Influencer Enjoyphoenix has established a paid partnership to promote “anti-radiation patches” on his Instagram account. Problem: The health benefits of these stickers have not been proven. They can even be harmful.
It’s a paid partnership that might cause more headaches for Enjoyphoenix than the waves emitted by smartphones. In fact, the famous influencer found himself in promoting a product whose health benefit has so far not been scientifically proven. A gadget that is presented as capable of reducing or eliminating symptoms attributed to the waves, precisely, such as headaches.
What happened ? On the evening of May 4, 2022, the French youtuber and instagrammer named Marie Lopez in civilian life shared several “stories” on her personal account. These “stories”, which are volatile content visible for 24 hours, are mainly devoted to a Swiss company, Fazup, which specializes in making “anti-wave patches”. Or at least, patches presented as such.
In total, Enjoyphoenix has shared nine stories on her Instagram account, praising the supposed benefits of this patch. ” Fazup is not a simple sticker, but a passive antenna that adheres precisely to the antenna on your mobile thanks to the included installation tool. It regulates the emission of mobile waves at the source and reduces your exposure, but does not eliminate 100% of the waves “, We can read, for example, in a post that accompanies the words of the influencer.
Everything else is up to date. The problem, unfortunately, for Enjoyphoenix as well as for Internet users who mistakenly trust this paid partnership (the amount of the contract between the influencer and Fazup is not public. We only know that the Internet users she manages to convert will be entitled to a reduction of 20% by using a code on the dealer’s website), it is that these patches have not shown their effectiveness.
It is normal for smartphones to emit waves as they are wireless links
First an observation: it must be remembered that since smartphones are not physically connected by a wire to a relay antenna or an internet box, they are required to communicate differently. This is where radio waves come into play: It is normal for smartphones to send and receive them as it is wireless telecommunications. An anti-radiation patch that would also block 100% of the waves would also pose a few minor communication issues.
These waves make up what is called the electromagnetic spectrum. It is an invisible and intangible field that surrounds and penetrates us. It is found everywhere. Light is a part of it. X-rays too, as well as ultraviolet, infrared and of course radio waves. It is thanks to this spectrum that we can have wireless links (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G, 5G, etc.). These waves have different specificities (frequency, energy, wavelength).
These established prolegomes, do these patches have any health benefits? The answer ranges from a definite and massive “no” and “the health benefit has not been proven”, at best, to “it can even prove to be quite harmful” at worst. Anti-radiation equipment in general and Fazup patches in particular have already been the subject of numerous verification and demystification publications. In short, it is useless and it runs on a fear and lack of knowledge about technology.
In a FAQ on public exposure to waves, the National Frequency Agency (whose mission is to verify that the level of exposure complies with the rules) states that ” anti-radiation devices intended to be placed on or near the antenna of the mobile phone do not show significant protection efficiency for all the tested mobile phones and frequency bands. »
It should be noted that this agency has the capacity to identify any breach or deviation from the levels set by the rules. When this happens, it may require the manufacturer to adjust the transmission power by updating (this happens from time to time). It may also require withdrawal from the market of certain products, including a smartphone. The Razer Phone 2 had been recalled because it emitted too many waves.
The Danish Frequency Agency also refers to the work that the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Anses) has carried out in 2013 on the subject. Thirteen units had been tested and the conclusions were very clear: ” Anti-radiation devices intended to be located on or near the antenna of the mobile phone do not show significant protection efficiency for all mobile phones and the frequency bands tested. Therefore, no conclusion can be drawn about their effectiveness in reducing the DAS level. »
It was on the basis of these conclusions that in 2015 the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and the Prevention of Fraud (DGCCRF) conducted a study on the conditions for marketing “anti-radiation” devices for mobile phones. The sale of this equipment often comes with several requirements that need to be verified. Most of them have no basis.
Smartphones are subject to very specific regulatory thresholds to maintain health
SAR, acronym for “specific absorption rate”, is a numerical indicator used to quantify the energy of the waves emitted by radioelectric equipment absorbed by the human body. The lower this indicator, the better. This indicator is public: it is found on the sheet of each smartphone along with its other technical features. It allows the public to indicate the intensity of the SAR for each model.
There are several SAR thresholds in France and the rule is of course not to exceed them. The measurement is in watts per. kilogram (W / kg). It is 2 W / kg for the head and for the trunk, ie the torso. It is 4 W / kg for the limbs. These measurements are made at a distance of just a few millimeters to as faithfully as possible transcribe the exposure of a person who is in the process of making a call, holding it in his pocket or in his hand.
There is then a question left: how were these limit values of 2 and 4 W / kg chosen? In fact, they come from the work of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, an international non-governmental organization composed of independent scientific experts. These values were established in 1998, but may be revised if necessary. This has already happened without questioning the previous framework.
By simplifying in broad strokes, the thresholds were designed in two steps. There was first an experimental phase to detect a thermal effect (a warming of the tissues, in clarity) due to the waves being observed. On the basis of this observation, a regulatory limit was set. This limit is fifty times lower than what has been measured in the laboratory. This is a significant safety margin, which serves to cover possible scientific uncertainties.
It is therefore at this regulatory limit, fifty times lower than what could be detected in the laboratory, that the specific rate of absorption was designed. It is therefore at this level that the Danish Frequency Agency intervenes to adjust the signal strength of the manufacturers. The agency also has other missions, always attached to the airline. For example, she is very busy with 5G and Linky meters, but has not discovered anything of cause for concern, despite the concerns that may have sprouted on social networks.
It is clear that the population’s exposure to waves is generally low in France. From time to time there may be atypical cases, inconsistencies and threshold breaches, but these are subject to control and corrections. In the case of laptops, this translates into software updates and, in the most severe cases, a withdrawal of the product and sometimes a fine against the manufacturer.
Anti-wave patches whose effectiveness has not been proven and which may be counterproductive
In any case, Enjoyphoenix is not the only public figure or influence that is convinced by these anti-radiation patches. As journalist Raphaël Grably noted, Fazup was able to rely on Louise Chabat, influencer “young mothers” and daughter of actress Alain Chabat, to pass on her communication. A study by BFM TV also showed Fazup’s strategy of scaring young mothers into selling anti-radiation patches.
As the article noted from 2020, Fazup provides no evidence regarding the effects of its products on health. Asked about this topic, the two founders of Fazup admitted at the time that he had not provided any evidence of the health benefit of this sticker. They admitted to playing half a word about the words: ” We write, for example, that our product removes the feeling of headache, not that it removes headaches. »
Also in 2020, Stéphane Marty, a microelectronics engineer and videographer from the Deus Ex Silicon channel, who is just interested in the operation of devices, published by dissecting in every possible way a video in which he analyzes and tests a Fazup patch for smartphone . And the conclusions of these measurements are far from flattering.
In fact, and this is the whole paradox of these devices presented as anti-waves: these patches even seem counterproductive, even quite harmful to health. Since some of these products prevent the diffuse propagation of waves, during normal operation smartphones emit that they have trouble connecting a signal to the relay antenna, and they emit more waves to overcome the obstacle.
This was pointed out by ANSES in its 2013 opinion. Protections that alter the radio performance of mobile phones, for example by degrading reception capacity, risk, under real conditions of use, increasing the user’s exposure level. “. In other words, this type of patch does not let the waves escape naturally: on the contrary, it generates focal points where the key is an increased intensity, which is more harmful. Absurd.