and still look sane?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The company has hired an independent lab"

    Independent until it was hired by the vested interest.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      What did they hire them to do, though...?

      I would say the company was independent.

      I suspect they were given the fabric and asked "does it block radiation?"

      I suspect the answer was "It has an attenuating effect in the range 10MHz-8GHz, but this only accounts for (whatever)% of non-ionising radiation at ground level."

      It's quite easy for the company to get rid of everything after the "but" and still be reporting the findings without lying.

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      ...vested interest

      It isn't really a vest though, more of an apron.

  4. Dante


    It's really to stop the alien mind control rays influencing the baby - I for one wish my wife had worn one whilst pregnant. Nothing of this earth should be able to make some of the noises my little 'un does

  5. petur
    Dead Vulture

    Goes a bit too far...

    By having a laugh that way you either show you need some lies to do that, or are completely ignorant of how radiation works.

    That motion detector is far off your body so there's no harm there. I think the main issue it tries to counter is radiation sources next to your body: 100mW WiFi, mobile phone,...

    We all know that little kids are very sensitive to radiation (which is why the normal advisory is to NOT give them a mobile phone), so imagine the effect of radiation on an organism in full development.

    So I would not shoot this one off with silly arguments, but rather see some scientific evidence that this protection is crap.

    Anyway, I'd never let my wife carry her mobile in her trousers pocket when pregnant. When in doubt, go for the safe side...

    1. Anonymous Bastard

      "We all know that little kids are very sensitive to radiation"

      We do???

    2. Steve X

      When in doubt...

      ...apply common sense. And learn about different kinds of radiation.

      Scientific evidence that this protection is crap? You saw it, in the article. We're inundated with radio waves night and day. Inside our houses and outside. We stil manage to live longer and healthier lives than ever before. There is no scientific evidence that any of the radiation stopped by this overpriced scam garment is harmful. It's snake oil, pure and simple.

      As for phones in pockets, the major risk is that if you trip up, it hurts when you land on it.

    3. JohnG Silver badge

      Proving a negative

      "So I would not shoot this one off with silly arguments, but rather see some scientific evidence that this protection is crap."

      We keep on having studies which report that "no correlation has been found between <some type of cancer or other condition> and EM radiation from <mobile phones, WLAN access points, cellular base stations, etc.>" but the tinfoil hat brigade always say something like "just because you haven't found a link yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist".

      Nobaody seems to care much about microwave ovens though, despite these having quite high power transmitters of the sort of wavelengths that will warm up your eyeballs.

    4. Lee T

      @Goes a bit too far

      "We all know that little kids are very sensitive to radiation"

      we also all know that the moon is made of cheese. It isn't, and they aren't,

      at least not to *non-ionising* radiation.

      "see some scientific evidence that this protection is crap"

      against wifi/cellphones etc, the "protection" is fine. the point of the article

      is, it's protecting against a danger that *simply* *doesn't* *exist*

    5. Alan Johnson

      Ignorance and scaremongering

      'We all know that little kids are very sensitive to radiation (which is why the normal advisory is to NOT give them a mobile phone), so imagine the effect of radiation on an organism in full development'

      Sensitive to what sort of radiation? I do not think your statement is true even for ionising radiation but lower limits are applied as a precaution for pregnant women.

      Repeated studies have failed to show any effect fo non-ionising radiation which is all that is blocked by this product. There is advice not to give kids a mobile phone based on the precautionary principle. This a serious mistake because it is seized upon by ignorant F***wits as evidence of danger when in fact it is only evidence of excessive caution.

    6. Tim Bates
      Thumb Down


      "radiation sources next to your body: 100mW WiFi, mobile phone"

      Your pregnant wife/girlfriend lets her belly talk on the phone does she?

      And show me a laptop that comes with a 100mW wifi card out of the box, please... Most top out at 25mW, or about one metric poof-teenth of what might be harmful.

    7. streaky


      Stop using the word 'radiation' until you know what it is. The piss taking was completely justified.

      As for there's a link but you just haven't found it yet - there's not even an epidemiological link, and the reason it hasn't been disproved is no scientist worthy of the title can be bothered with this stuff. The whole thing stinks of "there is a God because you haven't disproven he exists yet" argument that most sane people got bored of a long time since.

  6. Titus Technophobe

    More fashion

    I did suggest that my Wife wrap herself in cling film, but unfortunately we had run out.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I went to see my doctor the other day, completely naked apart from some clingfilm wrapped around me. As I was about to speak he said: "No need to say anything - I can see you're nuts."

  7. Number6


    I wonder if it's conductive enough to short out a taser? Any volunteers to try it?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Done before...

    .... I remember That's Life (yes, the very same programme with Ms. Rantzen) reviewing such articles of clothing.

    At the time the danger came from radiation from televisions...

  9. Rogerborg

    Paging Stan Jones

    If you think people won't buy this, then Google "Stan Jones", a libertard politician who Smurfed himself on colloidal silver because ZOMFG Y2K GONNA GETCHA!!!!1!!

