Did you get that new tech toy you were hoping for this holiday? Check out the latest accessories that can help protect you from any gadget-related health risks.
Pong Bounce cellphone case — $39.99-$49.99; www.case-mate.com
For a time, scientists dismissed the idea that the radiation emitted from cell phones posed any kind of health risk. Now, concern is kicking up again, with a study that suggests behavioral problems in children may result from exposure in utero, and recent news from the New York Times that many manufacturers are quietly adding warnings to their products. Tested in FCC-certified labs, the Pong Bounce case (available for iPhone and Blackberry) claims to reduce radiation exposure by 60 percent by redirecting waves away from your head without reducing your phone’s functionality.
dB Logic earphones — $29.99; www.dblogic.com
The jury’s still out on a connection between personal music players and an increase in teen hearing loss. But if you’re worried your kids are logging too many hours with such devices, consider springing for a pair of colorful earphones from dB Logic, which boast “sound pressure level limiting” (SPL2) technology, lowering decibels without affecting sound quality. Headphones will also soon be available with this feature, though some experts believe earphones allow for a lower comfortable listening volume since they’re placed directly in the ear canal.
Smartfish Engage ergonomic keyboard — $149.95
In the next generation of smart devices, there’s a new option on the market to make your desktop PC workstation more ergonomic. Instead of ensuring your hands maintain one optimal position for long-term use, this keyboard uses ErgoMotion technology to actually move as you use it, gradually varying your hand and wrist positions throughout the day and increasing circulation to those areas. It also studies your typing frequency to customize the movement to best combat repetitive stress.
Violight cellphone sanitizer — $49.95; www.brookstone.com
The day-to-day bacteria accumulated on cellphones may not be much to worry about, but the screens on your mobile devices can retain — and transmit — cold and flu germs while you’re sick, according to the Journal of Applied Microbiology. This UV sanitizer may be a good investment for families during sniffle season — it can disinfect a variety of models in just minutes.
Pad N’ Click mouse finger cushions — $9.99-12.99
There’s a wide range of ergonomic computer mouse options available to combat repetitive stress pain, but it’s hard to beat the price of this simple accessory. When attached with adhesive to any standard mouse, the three silicon pads shift the hand into a more natural position for clicking, curving the palm up and allowing the fingers to bend. A more cushioned version is available and recommended for users with arthritis or carpal tunnel.
Antec Designer notebook cooler — $39.95; www.antec.com
Have you noticed that most major manufacturers have taken to calling their portable computers “notebooks” instead of “laptops”? That’s because several medical studies, including one this fall, have documented skin rashes associated with resting your portable computer on your legs for prolonged periods of time. Products like this lightweight lap desk will both quietly cool your notebook and provide a barrier between it and your skin. (For men, if infertility is an issue, experts recommend you avoid using a notebook in your lap, even with a desk.) The company also offers a range of coolers for desktop use.
I-Sight task light — $12.95; www.radtech.us
Like to stay up reading your Kindle in bed while your spouse sleeps or during nighttime travel? You could be courting eyestrain, but there’s a simple fix. This LED light hooks over your ear to illuminate your screen, and is compatible with eyeglasses. Long-lasting lithium batteries are included.