Health officials from California have cautioned on the need for people to keep their cell phones several feet away from them to reduce radiation exposure and health risks.
The practitioners released guidance for reducing exposure to cell phone radiation recently, amid mounting evidence that cell phone use may be linked to cancer, attention, mental health and reproductive health issues.
Cell phones transmit information using low frequency radio signals, which may expose us to unhealthy radiation, especially when streaming or downloading large files.
Research has not been able to prove definitively that cell phone radiation is dangerous, but there have been enough studies linking the two to warrant caution, especially for children, according to the press release.
The notice came after several cities in California issued local warnings that their citizens should make some distance between their phones and their bodies.The radiofrequency (RF) energy cell phones use to transmit information are at the bottom of the radiation totem poll, but research suggests that our frequent, close-range exposure to cell phones may be enough to endanger us.
‘Keeping a phone directly on the body has never been a good idea,’ says Dr Devra Davis of the Environmental Health Trust.
In fact, cell phone makers themselves seem to agree. Apple, for example, includes an ‘RF exposure’ notice in the iPhone’s settings.
The notice explains that the iPhone’s RF emissions were tested at 5 mm – about the thickness of a fine point pen – from the body, and fall within the US standards of safety.
But it also includes advice for reducing exposure – not unlike California’s new guidance – by using speakerphone or hands free accessories.
‘Most people are not aware that there is a clear warning to keep the phone off the body embedded in the phone,’ says Dr Davis.
This is particularly worrisome because most parents aren’t aware of these warnings are are not managing their children’s exposure to phones.
The California guidance notes that RF may more easily penetrate the brain matter of children than that of adults. The exposure may also be more damaging and have more lasting effects on the developing brain.
Studies have shown evidence that cell phone exposure may cause tumors in the brain or ears, where the body is frequently in contact with the device.
Though research on RF’s effects on children specifically is fairly scarce, many psychologists have already warned that cell phone use may be linked to poorer attention, mental health and sleep for adolescents.
Less than a week ago, France banned cell phones from primary and middle schools. Though the ban’s goal was primarily related to mental health, it has drawn praise from experts worried about radiation exposure.
Although investigations by Nigerian researchers may still be ongoing on the issue, but to play safe in the new year, it is wise to keep our phones away from us while sleeping.
Medical News Today