The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with Comstar Communications, Inc. and its president, Randall A. Carasco, who marketed and sold "WaveShield," "WaveShield 1000," and "WaveShield 2000" -- so-called cell phone "radiation protection patches."

Using television, radio, and Internet advertising, the defendants allegedly claimed that their products could block up to 99 percent of radiation and other electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones, thereby reducing consumers' exposure to this radiation. In February 2002, the FTC issued a complaint against the West Sacramento, California-based defendants alleging that the claims were false and unsubstantiated.

The order prohibits the defendants from the future marketing or selling of any product that claims to reduce consumers' exposure to radiation and electromagnetic energy, unless the claims are true and can be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The order also prohibits the defendants from making unsubstantiated representations about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any product or service.

The settlement requires the defendants to clearly disclose that most electromagnetic energy emitted by cell phones comes from parts of the phone other than the earpiece, where the WaveShield is placed, and that the WaveShield has no significant effect on this other radiation.

Additionally, the settlement prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting the results of any test, study, or research.