Cell Phone Risks: Texting Is Healthier!

radiation Mar 21, 2017

I just finished reviewing the 2008 - 2009 Annual Report to the U.S. President titled Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now (the "Report"), created by the President's Cancer Panel. It was eye-opening and I'll be writing about a number of lessons learned in future posts. This post, however, is about the unknown risks from wireless devices.

We Do Not Have Enough Data To Fully Understand The Safety / Hazards of Radiation From Wireless Devices

"Sharp controversy exists in the scientific community as to possible adverse health effects from exposure to low frequency electromagnetic energy. The use of cell phones and other wireless technology is of great concern, particularly since these devices are being used regularly by ever larger and younger segments of the population. At this time, there is no evidence to support a link between cell phone use and cancer. However, the research on cancer and other disease risk among long-term and heavy users of contemporary wireless devices is extremely limited."

-- 2008 - 2009 Annual Report to the U.S. President titled Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, page iv

The Environmental Working Group reminds us that cell phone technology has been around for just two decades, so scientists do not have enough data to fully understand long-term health risks from cell phone radiation. Recent research, however, has prompted serious concerns about exposure to wireless emissions.

Research by France Telecom scientists showed that under standard conditions of use, twice as much cell phone radiation would penetrate a child’s thinner, softer skull than an adult’s (Wiart 2008). These results confirm earlier findings that children’s heads absorb more radiofrequency radiation than adults (Gandhi 1996; Kang 2002; Wang 2003).

-- The Environmental Working Group: Cell Phone Radiation Science Review

Easy Changes To Reduce Radiation Exposure

Given my heightened awareness to children's unique vulnerability to environmental influences, I do my best to implement practical precautions. Since there is a lot that we do not know, I am not assuming that wireless devices are safe for my children (and the Report suggests that position). At the same time, it is impossible for me to restrict their use. One easy tip from the Report, however, is to text instead of call!

"Few research studies have focused on the health hazards of children’s cell phone use, even though the youth market is growing. But one recent study of 13,159 Danish children showed that young children who use cell phones and whose mothers also used cell phones during pregnancy are 80 percent more likely to suffer emotional and hyperactivity problems (Divan 2008)."

-- The Environmental Working Group: Cell Phone Radiation Science Review

I rarely have time to chat on the phone so I don't feel too concerned about my risks from cell phone radiation. However, my three-year-old daughter is already becoming very adept with my iPhone and she quickly imitates her father and I. Since I carry my father's concern of "preventing bad habits because it's better to learn good habits than it is to break bad habits," I'm motivated to minimize chatting on cell phones and to text rather than chat on the cell phone.

"Adults and children can reduce their exposure to electromagnetic energy by wearing a headset when using a cell phone, texting instead of calling, and keeping calls brief."

-- Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now (2008 – 2009), page 112

Check Out More Tips

The Environmental Working Group has a great list of helpful tips to reduce cell phone radiation. Check it out at EWG's Guide to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure.

 

 

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