cellular connections exceed 5 billion, and some estimates project a
steady growth of over 8% annually through 2015. With such broad
usage, cellular phone technology is giving rise to important questions
about possible long-term health consequences associated with its
use. Cellular phones emit low frequency electromagnetic fields
(EMFs), which have been linked to health conditions such as:
- immune system dysfunction
- male sexual and reproductive issues
- changes in the central nervous system and cardiovascular system
- changes in memory, cognition, attention, and other brain functions
- elevations in blood pressure
- changes in red blood cells
of the immense numbers of present and projected users, some scientists
and public health experts are worried that even if only a small
percentage are adversely affected, that could still equate to a public
health issue of epidemic proportions. We offer these ten tips to
minimize your cellular phone radiation exposure:
1. Call Length and Frequency
number of the scientific studies have shown a correlation between the
length of calls and/or frequency of use, with biological changes.
TIP Reserve cellular phone use for short, necessary conversations.
Keep incoming mobile phone as brief as possible and return your calls
on a corded phone.
of radiation emissions is directly related to the power of the emitting
device. The farther you can put yourself from the cellular phone
handset, the less emissions you will receive. Radiation from all
sources obeys the inverse square law. That is, the further you are from
the source the less intense your exposure to the radiation. In fact,
it drops off with the square of your distance from the source.
your cellular phone's "speakerphone" option, permitting a substantial
distancing between the user and the handset during conversations.
3. Phone Antenna
is growing consensus that cell phone antennas may be harmful to humans
due to the volume of electromagnetic waves that are concentrated
around it during the receipt and placing of calls. This danger is even
further aggravated by cellular manufacturers who place the internal
antennas close to the earpiece.
TIP Opt for cellular phones with low specific absorption rate (SAR).
4. Signal Path
steel construction of vehicles and buildings creates an electrical
shielding effect ("Faraday cage"). As a result, using a cellular phone
inside an enclosed vehicle or building causes the phone to increase
the power output it needs to establish a connection, receive signals,
and transmit signals, all of which causes increased radiation
emissions. A presentation by the House of Commons (United Kingdom)
Science and Technology System reported that using a cellular phone
inside an enclosed vehicle can cause radiation levels to rise by 10
TIP If using the cellular phone inside a vehicle, open the window or
door (if not in motion). This will improve the path for the cellular
phone signals and possibly reduce the phone's need to increase its
5. Phone Mode
The highest cellular
phone emissions occur when the phone is establishing a connection with
a base station. When using the phone in a mobile setting, the phone
is constantly re-establishing its base station connection. The
emissions in the mobile setting are further compounded by signal path
issues (see preceding tip).
TIP When inside a vehicle, avoid keeping the cellular phone handset
turned on unless you are expecting an incoming call, or making a call.
6. Carrying the Phone
keeping the cellular phone (when switched-on) adjacent to the body.
In particular, do not keep it in on-mode in clothing pockets or clipped
to the waist. The soft tissues of the body – namely heart, liver,
kidneys, intestines, and reproductive organs – are very vulnerable to
penetration by radiation, moreso than the brain (which is protected to
a degree by the skull). According to a report to the Economic
Union, three sudden deaths occurred from colon cancer amongst members
of a secret surveillance unit of the former Royal Ulster Constabulary
(United Kingdom), all of whom had worn radio or microwave transmitters
in the lower part of their backs for extended periods of time.
TIP Women: carry your phone in a purse that is carried away from the
body. Men: do not carry the phone in the on-mode in your chest,
jacket, or pants pockets, unless you are expecting a call or making a
7. Eyeglass Wearers
The House of Commons
(United Kingdom) Science and Technology System report also found that
cellular phone users who wear metal-rimmed glasses intensify their
exposure to radiation emissions to the eye by 20% and to the head by
TIP Take glasses off when making or receiving cellular phone calls, or wear contact lenses when using the cellphone.
8. Proximity to Base Stations
number of "cells" (zones of service) in the geographic area, in
addition to the proximity of the cellular phone to a base station,
factor into the power necessary for the phone to establish a connection
and receive and transmit signals. The few the number of cells, and
the farther apart the baste stations, the greater the power (and
radiation emission) necessary to maintain contact with the network.
Many cellular phones can display the signal level at which they are
operating when turned on. When receiving or making a call, take note
of the reported signal level. If it is weak, keep the call short and
continue it later on a corded phone or when you reach an area where the
signal level is stronger.