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IEMA Informs Consumers about Pendants Containing Trace Amounts of Radioactive Material

Continuous wear may result in radiation exposure to skin

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is informing consumers that some homeopathic pendants using negative ion technology contain trace amounts of naturally occurring radioactive materials. While the pendants do not pose an immediate health and safety concern, continuous wear over long periods of time may result in a slightly elevated skin exposure to radiation.

Negative ion technology embeds negative ions in personal products and is currently being advertised as a means to maintain health and improve emotional well-being. Products using this technology include pendants, colorful silicone wristbands and athletic tape. The pendants using negative ion technology are often advertised as Quantum Pendants and Scalar Energy Pendants.

“We are committed to protecting the public from unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation,” said IEMA Acting Director William P. Robertson. “While the radiation levels in these pendants are very low, we believe consumers have the right to know they are being exposed to radiation. They can then make an informed decision about whether or not to continue wearing the pendant and, if so, how to reduce exposure.”

In response to an inquiry by an Illinois consumer, the agency analyzed a pendant in its radiochemistry laboratory and determined it contained naturally occurring radioactive materials, namely thorium and uranium. The source of the naturally occurring radioactive materials in the pendants appears to be from volcanic rock or monazite sands.

IEMA recommends anyone who chooses to continue wearing the pendants should take steps to reduce exposure to the limited radiation present. Those steps include limiting the time you are in contact with the pendant and wearing the pendant over clothing instead of directly on the skin. Consumers who discontinue wearing the pendants can safely dispose of them in the trash.

IEMA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have determined some pendants being distributed and sold nationally and internationally contain enough naturally occurring radioactive material to warrant increased regulatory controls. IEMA and the NRC will be working with distributors of the pendants in the U.S. to ensure proper controls are implemented.