Anti-radiation jeans fuel cellphone debate

September 12 2002

Brussels - United States jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co denied that it was playing on consumer fears by launching a line of trousers fitted with "anti-radiation" pockets for cellphones.

The trousers, with a lining which the makers say shields against radiation, are designed by Dockers, a brand name of Levi Strauss - famous for its classic "501" jeans.

Retailers were currently viewing the new line, called Icon S-Fit, with an eye to sales from next spring, said a Levi's spokesperson.
Its forthcoming Dockers S-Fit men's trousers will include a mobile phone pocket with a "radiation-reducing" lining. The Dockers S-Fit trousers are scheduled to hit Europe's high streets in early 2003. There are no plans to launch them in the US.

"We're not implying in any way that cellphones are dangerous," said Levi's European communications manager Cedric Jungpeter.

The inner lining includes an integrated metal grid, which he claimed had been proven by independent research institutes to "reduce the emissions from mobile phones." Further details about the lining are not yet available, except that it is 97 percent cotton, with the remaining 3 percent being a substance called "MDF", which it is thought makes up the metal grid.

Levi's claims that this lining "might reduce" possible health effects from mobile phone use -- even though scientists have not yet found firm proof that mobile phone use is dangerous.

'No study has proved cellphones are harmful. "Our intention is not to cash in on consumer fears but provide the consumers with what they want," he said from Levi's European headquarters in Brussels.

The finished design was the fruit of extensive market research showing that the fashion conscious were also health conscious, said Jungpeter.

"The debate is open. Although no study has proved cellphones are harmful, no study has proved the contrary either," he added.

Worldwide studies into the possible dangers of cellphones produce often conflicting conclusions.

A recent one carried out by Australian researchers over a three-year period showed that radio emissions from cellphones did not trigger the growth of tumours in mice, and therefore probably did not do so in humans either.

That research followed another Australian study on mice five years ago that concluded cellular phones could foster tumour growth.

Swedish research published in August concluded that long-term users of first generation cellphones faced an up to 80 percent greater risk of developing brain tumours than non-users and the World Health Organisation said last year more research was needed.

But a Danish study last year of 400 000 cellphones users showed no increased cancer risk.

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Health Focus
:: GSM Phones A-Z SAR Levels
:: Top 10 SAR GSM Phones
:: Lowest 10 SAR GSM Phones
:: US-Phones (Analogue+Digital) SAR Levels
:: SAR Levels with Handsfree Kits
:: Radiation Levels of Mobile Base Stations
:: Mobile Manufacturers Forum - MMF (SAR Database)
:: Base station: Health and Safety Brochure (PDF - 490 KB)
In some countries, public authorities or the operators themselves have established public databases that provide information regarding the location of base stations within the local community. We will update this information as more public databases become available online.

Recent Academic Papers On Mobile Phones and Radiation Issues:

Mobile Phone Exposure Causes Brain Damage in Rats - originally from online peer reviewed health journal
Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain after Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones
Commentary: Cellular Telephones and Brain Cancer: Current Research
Prevalence of Headache among Handheld Cellular Telephone Users in Singapore: A Community Study
Mobile Telephone Health Concerns Registry (MTHCR)
Current Mobile Phone Health News with more links
A CBS 2 Special Assignment: Dialing Up Danger - A CBS 2 Special Assignment
George Carlo's health registry opens amid criticism
Viewpoint - TNO Report on GSM and UMTS exposures - October 2003 (PDF)
Mobile Phones and Base Stations: Health Policy Update -September 2003 - (PDF)
Health and Safety Fact Sheets - 3G, Bluetooth, TETRA, GSM Pro etc - September 2003
Viewpoint - Mobile Phones and Petrol Station Safety - September 2003 (PDF)
Mobile Phones and Base Stations: Health Policy Update - April 2003 - (PDF)
Flash presentation on 'How Networks Operate' - April 2003 (Requires Flash Player)
Viewpoint - Paris Charter - March 2003 (PDF)
MMF sponsored Seminar: "Mechanisms for Interactions of RF Energy with Biological Systems".



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