Stop sleeping with your cell phone: Anything closer than arm’s length could cause cancer and infertility, health officials warn

Friday, December 15, 2017
By Paul Martin

The California Department of Health released advice to minimize cell phone radiation exposure
Radiation from the devices has been linked to cancer and infertility
Children’s developing brains may be particularly vulnerable
Exposure risks are highest when cell phones have fewer bars of service or are downloading or streaming media

15 December 2017

The California Department of Health warned that people need to keep their cell phones several feet away from them to reduce radiation exposure and health risks.

California released guidance for reducing exposure to cell phone radiation on Thursday, 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 health department press release.

The statewide notice comes after several cities, including Berkeley and San Francisco, 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.

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