While many in the natural health community have remained leery, most people simply think of cell phone warnings as hyped-up scare tactics from "health nuts." However, a recent ruling in California may begin to change the tide of public opinion.
If you have ever wondered about the safety of cell phone use, this new official warning may make you think twice about sleeping with your cell phone next to you on your night stand, or wearing your wireless headset all day...
Under a court order, last week California public health officials released draft guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies, use speaker phone and limit use. The guidelines, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, advise Californians that scientific studies have linked electromagnetic radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer and other health problems.
Results from animal studies support these findings. For example...
In a multi-year study from the U.S. National Toxicology Program, male rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation from before birth through two years of age had a greater chance of being diagnosed with a brain cancer called malignant glioma, as well as tumors on the heart. The radiation levels to which the rats were exposed included levels that current cell phones are allowed to emit.
Current FCC guidelines on cell phone radiation are based on studies from the 1980's, when cell phones (and cell phone usage) were dramatically different from today.
These studies were based on short-term cell phone use, and did not take into account the amounts of radiation exposure that would result from years (or decades) of frequent usage. They also were conducted only on adults, and did not consider the increased impact on children, which may be much higher due to their smaller size and still developing brains.
While more research is needed before a definitive conclusion is reached on just how much impact cell phone usage may be having on our health, there are things you can do now to be proactive and protect yourself.
Here are 5 tips for safer cell phone use from the EWG:
1. When talking on your cell phone, use a headset or the speaker function. If using a wireless headset, remove it whenever you are not on a call.
2. Keep the phone away from your body. When using your phone, don't clip it to your belt or store it in your pocket.
3. Text instead of talking when possible. Cell phones emit less radiation when transmitting text than voice signals.
4. Try to make calls when you have a strong signal. A weak signal means the phone is emitting greater radiation as it tries harder to connect and broadcast its signal.
5. Don't keep your phone on or next to your body when not in use. Your phone is still emitting radiation as long as it is on, even when you aren't using it. You can also turn off your phone, or put it into airplane mode when not in use, which will reduce radiation emissions.
For more info, you can download the free EWG Phone Safety Guide.
Better yet, try actually getting together and talking with friends and family in person - not only will it reduce your cell phone usage, but physically and socially interacting with other human beings has numerous health benefits - both physical and mental. :-)
To your health,