A recent study has suggested that there is a correlation between mobile phone use and malignant (cancerous) brain tumors . According to the study results, the risk of developing a cancerous tumor increased with cell phone use. In essence, increased levels cell phone radiation exposure resulted in an increased risk of cancer.
The study authors also noted several other studies which revealed that the frequencies emitted from cell phones can cause damage to DNA. These potentially harmful frequencies emitted from cell phones are called radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). In these studies, RF-EMFs were noted to induce free radical activity in animal cells.
So what does this mean in plain English? Free radical activity causes damage to local DNA which can ultimately result in the development of cancer .
But there is another side to the story. . .
Another study followed people for over 10 years. During this time, they carefully measured cell phone usage and their exposure to RF-EMFs . Then they compared it to the rates of malignant brain tumors. The results of this study suggested that there was no significant link between malignant brain tumors and cell phone usage. In the end, the results were inconclusive.
Ok so the evidence out there about the link between RF-EMF exposures from cell phone use and cancer is not strong. But the studies that do suggest a correlation are concerning to say the least and here is why:
Cell phone use, now more than ever, is part of our social, professional, and personal lives. They are used with almost everything: browsing Facebook or Twitter, checking your email, calling a friend, taking a picture, texting, and so much more.
Every time your phone performs an action that requires a signal, the amount of RF-EMFs emitted drastically increases. When your phone’s signal is poor, the emitted RF-EMFs are even greater in efforts to compensate for the poor signal.
Few studies have assessed the dangers of long term RF-EMF exposure despite the extensiveness of cell phone use. This is where the issue lies.
Put it this way, if there is a potential for something to harm a person’s health, it is usually tested before it’s released. Pharmaceutical drugs, for example, are usually put through safety trials before it is released on to the market. They also must be approved by the FDA before they can be freely prescribed by doctors (with the exception of experimental drugs of course).
Similar tests for safety are performed for food, cars, shoes, personal care products, home furnishings, electronics, and much more. You can even check out the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which raises the safety standards of consumer products.
So there are safety protocols that exits to protect us. And there are regulations for cell phone radiation as well. The FCC put forth a regulation that places a limit on the maximum amount of radiation that can be emitted from a cell phone. But since there is a lack of scientific studies on the issue, how do we know what cell phone radiation levels are safe?
Because there is not enough data out there, we are all the test subjects for the effects of RF-EMFs.
Do you think not knowing the effects of cell phone RF-EMFs warrants the lack of safety testing?
I will let you decide with the provided information.
So what can you do if you are concerned about the potential cancer-causing effects of cell phone use? Well, thankfully there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure and potential risk.
How To Protect Yourself from Cell Phone Radiation (RF-EMFs)
Fortunately there are several measures you can take to reduce your RF-EMF exposure without having to completely abandon cell phone use.
1. Avoid Directly Placing Your Phone on Your Ear
In order to limit direct RF-EMF exposure (and heat exposure) to the brain, it may be wise to think of ways to talk on the phone without putting it up to your ear.
Try using speaker phone, a sound block, earbuds, or check to see if your car has blue tooth capabilities.
While these approaches do not reduce the amount of RF-EMFs emitted by the phone, they at least reduce the the amount of radiation that is directly exposed to your brain.
2. Use Technology That Reduces Cell Phone RF-EMF Exposure
I would highly suggest that you consider purchasing a product that is designed to reduce the amount of “radiation” that is directly aimed at your body.
The Pong phone case is one of these products. This chip allegedly acts by redirecting the potentially harmful cell phone frequencies away from your head (towards the back of the phone) rather than the front of the phone where most of the frequencies are normally directed. This product as well has shown up to an 80% reduction in RF-EMF exposures that are directed towards the head.
Some have claimed tools used to measure the radiation showed a significant difference, but some say there is no difference. It is up to you to decide.
You can get these phone cases here.
3. Choose Your Phone Wisely
Different phones emit different amounts of RF-EMFs. So the next time you decide to purchase a cell phone, you may want to consider how its RF-EMF levels compares to other phones.
You can look at lists such as this to figure out which phones emit the least amount of radiation.
4. Keep Your Phone Away From Your Bed At Night
Your cell phone does not need to be with you while you sleep. Furthermore, if you are one of those people who are tempted to look at your phone before you go to bed or intermittently throughout the night, you may want to reconsider. Exposure to artificial light sources throughout the night and prior to bed can actually reduce the quality of your sleep by messing with your natural sleep cycle (circadian rhythm).
5. Cut Back Your Usage
Consider putting your phone down now and then and actually enjoying the present moment. Cell phones are promoters of unconsciousness. They make you unaware of the now. Do yourself a favor and take the time to intentionally ignore your phone for a set period of time.
In all honesty, we simply do not know if cell phone radiation is harmful to our health. The small amount of studies out there are either too small sway the scientific community one way or another or flawed with bias and poor study design.
With the evidence in mind, I would personally take some of precautions to protect myself from cell phone radiation (without becoming obsessive). I certainly would not suggest throwing away your phone, but it would certainly never hurt to put it down once in a while, use speaker phone, or use a sound block.
Since the scientific community doesn’t know, it is completely up to you whether you want to take action or not to protect yourself from the unknown.
Comment below with your thoughts on cell phone radiation and the potential dangers / precautions.
- Bursewitz, J. (2011, June 1). Cell Phone Exposure Shown to Increase Brain Glucose Metabolism. Retrieved June 15, 2015, from http://naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2011-06/cell-phone-exposure-shown-increase-brain-glucose-metabolism
- Hardell L, Carlberg M, Söderqvist F, Mild KH. Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use. Int J Oncol.2013;43(6):1833-1845
- The INTERPHONE Study Group. Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case-control study. Int J Epidemiol.2010;39(3):675-694