Public health institute warns about radioactivity in ‘negative ions’ products

One of the banned products, a 'smiley kids' bracelet Photo: RIVM
One of the banned products, a ‘smiley kids’ bracelet Photo: RIVM

The Dutch public health institute has warned that 10 products containing ‘negative ions’, which are advertised as improving health, contain illegal levels of radioactive substances.

The RIVM tested 10 consumer products, including a bracelet aimed at children, necklace and eye masks, and found that the products emitted potentially harmful ionising radiation.

It was asked to investigate by the ANVS Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection, which has warned people who own these products to put them away in a closed cupboard and wait for information on how to dispose of them safely.

‘The amount of radiation measured in them was low, which means that the chance of damage to health is small,’ the agency said in a news release. ‘But if they are worn continuously for long periods of time, it is not possible to fully exclude the chance of damage to health in the long term.’

The agency cites possible negative reactions such as red skin after 24 hour wear. A spokeswoman stressed to that legal radiation limits are set low to avoid any kind of health risk. However, the organisation has alerted known sellers that distributing these products is now banned and that they should inform their customers.

Products tested include three from ‘Energy Armor’ (a serenity mask, athletic necklace and ‘super’ bracelet), four from the brand Magnetix (a silicone bracelet, silicone ‘wellness’ necklace, ‘sport boost’ bracelet and ‘smiley kids bracelet with negative ions’) a Quantum Pendant and Basic Nero bracelet.


According to the tests, the products did indeed emit ionising radiation, and the ANVS warns that radiation can potentially damage tissue and DNA. The body warns that other products marketed similarly could be harmful and advises people to put them away and make contact via an online form for advice.

According to sales pages online, some of the products tested are advertised as having ‘neodymium magnets’ charged with negative ions ‘which theoretically neutralise environmental positive ions (caused by electrosmog) for greater wellbeing’.

If Dutch sellers are found to be distributing the banned 10 products after being warned, they will be subject to fines. NOS reports that at least six sellers have been contacted.

Consumer products are not allowed to contain radioactive substances by law in the Netherlands, unless they have a legal exemption and have proven that the benefits outweigh the potential harm.

‘Ionic’ air purifiers, however, do not involve radioactive substances, the ANVS adds.

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