Links to cancer have arisen as we continue to rely more heavily on wireless devices. The potential health risks associated with exposure to radiofrequency radiation and electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) can’t be ignored. The recent research by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has shed light on the potential dangers of low phone signal strength and the need for precautionary measures to reduce exposure to microwave radiation.
In the study titled “Real World Cellular Phone Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure,” CDPH research scientists tested the microwave radiofrequency radiation levels from almost two dozen different cell phones in “real-world” situations to understand the difference in cell phone radiation exposures people can get in different situations. The study found that cell phones used in areas of weak reception can result in microwave radiation emissions 10,000-fold more intense than in areas with strong network signals.
The study also found that the distance between the user and the phone is not the only factor that affects exposure to microwave radiation. The strength of the signal is also a significant factor, as even at distances of more than a foot and a half (48 cm), microwave radiation was much higher intensity when signal reception was weak when compared with closer distances in areas with strong signals (2 inches, 4 cm).
Based on their findings, the authors of the study recommend several precautionary measures to reduce exposure to microwave radiation. The public should avoid using cell phones when signals are weak and limit overall cell phone exposure by using speakerphone, choosing texting rather than voice calls, and distancing the phone away from the body, even in areas with strong network signals. The authors state that “precautionary use of cell phones could lessen a user’s radiofrequency EMF exposure by a factor of up to 10,000.” The study also recommends removing wireless headsets from the ear when not in use and reducing overall talk and listening times.
The potential health risks associated with exposure to RF EMF from cell phones have been a topic of debate for many years. Recent research indicates that RF EMF exposures from cellular phones can have a negative impact on animal cells and cognitive and/or behavior development in children. Case-controlled epidemiologic studies have found evidence for increased risk for glioma and localization of the glioma associated with the consistent exposure site of regular mobile phone use.
While further research is needed to fully understand the potential risks associated with RF EMF exposure from cell phones, the CDPH study highlights the need for precautionary measures to reduce exposure. As the authors of the study recommend, using a wired phone, rather than a wireless cell phone whenever possible, is the best way to minimize exposure. At home, people should keep their landlines or consider a Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone service if a copper landline is not available in their area.
In conclusion, the CDPH study underscores the need for precautionary measures to reduce exposure to microwave radiation from cell phones, particularly in areas of weak reception. While the full extent of the potential health risks associated with RF EMF exposure is not yet fully understood, taking simple steps such as using speakerphone, texting rather than voice calls, and distancing the phone away from the body can significantly reduce exposure to microwave radiation. By taking these measures, we can better protect ourselves from potential health risks while still enjoying the convenience and benefits of our cell phones.
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