PhotoOn the heels of the FCC’s decision to approve new “5G” broadband rules, concerns over electromagnetic radiation may be even more heightened.

As we reported, at least 10% of the population has already developed “electro-sensitivity." Those who suffer from the condition have an intolerance to wireless transmissions which may be marked by symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, and dizziness.

Keeping the effects of radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless technology at bay has become increasingly important to consumers -- especially those with a bun in the oven.

But soon, it may not take banishing wireless technology altogether to keep out the effects of EM radiation. Pregnant women who want to protect their fragile, growing babies from the effects of radiation may be able to do so simply by purchasing a new kind of fabric.

Flexible fabric

The innovators at Tiny Tech, a startup that began in the Virginia Commonwealth School of Engineering, believe that clothing made of electromagnetic shielding technology could be an answer to growing concerns over radiation.

In a statement, Erdem Topsakal, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, explained that fetuses and infants have thinner skills, which could make them even more vulnerable to the effects of radio waves. 

Tiny Tech protected clothing would selectively screen out EM radiation, says Topsakal, who developed the clothing with Umar Hasni, a Ph.D candidate in electrical engineering and Margaret Karles, a student in the Brandcenter’s Experience Design Program.

Screens out 99.9%

Why selectively? In short, other types of EM shielding clothing are stiff, uncomfortable, and expensive, says Topsakal. In addition, 100% reflective clothing tends to have openings around the arms and neck which allow radio waves in.

Tiny Tech’s patent-pending flexible fabric, on the other hand, would contour to an expectant mother's baby bump while screening out 99.9 percent of EM radiation waves. The clothing would also be affordable and durable.

“We will wash the garments a hundred times to make sure they are still effective,” Topsakal said. “We will also have people trying them on to make sure the clothes are comfortable.”

Prototypes are being released to pregnant women this summer. In the next year, the team hopes to see a soft launch as well as the beginning of online sales. Eventually, they would like to see their brand become as trusted as cotton.

“People will see our logo and know, ‘Oh, Tiny Tech is protecting these clothes,’” Karles said.

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