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School Uniform To Block Cell Phone Emissions 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the luddite-high dept.
Foehg writes "ForeignPolicy.com reports, 'A Belarusian textile company has developed a special school uniform that protects kids from electromagnetic radiation emanating from their cellphones. The uniform features a dedicated pocket that can store the phone and make it safe for those who wear it.'" Now someone has to create an oven mitt that can protect you from the harmful radiation given off by your microwave oven.

*

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School Uniform To Block Cell Phone Emissions

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  • by BlueKitties (1541613) <bluekitties616@gmail.com> on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:40AM (#29093809)
    If it also blocks transmission, then students can keep their cell phone on them without worrying about disrupting class or losing their phone.
    • I'm pretty sure that's why they did it. The company probably said "we can disrupt all cell phones kept in this pocket" and they said "WE'LL TAKE 1000!" The whole radiation protection is just an excuse.
    • by eln (21727) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:02PM (#29094237) Homepage
      If it blocks transmission, none of the students will use it for its intended purpose, because they want to text their friends in the middle of the day regardless of the rules. They'll just keep their cell phones in another pocket.
      • If it interferes with the phone's signal, won't the phone will just up its transmission power and drain its battery faster, while possibly subjecting the kid to comparable levels of radio waves?
      • by xaxa (988988)

        This is Belarus, the country worst-affected by the Chernobyl disaster. It's not unreasonable for them to be wary of radiation after all the damage it's done to their people. AFAIK we don't know for sure whether mobile phone radiation can cause lasting damage, especially to children.

        • by tompaulco (629533)
          How do they expect to develop a healthy immunity to radiation if they refuse to expose themselves to it?
        • AFAIK we don't know for sure whether mobile phone radiation can cause lasting damage, especially to children.

          Yes we do, and no it doesn't. 2GHz is the right frequency to warm your body slightly (at 2-3W during xmit, woohoo), but it can't cause cancer like the sun does. Meanwhile, those who worry about cell phones killing them probably like being outside.

      • One immediate use that springs to mind is shoplifting - at least assuming that it blocks RFID tags. Although hopefully those kids smart enough to figure that out would also be smart enough not to shop lift. Of course a more positive use for the rest of us would be a passport pocket to block remote reading of your biometric data.
        • by NF6X (725054)

          Although hopefully those kids smart enough to figure that out would also be smart enough not to shop lift.

          That presumes a correlation between intelligence and honesty.

          • That presumes a correlation between intelligence and honesty.

            No it assumes a correlation between understanding risk vs. reward and intelligence. Risking your future by getting a criminal conviction does not sound like a good idea if the reward is a DVD.

        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          One immediate use that springs to mind is shoplifting - at least assuming that it blocks RFID tags. Although hopefully those kids smart enough to figure that out would also be smart enough not to shop lift.

          "smart enough not to" not get caught "shop lift"-ing

          Fixed that for you.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or they follow directions and just don't bring them to school.

    • If you're one of the 99% of people with cellphones who actually are trying to text in class or the 1% required to answer a phone in case of emergency (as in a job at a fire department), then this doesn't help you. Doesn't hurt either - just have to put the phone in a backpack or alter your uniform slightly in a non-visible way.

      And if you're one of the fictional people who really do just have their cell phone for emergencies or use after school, the feature you're looking for is the "power" button.
      • I'm not sure there are many students at schools with uniforms who also have a job where they're on-call 24x7...

  • Great! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vrallis (33290) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:40AM (#29093825) Homepage

    This is great news for all of those students going to schools that permit them to carry cell phones.

    Wait, what?

    • by SomeJoel (1061138)

      This is great news for all of those students going to schools that permit them to carry cell phones.

      Wait, what?

      My son's elementary school lets the teachers decide whether or not students may bring cell phones to class. So far, most of them do allow them.

      • by Vrallis (33290)

        Good news. While I think cells are a bit overused by kids today, if I was a parent I'd want my kids to keep a cell on them for emergencies. Make it a disciplinary issue for kids using them when they shouldn't, but don't ban them outright like many schools do.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by KuNgFo0 (519426)
        The helicopter moms would probably throw a fit if they couldn't check up on their precious snowflakes.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by barzok (26681)

        Cell phones in elementary school? Seriously?

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          Don't act so surprised. I live in Cleveland, and some elementary schools have flippin day cares.... for the STUDENTS!
  • Or you could... (Score:2, Informative)

    Turn your phone off? Take the battery out?

