In the weird and fraudulent world of anti-5G accessories

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If you are looking for something to protect yourself from 5G signals, you have no shortage of options. Want a hat that will shield your skull from all those annoying electromagnetic frequencies when you’re on the go? For the low price of just $ 55, such a hat can be yours. Need a blanket to ward off invisible 5G radiation while you sleep? This can be had for just $ 500.

And that’s just the beginning. In addition to the aforementioned accessories, the Florida-based DefenderShield outfit also sells gear for all of your companions, including a $ 113 lap belt for pregnant women hoping to protect their unborn baby and a $ 125 pet collar. that creates an anti-5G force field around your four-legged friends.

Hell, even if you’re not sure what kind of protection you need, a company called Shield Your Body offers 30-minute counseling sessions where a “certified electromagnetic radiation specialist” will help you choose the right one. good equipment – all for the very reasonable price of just $ 100.

As you’ve probably noticed, these articles have a few things in common. First and foremost, they are full and complete in snake oil (we’ll talk about that later). But in addition to being totally bogus, they also have another point in common: they sell like hot cakes.

The flourishing business of fake

“People are realizing that with the addition of more and more wireless devices, the massive push towards 5G, and now with 5G towers being installed everywhere, the risks associated with electromagnetic radiation are greater than ever,” he said. said Dimitry Serov, CEO of Aires Tech, a publicly traded Canadian company that sells a wide range of questionably marketed radiation blocking technologies.

In September 2020, Aries Tech achieved record sales for the fiscal third quarter and achieved 322% more revenue than in the same period the previous year. In markets like Amazon, anti-5G devices are flying off the shelves – and racking up rave reviews in the process. According to Google Trends, searches for “5G EMF [elecrtomagnetic field] protection ‘have reached breaking levels in recent years, with people searching for that particular query 5,000% more in recent years than before.

So what gives? Cell phone radiation fears have been around for as long as cell phones have been around, so why are these anti-5G products so popular over their 3G and 4G predecessors?

Well, it turns out that this latest wave of EMF protection profiteers has been in the works for a long time, and the folks behind it have piled up for years just to get to this moment.

Keep it in the family

For those behind these manufacturers, profiting from the ill-advised 5G panic has been a long scam. Most of them (and their families) have spent much of their lives peddling common misinformation and hoaxes online – though it’s unclear whether they are knowingly selling unnecessary products, or s ‘they really and wholeheartedly believe that they are helping to protect people from dangerous radiation.

“This kind of things [electromagnetic radiation] is harmful, ”Shield Your Body founder R Blank told Digital Trends,“ but there’s no way to get rid of it. So there had to be ways to make the technology more secure. That’s why I started it.

Blank says he launched a line of “anti-EMF” products after “experimenting” with co-writing “Overpowered,” a book on the biological effects of radiation from devices, with his late father, Dr. Martin Blank, whom R calls “The world’s most important EMF scientist.

Specifically, however, Martin Blank was one of the more public voices behind the theory that cellular signals are harmful to humans, and he even urged schools to take precautions while dealing with the technology around children. The BioInitiative, a related report he co-authored, is often misused by conspiracy theorists.

In the case of Air Tech, it’s also a family affair. Company CEO Dimitry Serov told Digital Trends it started as a result of his family’s research into the “harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation.” His father, Igor Serov, in 1998 started a dubious research company called Aires Research, which sought to harmonize the material existence of “living and inanimate natural objects”.

Likewise, Daniel DeBaun of DefenderShield has co-authored another fairly popular book, “Radiation Nation,” with his son, Ryan DeBaun, on the health and safety risks of modern technology.

“Governments and large organizations are primarily money-driven, and the precautionary principle is not at the top of their agenda,” says elder DeBaun, who claims to have held several senior positions at telecom giants like AT&T and Bell Labs, of which no Digital Trends could find a record of.

Global efforts to support and propagate the vaguely substantiated scientific evidence behind the impact of technology on health appear to have paid off, as the sales figures clearly show. However, exactly how anti-5G accessories work remains a mystery to everyone except, apparently, the people who buy and sell them.

