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FCC Court Action Bars Two Companies From Making False Claims About Cell Phone Shields
Two companies that sold small shields promoted as protection from radiation emitted by cell phones have been barred from making such claims, Federal Trade Commission officials said Wednesday.
The government is unlikely to collect any fines or consumer payments, however, because the companies went out of business while the cases were pending, said an agency lawyer, Serena Viswanathan.
FTC suits last charged the companies with making unsubstantiated scientific claims about the shields that fit over cellular phone earpieces. The government says the shields do not work as advertised and may cause wireless devices to emit even more energy.
Major studies have found no harmful effects of cell phones, but longer-term research continues. Even if a danger is found, products that block only the phone's earpiece are ineffective because the entire phone emits radiation, the FTC says.
The FTC reached a settlement with Comstar Communications Inc. of West Sacramento, Calif., which marketed the "WaveShield" as 99 percent effective at blocking radiation. An order approved last week by the U.S. District Court in Sacramento bars Comstar from making claims without reliable scientific evidence. Calls to a lawyer representing Comstar were not returned.
A federal judge in Florida issued a permanent injunction and a $726,874 default judgment last month against a Boca Raton, Fla., company. Stock Value 1, later taken over by Meristar International, Inc., sold shields called "SafeTShield" and "NoDanger." Company officials could not be reached for comment.