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Ask Dr. Nandi: California sets guidelines to limit cell phone radiation exposure

Posted at 5:46 PM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 17:46:28-05

More than 95 percent of Americans now claim to own a cell phone. But is this relatively new technology really safe?

The jury is still out on that question, but one of the largest state health agencies in the nation isn’t waiting around for an answer.

California’s Department of Public Health has issued new guidelines on ways to reduce the risk from potentially-dangerous cell phone wireless signals. And they’re worth paying attention to. 

California’s state health agency doesn’t explicitly say that cell phones are dangerous — but it does point to multiple studies suggesting that the radio frequency energy may be linked to things like cancer, lowered sperm count and memory loss.

On the other hand, the wireless industry has long fought back against such claims, arguing that there’s not enough evidence for public statements like this one. 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and in this case, I would exercise caution. Until there is solid proof showing that cell phones pose NO danger to people, it’s wise to protect yourself. So here are my prescriptions:

  1. Keep your phone as far away from your body as possible. Stash it in a backpack, briefcase or purse when you’re not using it.
  2. Don’t sleep with your phone near your body or head unless it’s turned off or in airplane mode.
  3. If you use a headset, remove it when you’re not on a call. Headsets can release small amounts of radio frequency (RF) energy. 
  4. Limit cell phone usage when the wireless signal is weak. When this happens, more RF energy is emitted. 

The guideline sheet has a section on children, and it notes that kids may be more at risk from RF energy because they have thinner skulls and developing brains. So there’s one more reason to limit the amount of time your kids spend in front of a screen every day!