Pseudoscience and technobabble

Aires Tech says its labels are equipped with a semiconductor that absorbs charges from the atmosphere to form a hologram. This hologram, says Serov, restructures and transforms “the EMF haze into a more biologically compatible form.” DefenderShield and Shield Your Body, on the other hand, told Digital Trends that their products use a combination of “various metals and materials” to block frequencies.

However, experts consulted by Digital Trends found no evidence of the effectiveness of these products. “These products are elaborate and totally ineffective plays,” commented Dr David Robert Grimes, assistant professor of biomedical physics at Dublin City University.

Grimes also discovered an alarming number of “pseudo-scientific red flags” on the Air Tech website and concluded that their explanations were “backed up by tech gossip.”

an absurd diagram that explains how a pseudo-scientific anti-5g device works
This diagram appears on the Air Tech website, on a page explaining how the company’s technology allegedly works

Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has repeatedly debunked such devices as “cell radiation scams.”

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) confirmed to Digital Trends that there is no need for shielding accessories as long as the proper guidelines are followed. He added that any external attempt to reduce the exposure may result in an increase in the power emitted, “because the device might think the connection is getting worse and the effect will therefore be thwarted.”

On top of that, reviews by Digital Trends have found the scientific evidence and studies cited by these companies on their websites to be unreliable and weak. All of Air Tech’s scientific publications, for example, were written by Igor Serov, its founder, or Andrew Michrowski, who sits on the board. Shield Your Body’s research papers are either outdated, written by R Blank, or deal with unrelated science, like how cell phone signals hamper sparrows’ ability to navigate the air.

More importantly, it is well established by reputable organizations like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ICNIRP that radiation from your gadgets or network towers is not detrimental to your health, making these devices “anti-5G”. Unnecessary in the first place.

It’s social media’s fault

Grimes says the reason these “fringe groups” have continued to thrive, despite warnings from official bodies, is that they have become “much more adept at harnessing social media to push their debunked claims, naturally scaring the unwary” .

This is true on many levels, and while social media companies have tried to censor disinformation, they have failed to do so consistently. Even a cursory examination of any of these social networks can land you in a flood of posts that sell or promote EMF protection accessories or other related quacks. On TikTok, for example, posts tagged “#emf” have been viewed over 70 million times. This same type of disinformation has recently allowed malicious groups to mislead people and vandalize the towers of the 5G network.

Recent reports have revealed that most people who believed there is a link between 5G and COVID-19 get much of their information about the virus from YouTube.

On top of that, Digital Trends found that tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google had let sellers, including Aires Tech, serve ads despite explicit content policies against EMF protection products and technology. pseudoscience.

Influencer marketing also plays a key role. Companies like Aires Tech have generous affiliate programs that reward people every time someone purchases a product from their shared link. In a report to investors, Aires Tech said it pays affiliates a 10-20% commission. Amazon’s affiliate commission, by comparison, ranges from 1% to 9%.

While Amazon, TikTok, and Facebook declined to comment on the matter, a Google spokesperson told Digital Trends that “advertising or video content that promotes harmful health claims or” miracle cures “, including allegations linking 5G to COVID-19, is a violation of [Google’s] Strategies. When we find content that breaks our rules, we quickly remove it. “

Dr John Dawson, deputy director of the Communications Technologies Research Group at York University in England, believes the word ‘radiation’ has become emotional as it is also associated with activities which are in fact harmful to the human body. human health, like x-rays. This relationship is now being exploited to spread hoaxes about 5G and other radio waves on the Internet.

But at the 5G and mobile level, he adds, “you could get more heat by putting on a woolen cap than by using your phone”.

Despite the science so blatantly against them, anti-5G sellers have thrived by combining near cult following, rampant social media distribution, and abundance of ecommerce platforms. And with little to no regulatory oversight, they’ve managed to expand their scam product line without any repercussions. As the 5G fake narrative continues to gain momentum and technology arrives in other regions, sales of these accessories will only skyrocket. The question is: can the facts prevail?

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