In the past few years, a new trend has been gaining popularity in China: pregnant women should wear radiation-proof clothes once they have a baby. However, scientists said these suits could be doing more harm than good.
Last Sunday, a CCTV program exposed that these radiation-proof clothes do not protect people from daily doses of radiation. An experiment carried out at a national leading electronic test center showed that the radiation absorption by a person wearing a radiation suit is much higher than a person without one.
A separate experiment showed that a radiation-proof suit only protects you where you're covered, so radiation can still reach the body via the ends of sleeves, neckline, etc.
The radiation that can squeezes inside the radiation clothes gets trapped inside, accelerating absorption through the skin. Like a greenhouse, the intensity of the radiation underneath the clothes is thus increased as radiation waves bounce back and forth between skin and clothing. Without these radiation clothes, normal skin can actually reflect most radiation away from the body, absorbing only a small amount.
Dr. Chen Qingsong, an expert on electromagnetic radiation at Guangdong Prevision and Treatment Center for Occupational Hygiene, said that electromagnetic radiation that is seen in our daily lives has a very small impact on human health.
"National standards for electromagnetic radiation from home appliances has been set up in 1988 with a top limit of 12 volt/meter, which is far less than a western standard," said Chen. "If a TV, a computer, a micro-wave oven and a hairdryer are turned on at the same time, their combined radiation is still harmless to human health."