The World Health Organization recently found cell phone use to be in the same cancer-causing category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform. Up until Tuesday, May 31, 2011, the organization tried to make it clear to consumers that no adverse health effects had been established. Despite these claims, a team of 31 scientists from 14 different countries reviewed many studies and made the decision that cell phone use could in fact cause cancer.
The radiation emitted from cell phones is considered “non-ionizing” radiation. This refers to radiation that is not energetically powerful enough to chemically alter atoms. Similar to how microwave ovens cook food from the inside out, the non-ionizing waves emitted from cell phones essentially cook the brain in the same way.
For this reason, it is recommended that you hold the cell phone far enough away from the body or head so that the waves don’t penetrate as deeply. Cell phone maker’s even communicate in their manuals to hold the cell phone away from the head or body. Apple expresses this in their iPhone 4 safety manual with the following:
When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body.
Blackberry Bold makes a similar recommendation for users as well:
Keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting.
It is especially important to protect children from cell phone use since they are at a crucial point of development. Children’s skulls and scalps are thinner than those of adults, and therefore is more easily broken into by harmful radiation waves. Children’s brains heat up faster due to increased activity and slowly develop cancerous tumors.
Don’t be too afraid of this issue. The cancerous tumors that may develop from cell phone use happens over many years; as is the nature of all cancers. However, there are ways to minimize the harmful waves exuded from cell phones that you should be away of and implement.
- Hold the phone as far away from the body as possible when being used.
- Don’t place the phone near you when you don’t need to, keep it a few feet away.
- Avoid keeping it in your pocket if possible.
- Turn it off when you can.
- Limit cell phone use.
- Invest in a cell phone radiation protector (this is the best and easiest solution that will allow you to use your phone as you normally would without harming your body).
I don’t recommend using a headset as a method of keeping distance since it is not yet fully known if they are helpful or even more harmful than cell phone use.