Football Helmet Technology Controversy

Can new technology really help prevent dangerous concussions? "Nightline" investigates.
3:00 | 01/30/13

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Transcript for Football Helmet Technology Controversy
This quote was in the news the other day if I had a son. I'd have to think long and hard before I'd let him play football. When President Obama spoke those words recently he echoed a growing -- showed by men shared by many parents across the country. As concern rapidly escalate to the long term effects of taking -- -- the head on the football field. It's given rise to an industry aimed at softening those blows but can't new technology really prevent dangerous concussions. Here's a Nightline investigation. -- And are you ready for some football. Are you ready for some -- -- Head injuries and their potential lifelong consequences are the biggest threat to America's gridiron heroes. Concern is mounting at every level the NFL colleges. Even thinks there's -- that there was still talking about it and play. You wonder Jennifer Brennan's son Tyler is one of the stars of the Woodbridge -- He wanted it. And you know I don't mind me and they wanted to bubble wrap and amendments and protect him forever but -- -- it happened. Concussions aren't -- most common injury. Among high school football -- So Jennifer president of the warriors booster club decided to do something. She raised money to buy the -- helmet inserts made by unequal technologies for patent protection. It's all part of a sort of cottage industry that sprung up to cater to -- -- parents. Unequal technologies one of the highest profile players in this new market described its product explicitly. As -- concussion reduction technology or CRT. It's a liner a strip of composite material including bullet -- -- law. You stick it inside the helmet I can tell you -- -- militant group. -- -- that's James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers one of the hardest hitting guys in the NFL. Unequal technologies sales pitch rests heavily on his endorsement and other pro players almost like. -- -- -- You know actually. Through the -- just -- press. Rob Frito is the founder and CEO of unequal technologies these athletes need to take control of their own safety he says he worked with scientists to create a military -- composite material we always wanted to stand behind their products and those that actually work and you're actually standing -- He can protect athletes from all sorts of injuries from head to toe he's eager to show us how strongly. The guy would have you believe it's his magical material there's nothing magical about it. Dave Halstead is an engineer technical director at the southern impact research center -- Equipment in the nation the among many other things he tests helmets lots of helmets. For so many parents whose sons wanna play football they are looking for that. Device that add on that helmet that will protect their children. -- it out there is not. Absolutely not here's the problem. Modern football helmet already offers excellent protection against direct. Linear hits football without helmets and -- be catastrophic. All right -- severity index is 2909. He's debt he's dead he's got a skull fracture. But doctors believe many football concussions today are caused by Schering rotational forces. When the head snaps back and swerves around on the neck. In the brain slams against the inside of the skull here is no proof that products like unequal technology strips protect against those injuries. -- steroids testing did show that the unequal strips can reduce the severity of many -- direct impact from some angles but not from others. But even -- veto acknowledges he cannot prove that reduces the risk of concussion. My question is on concussions. And for parents out there does this product. Reduce the risk of concussion. -- Now we can't make that claim at this point it's too early on so you say concussion reduction technology. Is that what you're doing. Our claim is that we help reduce the possibility of head injury that's our calling. We never mentioned the word concussion. Concussion reduction technology exactly that's the name of the product. Don't you think called a concussion reduction technology if it doesn't reduce concussions -- you can't make that claim scientifically. Is wrong. -- there may be some confusion. There's a product called muscle milk that contains no milk what you're claiming that it reduces concussions or that's the name of your product -- It does we're not claiming that. Even though your product is -- concussion reduction -- now. Correct but we're not claiming that the only if they want is -- Maine and was a -- and I and and our claim is that we help reduce the possibility head injury. After our interview unequal technology -- us what they say will be their new packaging for their product the words concussion reduction technology. Have been removed. For so many football players and the risk is real players and parents want answers but right now. They aren't counting them. That magic bullet that if you just do this you can continue to play the way you are and your immune from injury. And it just doesn't work.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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