Cell Phone Radiation: Reducing Your Exposure

We don’t know precisely the health effects of cell phone radiation, but we do know that non-ionizing radiation from phones and many other sources are a concern to environmental scientists. Taking steps to be reasonably cautious in how you use cell phones makes sense. ( See my post: ARE CELL PHONES DANGEROUS ?). Here are a list of tips on reducing cell phone radiation exposure:


Keep cell phones away from infants and children. Consider not allowing young children to use or play with cell phones and in general consider limiting their exposure to cell phone use.

More important than looking for a low-SAR phone is how you use it.

Putting the phone on speaker reduces exposure.

The further a cell phone is held away from the body, the less radiation is absorbed. Exposure is reduced exponentially as you move your phone away from your body. The back of the phone contains the antenna which emits the non-ionizing radiation.

During a conversation, draw the phone away from the ear when you’re talking and bring it closer to ear when you’re listening. Radiation emission is more when a cell phone is transmitting signals than when it is receiving. .

Using a headset or a wireless headphone with a low-power Bluetooth reduces radiation exposure. Some experts caution that the wire on a headset can act as an antenna for radiation. Other experts feel a wired Bluetooth is better than a wireless one. All experts recommend turning off a wireless headset when not in use.

The more a cell phone is used, the greater the exposure.

Texting causes less exposure than talking, but if the cell phone is held next to the body or even near the body exposure still occurs.

Keeping a phone in your pocket or clipped to a belt exposes the body to cell phone non-ionizing radiation.

Cell phone radiation is increased when you make initial contact with another cell phone. You can reduce exposure by waiting until after your call has been connected to place your cell phone near your ear.

Cell phone radiation is increased when you are moving rapidly, ie. in a car or a train, because bursts of radiation must be used to connect with different towers as it moves in and out of range.

When a cell phone has a weak signal, it has to work harder and emits more radiation. When you are using the phone inside a building or an elevator, or in rural or isolated areas, there will be more radiation because the phone again is working harder.

Pregnant women should consider keeping the cell phone away from their abdomen. Babies should be protected from cell phones. Men should keep cell phones turned off when they’re kept in a pocket because of a possibility of the effect of radiation on the sperm count.

Consider cutting down on using your cell phone usage by cutting down on unnecessary calls and use a landline (not a mobile phone) when possible.

Comments welcomed!

Dr. Arn Strasser is a Portland Chiropractor.

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