The World Health Organization has announced on May 31, 2011 that cell phones can possibly cause cancer and as a result, have listed cell phones as a “carcinogenic hazard”, in the same category with lead and engine exhaust. The peer-reviewed study consisting of 31 scientists from 14 different countries found evidence for an increase in some brain cancers (glioma and acoustic neuroma), cancers that take a while to develop and the scientists fear that long-term usage could result in more of these types of cancer.
Cell phones communicate using signals in the microwave spectrum. The invisible stream of RF (radio frequency) signals penetrate our bodies when the device is held close, and as well as the long-term potential for cancer, there is also the potential to impact cognitive memory functions and to cause disorientation and dizziness. This article explains how to take precautions when using your cell phone.
# Children should only use cell phones next to their heads for emergencies. Children’s skulls are thinner than adults’ and their brains are still developing. Hence, radiation from cell phones penetrates more deeply into their brains and is likely to cause more damage. Texting (while holding the phone away from their body) is still fine for kids!
# While talking on your cell phone, try to keep the cell phone away from your body as much as possible. The amplitude of the electromagnetic field (radiation) is one fourth the strength at a distance of two inches and fifty times lower at three feet. Whenever possible, use the speaker-phone mode or a wired headset (not a Bluetooth).
# Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train, as this automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.
# Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body at all times. Do not keep it near your body at night such as under the pillow or on a bedside table, particularly if pregnant. You can also put it on “flight” or “off-line” mode, which stops electromagnetic emissions.
# If you must carry your cell phone on you, make sure that the keypad is positioned toward your body and the back is positioned toward the outside so that the transmitted electromagnetic fields move away from you rather than through you.
# Only use your cell phone to establish contact or for conversations lasting a few minutes, as the biological effects are directly related to the duration of exposure. For longer conversations, use a land line with a corded phone, not a cordless phone, which also uses electromagnetic emitting technology similar to that of cell phones.
# Switch sides regularly while communicating on your cell phone to spread out your exposure. Before putting your cell phone to the ear, wait until your correspondent has picked up. This limits the power of the electromagnetic field emitted near your ear and the duration of your exposure.
# When possible, communicate via text messaging rather than making a call, to limit the duration of exposure and the proximity to the body.
# Avoid using your cell phone in places like a bus, where you can passively expose others to your phone’s electromagnetic fields.
# Turn the cell phone off when not in use. A cell phone that is in standby mode is still emitting radiation. When it is off, this ceases. Do not carry the cell phone next to your body; instead, keep it in a bag.
#Choose a device with the lowest SAR possible (SAR = Specific Absorption Rate, which is a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body).
SAR ratings of contemporary phones by different manufacturers are available by searching for “sar ratings cell phones” on the internet.