The risk of keeping your cell phone close to you

smiling young woman texting by smart phone on the bed

Why you should think twice before you put your phone in your pocket or under your pillow

It is important to remember that as long as your phone is on, it will emit radiation intermittently, even if you are not making a call. On May 31, 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO)/ International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a report admitting cell phones might indeed cause cancer, classifying cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Class 2B). The classification came to be in response to research showing wireless telephones increase the risk for brain cancer.

And it’s our children and teens that are at greater risk for both parotid gland tumors and brain tumors because their skull bones are much thinner allowing more cell phone radiation to penetrate. Furthermore, children’s cells reproduce more quickly, so they’re more susceptible to aggressive cell growth. According to Professor Lennart Hardell of Sweden, those who begin using cell phones heavily as teenagers have 4 – 5 times more brain cancer as young adults. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid cell phones as much as they can. In 2008, researchers analyzed data from nearly 13,000 children and found that exposure to cell phones while in the womb, and also during childhood were linked to behavioral difficulties. Using handsets for just 2 or 3 times a day during pregnancy increase risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and misconduct, emotional and relationships problems by the time they reach school age, and the risk becomes greater for children using cell phones before they reach 7 years old.

Experts in the area of the biological effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and wireless technologies believe there is no doubt that cell phones and related gadgets are capable of causing not only cancer but also to a wide variety of other health conditions, from depression and diabetes to heart irregularities and impaired fertility. Researchers have now identified numerous mechanisms of harm, which explain how electromagnetic fields impact your cells and damages your DNA. An analysis of the range of known mechanisms of action, including DNA effects, was published in November 2010 in “Non-Thermal Effects and Mechanisms of Interaction between Electromagnetic Fields and Living Matter.” Furthermore, the mobile industry’s own research in the 13-country Interphone study showed a 40 percent increased risk of brain cancer from 1,640 or more hours of cell phone use, and independent Swedish research published in 2007 showed a 540 percent increased risk of brain cancer from greater than 2,000 hours of cell phone use.

Even carrying your cell phone on your body is now dangerous. A 2009 research concludes that wearing a cell phone on your hip may weaken an area of your pelvis. They found that bone mineral density decreased on the side where the cell phones were carried. There are ways to reduce the risk for cancer from our cellphones; children should avoid using cell phones as much as possible, instead of calling just text while keeping the device away from your body or use a landline, avoid using your phones when the signal is weak, avoid carrying it on your body and sleeping close to it at night when it’s on, switch sides regularly when making calls, choose a device with the lowest SAR (specific absorption rate), and respect others who are sensitive about the effects of cell phones.


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