    Reminder: this is a chap that Yanks actually VOTE for.

  10. N2 Silver badge

    Fine but

    Dosnt the presence of anything conductive make you more susceptible to being struck by lightening?


    1. HFoster

      Lightning strikes

      If the potential difference between ground and the cloud deck is big enough that sparks will jump from cloud to ground, extra metal is neither here-nor-there. Ditto for rubber-soled shoes.

      You might want to sit in a car though, as the ones still made of metal will act as Faraday cages, conducting the electricity to ground around (rather than through) you. The plastic ones, I dunno.

      1. N2 Silver badge


        If the person on the ground is wearing metal or conductive clothing, the potential difference between the cloud & the person would be less than cloud to ground.

        1. HFoster


          But the potential difference between the cloud deck and the ground is always greater than that between the cloud-deck and anything above ground (e.g. a building, the top of a person's head).

          I guess somewhere I'm overlooking resistivity, or something, because I know you have a point.

          1. Wize

            You want to have more resistance than everything around you.

            Like the old joke of two men in a jungle when they spot a leopard heading their way.

            One puts on his trainers. The other says "you'll never outrun it".

            "Its not the cat I'm trying to outrun"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thing is

    Thing is if the company selling it this way thought "Man I bet stupid people would pay a shit load of cash for this if we said it protected their babies from mobile phones." Then cool, I'm all for exploiting stupid people. Stupid in this case being a relative term, I'm not gonna buy a death ray protecting crotch pad, but I'll buy photocards of Japanese Idols. We're all daft for something, but at least some of us know we're getting screwed over.

    However if it's run buy people that really think that a piece of silver stink repelling fabric will save unborn parasties from death ray emmiting technology. Then grrrrrrrr.

  12. Refugee from Windows

    Natural screening?

    With the youngster immersed in amniotic fluid, which is nicely conductive anyway, this would reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields to minimal anyway. Another product for folk with more brass than sense. Unless of course the mum-to-be is in the habit of sitting next to high power RF sources of course.

    Mine's the one with the conductive lining.

    1. John Mangan

      One ambition failed:

      "Another product for folk with more brass than sense."

      I always wanted to have more money than sense but it wasn't to be . . .

    2. Gav

      Avoid MAC address spoofing

      The youngster doesn't care if shielded from WiFi or not. They're still using physical cabling for all their comms requirements.

    3. still not sure

      Does this follow?

      'With the youngster immersed in amniotic fluid, which is nicely conductive anyway, this would reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields to minimal anyway.'

      I would have thought that amniotic fluid would heat up quite nicely under the influence of microwaves.

      Seems to me like a good idea to put laptops on a table, not on the lap. Once the baby is born, I would put the baby down before picking up a phone and causing it to transmit at close range to said baby.

      I don't think that there's any need for multi tasking where babies are concerned.

  13. Uk_Gadget


    ...........Nooooo prooooteeectiiiooonn... urg

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Best Article Ever

    Nuff Said!

    (Except to say this kind of rubbish REALLY winds me up, eearrgh!)

  15. PerfectBlue

    Snake oil?

    While this may be just another form of snake oil sold on the back of scaremongering, I would like to point out that there are literally thousands of substances and/or chemicals that scientists assured us were safe, but which were later found to be harmful.

    Just look at the number of factories during the 1970s and 80s where the women working on the production lines had a level of miscarriage that was several times higher than the national average rate of children born with birth defects, and it turned out to be the "harmless" materials that they were working with.

    I'm filing this particular item of clothing down in the useless draw, but I'm putting my skeptics hat on when it comes to the issue of EM radiation in general.

    There are multiple verified cases around the world of people suffering medically verifiable symptoms after spending time near EM sources.

    I've got family who worked with radio and EM based navigation equipment and they will tell you that EM burn is no joke. It's like sticking your hand in a microwave.

    Admittedly they were working with high powered systems rather than domestic ones, but I there has been minimal actual research done on the long term health effects of low level output devices, and what research there has been has all to often centered on a small number of brand new devices, whereas people in the real world will often be around dozens of different devices at the same time, some of them old and/or malfunctioning and thus outputting on different or unpredictable frequencies.

    I'm going to hold off on calling low level EM devices safe for a while.

    1. Steve X

      For a while?

      We've had radio for about 100 years*. How much longer are you going to wait?

      * Of course that means all the people who worked on early radio are DEAD! Shock! Horror! Radio Kills!

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        Steve X

        "We've had radio for about 100 years*. How much longer are you going to wait?"

        Do not assume all radio is safe.

        Would you like to stand in front of a MiG-31 with its radar on for a bit?

        Less extreme but very much safer : Do you feel very comfortable standing in front of a microwave oven?

        While the silver apron is a bit much, really, I would contend we still do not really know what the long term effects of having microwave transmitters in intimate proximity with our anatomy are. I believe most of these are packet transmitters and do pulse, albeit not being very directional and being low in _mean_ power output.

