While some people are looking to smartphones and other electronic devices as tools for improving their health, others worry that the gadgets themselves are a carcinogenic risk because of the electromagnetic radiation they emit. After all, they sit in our pockets for long stretches, a few inches from our reproductive organs. Nevertheless, the National Cancer Institute says studies of cells, humans and other animals don't provide any evidence that such devices can cause cancer, and notes that the radio-frequency energy they transmit, unlike some other types of radiation, doesn't cause DNA damage in cells.
But if you're still worried about the effect of smartphone radiation on your, ah, personal parts, you may get some comfort from radiation-shielding underwear. Riparo, a Toronto-based clothing startup, has developed a pair of EMF boxer briefs, which contain silver woven into the cotton-polyester blend that the manufacturer claims will block 99.99 percent of radiation from smartphones and other devices [source: Takahashi]. Another brand, Wireless Armour, offers electromagnetic-radiation-blocking shorts in two different styles — one with shielding only in the front, and the other with shielding all the way around, which presumably would protect a user from other people's cell phones as well [source: Wireless Armour].