A Lebanese-born physicist and an engineer from a university in the West Bank settlement of Ariel probably don’t agree on much.
But for the past year they’ve been part of a team studying cell phone radiation on behalf of a company that claims it can reduce potential harm without impacting a phone’s operation.
Neither Nachaat Mazeh, who now lives in Detroit, nor Moshe Einat claim there is a proven harm caused by the microwave-like radiation of cell phones, but at a press event Monday morning in Manhattan they each insisted that that the Bodywell Chip, a product now available commercially, can reduce the specific absorption rate (SAR) of such energy as a preventive measure.
“The riddle is still on” about whether cell phone radiation interferes with “orders and commands from the head to body which goes by currents,” said Einat, a professor in the department of electrical and electronic engineering at Ariel University.
The CEO of Bodywell manufacturer EZ Technologies, Israeli native Haim Einhorn, a former real estate developer now living in Miami, cast the device as a “seat belt for the cell phone” that leaves users “better safe than sorry.”
The chip emits its own pulses of energy that nullify the effects, EZ Technologies claims. “It enhances the simulated brain cells to reject some of the energy instead of absorbing,” says Mazeh.
The $29.99 chip that attaches to a phone contains an aluminum base coated with minerals and metals. Testing showed that the SAR in simulated brain fluids was lower when exposed to a device bearing the Bodywell chip compared to a typical device. For example, the SAR from the Samsung Galaxy S III, was reduced by 80 percent. With a patent pending, the company isn’t saying much about the technology, which Einhorn bought from the estate of an Austrian scientist, Walter Zapf.
Among the skeptics is electrical and computer engineering Professor James Lin of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who said the company’s claim is “not realistic.”
“I agree the reports showed some SAR reduction for the four devices, as measured,” he said. “However, it is not obvious where the reduction originates. Was there any change in the quality of the signal, for example, used to enable phone conversation? If yes, the Bodywell Chip could be interfering with the wireless signal used for communication.”
The company insists the chip does not interfere with a device’s communication in any way.
Israelis seem preoccupied with the cell radiation question. With a per capita cell phone ownership rate of 136.51 per 100 people, the Jewish state ranks 31st in the world, according to the CIA world book.
Last March the Knesset passed the initial stage of a law that would require cell phones, like cigarettes, to come with warning labels warning of possible health risks including cancer, especially to children.
An Israeli startup, Tawkon, has developed a mobile application that estimates how much radiation a smartphone is using, but it was rejected by Apple’s App Store.
Mazeh said that despite his background he had no qualms about working with Israelis on the Bodywell research. “I am a scientist,” he said. “If we as scientists have an opportunity to improve humankind together, why shouldn’t we do it?”