Cell phone radiation: is my device affecting my health?

Cell phone radiation: is my device affecting my health?

Your cell phone could be negatively affecting your physical and mental wellbeing, and possible side effects from its usage are revealing: a dulled memory, depression, decreased self-esteem, sleep interference, strained eyes, stunted social skills, neck pain, and distracted driving. What about radiation, though? Could your cell phone cause physical harm, or cancer?

What is it?

Cell phone antennas produce radio waves, and this energy can be absorbed by parts of the body closest to the antenna. Known as radiofrequency radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation, these rays are non-ionizing (low frequency) and also emitted from microwave ovens, whereas X-Rays and cosmic rays are ionizing (high frequency).

Radiofrequency can damage your cells’ DNA, which could produce cancerous mutations. Being exposed to X-Rays has been known to increase the risk of cancer, but extensive research conducted on exposure to cell phones and cancer has been inconclusive. The National Cancer Institute has found limited and inconsistent evidence from human studies and radiofrequency radiation that can potentially cause cancer.

How can I limit my exposure to it?

Our cell phones indeed emit more radiation when we’re using them, but even when we aren’t, they’re still emitting radiofrequency energy. Try these suggestions and see what happens:

  • Limit your access to your mobile device – use it in important and emergency situations
  • Switch off Wi-Fi when you’re offline
  • Keep your apps closed when you aren’t using them
  • Only use your phone in good reception ‘zones’ – it uses more power to transmit and search for a signal in weaker areas
  • Don’t put your phone next to your bed to charge overnight while you’re sleeping - turn it off or take it out the bedroom completely!
  • Switching to flight (airplane) mode is believed to help reduce radiation
  • Use a hands-free device (speaker phone, Bluetooth or a wired headset)
  • If you need to make a call, wait until after the call has actually connected to another device and started before lifting the device to your ear
  • Choose a landline phone over a cell phone at both work and home
  • Send a text message instead of making a cell phone call
  • Don’t carry your cell phone on your person (e.g. in your pocket). Alternatively, cover your device with a protective case, and make sure the shielded side is against your body, so the antenna (at the back of the phone) is facing away from you
  • Keep your children (even while you are pregnant) away from your mobile devices – their skull bones are thinner and are more susceptible to cell phone radiation

What do I do now?

While it is true that daily cell phone usage is generally increasing worldwide, cell phones aren’t all bad, but for your safety and peace of mind, be informed and make smart choices. Consider how much time you’re spending on your mobile device. By implementing some of these tips to reduce your radiation exposure, you’ll keep closer tabs on your overall wellbeing when using your device in the long run.

Date Published: 
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