    Can a teacher not confiscate a cell phone anymore if he catches a student using it?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How long since you been in a school? Policing such policies is a waste of time and effort. If kids really want to bring in cell phones, they will. Something built into uniforms would allow for policing that doesn't requires effort. Of course, this won't stop the cell phones in kid's backpack unless the backpack is part of the uniform.

      • It's going to be just as much of an issue of policing the kids to keep their cell phones in their clothes as it is to keep them from using it.

        The idea of "using the uniform to enforce the no-cell-phone policy" is ridiculous, and will be exploited at every turn. I mean if I kid pulls out his phone to READ a text message... Then its not going to be in his uniform!

        And the article states

        The uniform features a dedicated pocket that can store the phone and make it safe for those who wear it.

        The phone is unsafe? Unsafe how? Protecting kids from radiation? Stopping it from ringing in class? Like I said. Turnz it off.

  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:46AM (#29093937) Journal

    This is a pretty long string of "ifs", but it might be an idea for that Iowa schools that wants to use technical means to cut down on phone use during class.

    • if it blocks the radiation effectively enough to prevent reception sufficiently
    • if you require the kids to have their phone in it during class under normal circumstances
    • if you're willing to enforce the rule
    • if not all the kids are sufficiently sneaky to keep an unshielded phone from being found

    ... then this sort of Faraday enclosure, even if it's just a small separate bag and not part of the clothing, might fit the needs of schools that wish to prevent general disruption but still allow emergency use of the phones and to allow use of them between classes or at lunch.

    • if you're willing to enforce the rule

      Hey! This is America! We don't do things like that anymore!
      • by Duradin (1261418)
        We could do things like enforcing the rules but most teachers or schools can't afford the lawyers to fend off the parents who just know that Johnny is a special little angel who'd never do anything wrong and that he's above average so he obviously shouldn't get any grade less than an A+.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Unless it's zero tolerance for aspirin or metal spoons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jhol13 (1087781)

      if it blocks the radiation effectively enough to prevent reception sufficiently

      I would not wear even if it did do that.

      Reason: when phone is about to lose (or loses) contact with BTS the phone will increase TX power in order to avoid that. This can easily make situation (radiation dose) even worse.

  • Is it me (Score:3, Funny)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:52AM (#29094047)

    Is it me, or is the scientific knowledge of these school officials even worse than the slashdot crowd?

  • WTH? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr_Ken (1163339) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:56AM (#29094119) Journal
    If you don't want the students to make/receive calls or text msgs why let 'em have phones with them at all? Wouldn't it be cheaper just order them left in their lockers? Paying for uniforms to block them seems overly complicated and expensive for the very little good it does. This seems more like a scam on the part of a company that wants to feed at the trough of the education bureaucracy. Or so it seems to me.
    • by yttrstein (891553)
      "Emission", not "transmission". I read it that way first too, and I thought it was a much better idea than what the
      • by Dr_Ken (1163339)
        Well if the phones "emit" dangerous levels of radiation (something that should be easily measurable) then ban the phones outright. Dressing them up in school board approved radiation suits just seems silly. That's like dressing them up in fireproof suits so the students can play with flamethrowers safely. But honestly it sounds like a tempest in tea pot minor league scam kinda thing going on here.
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That's like dressing them up in fireproof suits so the students can play with flamethrowers safely.

          That would totally rock! I wish I were back in school and you were my principal.

    • Because that still doesn't work. You do realize the kids would still put phones in their pockets, and only pull em out when they wanna send a message, or in their backpacks. For years now backpack makers have had those dangly pouches for cell phones (bad idea though cuz that says "Hey, there's a phone in here! Steal me!"). Even though software and movie piracy is illegal, people still do it. Even though automatic firearms are illegal for people without the proper permits, gang members still obtain and use t
      • Even though automatic firearms are illegal for people without the proper permits, gang members still obtain and use them.

        To be fair, they're cheaper on the black market, and gang bangers probably want them for things that would be a felony anyway. Would you spend $15k on an AK instead of $300 from a smuggler if you were planning to shoot up your enemy's house?

    • Technological solutions shouldn't be used to solve social problems.

      Fear of cell phone radiation isn't a technological problem. It's a social one. Namely, unfamiliarity with basic science, and being quick to blame Big Corporations for every little sniffle and sneeze.

      Oh, and the phone-use-during-class thing too, have the teacher confiscate the phones.