        I am less concerned about wireless routers which generally stay a good distance away, than with mobile phones and like personal communication devices.

        If you tell me constant bombardment by low energy microwaves do not affect significantly a specified volume of water in a jar, or, say a brick, for example, I'd say fine. But we're talking biological systems here.

        We do not know enough, I would contend, while they appear to so far have been 'safe', nobody might know what long term effects are in store for us 10-20 years down perhaps. The effects may be small or less pronounced, and the risk of being affected lower, than say, poor old Marie Curie who didn't know what she was getting herself into, but ... we don't know.

        Cigarettes, who'd have thought they were harmful?

        Biological systems are tricky.

        1. some vaguely opinionated bloke
          Thumb Up

          "Cigarettes, who'd have thought they were harmful?"

          James I of England (and VI of Scotland), who stated - based on visible evidence - that tobacco was bad for you, but also stated that the duty raised was worth it.

    2. Tom 35

      But what if...

      Silver cloth is bad for you? Can you prove it's not? It might block "good" radiation from UFOs or something.

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Too late

    But by the time you're pregnant it's too late - the baby will already have been programmed to buy iPhones by our lizard overlords.

    You need my new tinfoil underwear to protect your love-spuds from being tainted by the EM waves

  17. Anonymous Coward

    wear a chinese wok will do the same job,and a secont job in the kitchin

    a wok fit the belly just fine and a fashion statement in the high street

  18. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    40dB 10MHz - 8GHz ??

    Well then, I'd say that their guarantee is false.

    10MHz is no good at all. One of the blokes working on long-wave stuff in the 100s kHz got stomach cancer that was attributed to his work.

    Also the levels that you normally find are below recommended safe levels. If they are claiming that levels below this are unsafe too, then they should stop ALL of it. Working in EMC, the chambers had to have MORE than 100dB to be called shielding. Also that had to be from about 30kHz - 40GHz.

    They could also sell those dowsing rods for detecting land-mines...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More scaremongering

      10MHz is no good at all. One of the blokes working on long-wave stuff in the 100s kHz got stomach cancer that was attributed to his work.

      Attributed by who? There is no evidence whatsoever of cancer caused by non-ionising radiation let alone such a long wavelength. There is not even a significant heating effetc for sucg long wavelengths.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    oh noes they beat me to it....

    i was going to bring out a fashion range in TIN-FOIL!

    it would be cheap as chips and as no self respecting woman would ever want to be seen in the same dress twice...

    it would be ideal as it would recycle itself after the first wearing or even during the first wearing ;p

    oh and notice it looks more like the drapes shes wearing ;p

    im sure paris would give one a try, gaga did meat last week... they'll do anything to be noticed

  20. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


    1. Microwaves are definitely a hazard in certain contexts, but these are usually very obvious.

    2. Prolonged exposure to somewhat lower levels - I am not sure there is a firm verdict.

    You've all heard stereo speakers go crazy when nearby mobile phones send packets. No doubt the energy contained in a mobile phone battery is limited, but I, not being an engineer, am not sure what the peak power output of such a pulse is, and what really the long term effects of prolonged exposure are.

    From what I read of it : no one's really been bold enough to say that mobile phones are categorically 100% safe. On the other hand no one's proven them to be particularly nasty either.

    In the long run.

    My take: I wouldn't go coating myself with silver, but neither would I be strapping mobile phones, wireless routers and microwave oven all over my balls and other like sensitive tissue. I wouldn't dismiss completely suggestions that low levels over prolonged periods may be harmful.

    This is interesting :

    1. Steve X

      Aaarrrghgghhh learn some science, man!

      "no one's really been bold enough to say that mobile phones are categorically 100% safe. "

      That's because the people who test them are intellifent enough to know that it is a logical impossibility to prove *anything* 100% safe. You can't prove a negative. If I tell you there's no such thing as a pink banana, you only have to produce 1 to prove me wrong, but even if I produce 10 billion bananas that aren't pink, I could never *prove* that no pink one exists, only that the chances of such a thing are negligable.

      No reputable engineer will claim that something is 100% safe, because by doing so they would only demonstrate that they don't know how to do their job, therefore destroying the credibility of the statement.

  21. Dagg

    What about the stuff over 10 gHz

    Stopping at 8 gHz only covers the bottom part of the microwave band. I want my money back

  22. Filippo

    scientific evidence

    The scientific evidence that low-power, non-ionising EM radiation is harmless lies in the fact that we've been using radio for a century and no causal link to adverse health effects has been conclusively proven. It's impossible to prove a negative, but this is as close as you get.

    At this point, the weight of proof lies on the OMGRADIATION crowd to show evidence of harm.

  23. Wize

    Won't the dome shape of the bump...

    ...form it into a parabolic dish focusing radiation in the middle of your bump?

  24. heyrick Silver badge


    Damn, that looks uncomfortable!

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