Nearly every America owns a mobile phone of some kind. Ninety-five percent of people in the U.S. have mobile devices – up 19 percent from a decade ago.
While mobile devices offer convenient ways to stay connected, consistent exposure to the radiofrequency waves they emit has some health experts concerned.
“Scientists have known for decades that high doses of the radiofrequency radiation emitted by cell phones can penetrate the body, heat tissues, trigger behavioral problems and damage sensitive tissues like the eyeball and testicle,” the Environmental Working Group said in a 2009 report. “Yet, when cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require manufacturers to prove
they were safe.”
Mobile phones operate by sending and receiving signals from nearby cell towers using RF waves, a type of electromagnetic energy that falls between microwaves and FM radio waves. According to the nonprofit group, children are especially susceptible to damage from RF radiation, which can reportedly lead to behavioral problems, migraines and brain cancer.
Mobile phone technology is relatively new – the devices have only been available for the past few decades. Until 2003, studies linking negative health effects to mobile phone use were limited and often produced inconsistent results.
Today, the American Cancer Society admits radiofrequency energy may pose some risk of cancer, but “the evidence is not strong enough to be considered causal and needs to be investigated further.”
The World Health Organization labeled cell phones “possibly carcinogenic” in 2014.
A 2008 study from UCLA’s School of Public Health found that of young children who used cell phones – and whose mothers used them during pregnancy – were 80 percent more likely to “suffer emotional and hyperactivity problems.”
“Studies conducted by numerous scientific teams in several nations have raised troubling questions about possible associations between heavy cell phone use and serious health dangers,” according to the EWG report.
Unfortunately, busy lifestyles and demanding careers make mobile phones a daily necessity.
Here’s how to protect yourself from unwanted radiation:
1. Keep the phone away from your body.
2. Power off the device or put it in airplane mode while sleeping. Store it away from your bed.
3. Use earbuds or a wired headset when making calls – don’t use Bluetooth.
4. Use text messaging over talking on the phone.
5. Don’t store the phone in your pocket.
Can mobile phone use lead to health problems?