The power of smartphones: Your mobile can now detect if you’ve been exposed to radiation


Research from the University of Lund, Sweden, shows that mobile phones can be used to reveal whether or not you’ve been exposed to radiation?

According to tests, the materials within a phone can be used to analyse radiation levels as many as six years after exposure?

An agreement has been made with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to implement the practice and improve emergency planning?

X-Ray protection manufacturer Rothband advises tourists visiting ‘exclusion zones’ on how to protect themselves from radiation

X-Ray protection manufacturer Rothband has published an in-depth guide to ‘dark tourism’, lending its insights into the culture of dangerous travel locations and, in particular, areas affected by radiation. According to research conducted by the University of Lund, Sweden, aluminum oxide resistors contained within mobile phones can be analysed for traces of radiation. Radiation levels can be detected for six years from the date of exposure, making this a promising defence against the terror threat and the prevention of ‘dirty bombs’. Rothband has conducted its own research, which reveals almost 70% of people would ‘definitely not’ take their holiday at a site previously affected by radiation. You can see this survey below:


According to Dylan Harris, Managing Director at Lupine Travel, a UK tour company specialising in unique travel destinations, there are some interesting figures regarding how many travel to Chernobyl:


“We send around 300 people a year to Chernobyl. The numbers used to be higher but they were really affected by the outbreak of the civil war in Ukraine in 2014. They have recently started to recover though.

“We get a wide range of ages visiting Chernobyl, but around 50% of the clients are aged from 20-35.”

There are ways those taking a trip to Chernobyl can protect themselves – including wearing a radiation suit for the duration of their visit and observing any safety guidance and restrictions – and you can read more about them here, in Rothband’s guide.


Paul Dixon, Managing Director at Rothband, says the discovery is a great step towards securing safer visiting conditions and radiation safety as a whole:


“Technology has always moved quickly with regards to anti-radiation equipment and the development of a quality radiation suit, and this discovery is no exception. Places such as Chernobyl have used similar systems before, but this is much more sophisticated and backed by research.

“The statistics from the survey are surprising. Without this discovery alone there are still plenty of ways to stay safe in these kinds of locations, and yet the majority wouldn’t consider it.

“I’m sure that with more resources and protective methods the numbers should tip in favour of visiting – there are some great historic locations, and if you are interested in them you shouldn’t be put off.”