  • I am so tired of everyone freaking the fuck out about Manbearpig. Break out the fucking tin foil helmets and duct tape the god damn windows. Can ANYONE cite a case where someone, ANYONE died because of cell phone radiation (cancer patients/ Pete & Pete-esque metal plate in head people don't count).
  • This protects students from radiation that cell phones emit, they do NOT block calls, text messages, etc. telling by the text of the article.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RingDev (879105)

      This protects students from radiation that cell phones emit, they do NOT block calls, text messages, etc.

      So it blocks the radiation, but it does not block the radiation?

      Sounds like a great investment, IMO!

      -Rick

      • by Minwee (522556)

        So it blocks the radiation, but it does not block the radiation?

        Usually, the student will be located _inside_ their clothing while objects like cell towers will be located _outside_. If this is not the case then maybe your school board has bigger problems than they had originally expected.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          That's a pretty neat trick, getting the radiation to go everywhere 'outside' but not 'inside'. How's that work when the student has their back to the cell tower?

          • by NF6X (725054)

            That's a pretty neat trick, getting the radiation to go everywhere 'outside' but not 'inside'.

            It was a neat trick when the trick was invented in 1836, but it's pretty mundane now.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

            • by Chris Burke (6130)

              It was a neat trick when the trick was invented in 1836, but it's pretty mundane now.

              Oh lord, you're so clever. That has nothing to do with the situation, unless you think the students clothes are a Farady Cage. Somehow I rather doubt that they are completely enclosed in conductive mesh.

              Reality check: It's a pocket with a liner that blocks radiation in one direction. You can't stop radiation from going "inside" their close without also hindering its transmission to everything behind them.

              Or in other wo

  • They're probably still better at math and science than American kids.
  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:09PM (#29094343) Homepage Journal
    A faraday cage in a pocket; to block cell phone signals from reaching the phone? The phones will just crank their output power to the max in a selfless attempt to communicate, and in turn the battery will probably be dead by lunchtime. It's almost as if cellphones need some sort of onboard switch that allows you to selectively decide when it's ON or OFF... No, that's probably too futuristic for most people to comprehend anyway.
    • It seems more like those lead aprons and things they put on you when getting an x-ray. Not a signal blocker, more of a bullet proof vest.
    • by wfstanle (1188751)

      You don't see all the implications... School administrators would rejoice if the batteries went dead.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I've experienced this first hand. In university, many of the lecture halls were underground and surrounded by rebar enforced concrete. No signal in there. A couple classes in there a day, and your cell phone wouldn't last until the end of the day.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      It's almost as if cellphones need some sort of onboard switch that allows you to selectively decide when it's ON or OFF... No, that's probably too futuristic for most people to comprehend anyway.

      You would get years for that. Off switches will be illegal in the future, especially on your personal tracking devices.

    • It's almost as if cellphones need some sort of onboard switch that allows you to selectively decide when it's ON or OFF... No, that's probably too futuristic for most people to comprehend anyway.

      Why would you want to turn your phone off and render its tracking signal unreadable by your friendly government? Are you a terrorist or something?

  • by TheCarp (96830) *

    This could be an interesting angle... clothing designed to limit the "damage" from cell phone signals....

    So you line the pockets with a metalic mesh.... and as an added benefit... those milimeter wave scanners at the airport should be blinded too.

    I was wondering how to market metalic mesh lined pants :)

    -Steve

  • by Tom (822)

    Looks like the purpose isn't so much to block cell phones, but to stop the electromagnetic radiation.

    While most studies show it to be harmless, some studies say that kids might be more susceptible to any damages it might cause.

  • Look, why don't we just let people be to what they want to be exposed to. Why would we want clothes to emit something that counteracts something else. Keep clothes pure.

    Honestly, why must we keep inventing ways of counteracting what we know exists rather than just fix what exists first?

    I'm not trying to troll here, but it seems that we are all for self experimentation.

    For example, We have knows cigarettes are a big cause for cancer since the mid 70's or 80's yet we (humans) keep smoking that crap.

    We've kn

    • by fredjh (1602699)

      Look, why don't we just let people be to what they want to be exposed to.

      Being generally libertarian in nature, I'd agree with this except that we're talking about school kids as young as elementary school age. So, for example, your cigarette example is great... I think people should be allowed to smoke if they want, but the smoking age is 18 in most states.

      Kids are being brought up in a world where which cellphone they have and their availability to send and receive messages determines their self worth.

