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Developments to Watch
THE PERFECT THING TO WEAR FOR A TWO-HOUR TV MOVIE
Recent studies suggest possible health risks associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields. Now, an Italian textile maker, Florence-based Lineapiu, has developed a rayon and carbon-fiber yarn called Relax that shields the body from EMFs.
Carbon fiber is used in space suits and industrial protective clothing, but this is its first use in a fashion product. Santi Tofani, a physicist specializing in EMF research at Piedmont Region's Public Health Laboratory near Turin, says the carbon partly reflects EMFs and partly absorbs them. His tests show that Relax reduces exposure to EMFs in the range emitted by TVs and other appliances: 0.1 megahertz to 300 Mhz. Relax isn't effective, however, for higher frequencies from microwave ovens or for lower ones from power lines.
Priced 25% to 30% higher than ordinary rayon thread, Relax contains a 6% blend of the expensive carbon fiber. French designer Azzedine Alaia is using Relax in his spring collection, with other designers expected to follow suit in 1993.EDITED BY FLEUR TEMPLETON