How to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

by updated 2010/12/31

Today’s guest post is by Lloyd Burrell of the website, Electric Sense. I wrote a while ago on my concern about exposure to radiation from cell phones and again recommending hands free use or holding the phone away from your body.  Lloyd, however, has a whole website devoted to living a healthy life with electromagnetic radiation.  Take a look at his material to get the side of the story you won’t hear at your local cell phone store.  At the bottom of Lloyd’s article I will offer some feedback of my own, then let the comments fly on this hot subject.  We look forward to hearing what you think!

Boy on cell phone and bikeFew people realize that cell phones never underwent any safety testing before they were introduced to the consumer market. Most people don’t give a second thought about the pulsed electromagnetic radiation cell phones emit when they are being used even though there being now over 2,000 independent studies documenting the harmful effects of EM radiation on the human body.  Here is my top 10 list of ways you can significantly reduce EM radiation exposure from cell phones.

1. Studies clearly point to the biggest danger being to our kids, so only let your kids use a cell phone in an emergency.  Children have a lower bone density (their heads are smaller), still developing organs (they are growing larger), less effective brain blood barrier and lower body weight.  Cumulatively all these factors mean that your kids are much more at risk.

2. Lower the amount of time you are on your cell phone.  Do you really need to make all those calls? Try and use landlines more often. The longer you are on line talking, the more EM radiation you’re subjected to. Landlines are much safer.

3. Use your speakerphone.  If you must hold your phone, then make sure that the keyboard faces your head.  The back of the phone and the EM source should be pointing into infinity and beyond.  Although some sound quality can be lost, airtube kits provide more protection than wired headsets or Bluetooth.

4. Try and carry your phone off your body.  I don’t mean that you should walk around with your arm holding it away from you. Ladies can carry it in their purses and men can carry it in a shielded case, perhaps hooked to their belt. This will minimize the radiation.

5. Use your cell phone when there’s likelihood of it getting better reception.  Try not to use the phone, even though you’re itching to, in a basement, subway or elevator.  If you have one of those phones with bars that indicate signal strength, then try and use your phone when they show all the bars, full strength. Concrete buildings shield the signal and make the phone work harder.

6. Try not to use the phone in a moving car. The phone is in constant search mode for the best signal and can get a little frantic, though you may not realize it. You may not realize that radiation is also intensified under those circumstances.

7. Even if you use your cell phone in a parked auto, the Faraday cage effect comes into play.  Like in a microwave, the phone signal is bouncing around in a metal box.  It doesn’t see your body as an obstacle, this makes for a higher than normal EM radiation absorption.

8. Leave the cell phone out of your bedroom and off your nightstand. If you leave it on at night, EM radiation will be zapping your brain while you sleep.

9. If you’re ill or tired or pregnant or a senior, then cell phone use is not advised.  If you have metal in your head or wear eyeglasses with metal frames, then you may be at greater risk of exposure.

10. Look for the SAR value when you purchase a phone. The SAR limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram in the US (and a rate of 2 watts per kilo if you’re in the UK). These are government standards and SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate — the rate at which microwave radiation is absorbed by humans. Choose a phone with a lower SAR and text if you can, rather than calling.  Texting means you can hold your phone at arm’s length.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to significantly reduce your exposure to this type of EM radiation. Cell phones are only part of the EM story, however. EM radiation is all around us in our day to day lives and EM pollution increases all the time.  It can be found in nearly every aspect of our daily lives when we’re at school, work, or in our homes.

Lloyd Burrell

What follows are Will’s unscientific thoughts – Feel free to rebut in a comment!

The worry about the exposure to young children is especially concerning.  Although many of these kids talk on the phone very little, and when they do, it is often in private with the speaker phone or a headset, their phone is always with them.  I know my youngest daughter sends and receives tens of thousands of text messages each month.  The phone rarely leaves her hand and is right by her pillow at night.  It is less a phone than her primary tech device, sending and receiving not only voice and text, but photos, documents and web information.  For these kids it has also taken the place of many low tech devices like alarm clocks.

Landlines may be safer, but they are becoming less and less common.  Within a few years they will essentially be a thing of the past.  So I think the approach here is to be realistic and not expect people to use landlines more, but to make the wireless technology we have already adopted safer.

The speaker phone is much safer and I use mine whenever I can.  I also use Bluetooth and am disturbed to hear there are concerns with that also.  The Airtube kits are safer, but the technology still is not great.  There was quite a bit of drop in sound quality with the airtube I tried.

I often carry my phone in my pocket and did not even know there were effective shielded cases.  Thanks for that suggestion, Lloyd!

Numbers 5, 6, and 7 were things I had not really though about.  I guess I thought the danger was from the EM radiation coming in to the phone, but it makes sense that in lower reception areas, the phone would have to kick up its signal emittance.

I turn my cell phone off at night, but many people leave it on or use it as an alarm clock.  I have also recently read stories expressing concern about all the wireless routers we have in our homes.  Those are on 24 hours a day.  Maybe there is a market for “safe rooms” that keep out not only criminals, but our wireless technology!

Although some people who know me may disagree, I don’t have metal in my head.  I do wear metal glasses though and was surprised to read at Lloyd’s site that they may act as an antenna for the wireless radiation?

Will Sig

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