      • by realsilly (186931)

        True the Adults versus child differnces make complete sense in your response, but parents need to then make the decisions for their children. If they are concerned whether the science is true, ultimately it comes down to parents taking control of what their children are exposed to. And thus back to my initial arguement, if we let ourselves use stuff that may or may not be bad for us, we are in that essence self-experimenting.

        Maybe my arguement would have been better addressed to the parents of this world,

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      First, the clothes don't appear to be "emitting" anything. I don't speak Russian, so I can't get the technical details, but it appears that they are using some form of micromesh that shields the user from some of the radiation from a cell phone. The clothing itself does not emit any radiation, it's a passive block.

      As to fixing the radiation, I can't say as I disagree, though I've heard many different stories on the results of studies, but better safe than sorry, I suppose. Does lead to a slight problem.

    • by hardburn (141468)

      Because there are no known mechanisms for non-ionizing radiation to cause harm (except thermal damage; cell phones aren't nearly powerful enough for that), the burden of proof is on those claiming that cell phones cause harm. These things have, in fact, been extensively studied [badscience.net], and the majority of studies backup what we expect from a general understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum: cell phone signals don't cause harm. The few studies showing problems can be simply dismissed as outliers.

      The best way t

  • Powerwatch [powerwatch.org.uk] is a good overview site dealing with health issues surrounding microwave and lower frequency electro-magnetic radiation. It may surprise many of you, but there have been clear-cut studies showing DNA damage on acount of EM fields, even at low frequencies: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1241963 [nih.gov]
    • DNA damage? Isn't it time kids evolve anyways? How else is the human race gonna move forward?
      • Well, it would be kewl if my (hypothetical) kid could shoot solar-powered blasts out his butt (like Cyclops, but from the other end). But with my luck, s/he'd just end up with 7 fingers on each hand.

        • I wish I didn't spent my mod points already so I could mod GP up.

          And wait, Cyclops is solar-powered?

          Many people here are condemning cell phone use, but how many people here sit in front of CRTs, multiple cell phones, pagers, Blackberries, etc? I thought the main concern for damage was that they can get warm and are kept in pockets near the testes (for men), which can interfere with sperm production. If I was so concerned about microwave/radio radiation I'd wear a tinfoil hat and live in a metal box in

    • by Incadenza (560402)
      Right! Just yesterday I suffered from cellular damage because of radiation! Those damned gas ovens radiate enormous amounts of infrared. It's about time somebody acts and designs some mitts that block infrared, that stuff is just everywhere. And when they are on to that, could they please do something about DHMO [dhmo.org] usage too? My son spilled the stuff all over himself yesterday, and who knows what happens next?
    • Wow! That's an awesome PubMed article.

      I always just assumed that non-ionizing meant no DNA damage. I never considered a catalyst system.
  • But cellphones are perfectly safe according to official doctrine. What is the problem here? Why do we need protecting from something that is officially safe. If they are unsafe then they should be banned.
    • by wfstanle (1188751)

      The full story might still be written on this one. According to CORPORATE studies (or studies funded by corporations) they are safe. Government studies are almost as questionable because the corporations and the government are so closely aligned. It's only when something catastrophic happens that the full truth comes out. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of the tinfoil hat crowd but one doesn't know the long term results until some time has past.

  • The long time effects of cellphones hasnt been properly researched yet. The problem is nobody knows if its dangerous yet. In ten-twenty years time we will know for sure and some parents may want to be on the safe side.

  • WOW (Score:2, Insightful)

    This is just another pointless protect our Children BS, why not just suggest every parents should bubble wrap their children before they leave the house

  • This is like giving kids paper that can't be written on because kids would use the paper to pass notes to each other.

    Note passing, doodling, talking, sleeping, etc. are all just a much of a distraction as cell phones, but schools don't go out and buy expensive gadgets to stop these distractions... instead the teacher uses disciplinary action. Why can't the same be done for cell phones?

    One answer is that disciplinary action doesn't generate a profit for the company making this piece of junk.

  • Oh, and don't forget that, if you're one of those sticklers that doesn't want to immigrate, you should invest in one of those lead codpieces. You wouldn't want to devolve into a "special" now would you...

  • For those dismissing this as paranoia - which it may be, I don't know - it may help to understand that Belarus has suffered considerably from the Chernobyl fallout.

    If I were them, I'd be paranoid, too.

  • Got your hand in the microwave oven while it's running, do you?

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