Do cell phones cause cancer? The preliminary results of a massive, government-funded study suggest they could. This makes cell phone safety an incredibly important topic. The early findings in the $25 million U.S. National Toxicology Program animal study show exposure to very high signal cell phone radiation led to a slightly increased risk of malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart in male rats. Schwannomas are tumors that form in the nerve sheath. (1)
The World Health Organization classified cell phone radiation as a 2B carcinogen in 2011. That means it’s possibly carcinogenic to humans. The fear here is this: Since cell phones have only been in widespread use since the 1990s, participants in epidemiological studies focusing on long-term risks may not be showing symptoms of disease yet. (2)
You know what’s equally as concerning? Even though we don’t fully understand the impacts of long-term wireless radiation, we’re forging ahead with 5G wireless technology. Within a few years, this technology could mean millions of mini cell towers could pop up on street corners, according to the Federal Communications Commission chairman. (3) Developing a 5G network is moving forward despite the fact that we don’t even remotely understand 5G health effects.
With more and more evidence suggesting cell phones could lead to cancer, I’m practicing the precautionary principle. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your cell phone. You just need to be smarter about it.
Cell Phone Safety: What You Need to Know
The American Academy of Pediatrics just released it’s top 10 cell phone safety tips. Many focus on reducing your exposure to harmful radiation, while others look at preventing other cell phone dangers. The AAP recommends limiting a child’s screen time and avoiding exposure to cell phones and other devices emitting electromagnetic radiation.
AAP also advocates for more research into the human health impacts of cell phone radiation, particularly when it comes to children. One current problem? Federal Communications Commission tests used to determine cell phone radiation is based on the devices’ possible effect on large adults — not kids. Children’s skulls are thinner and can absorb more radiation (4)
To protect yourself, APP suggests families follow these cell phone safety tips:
Final Thoughts on Cell Phone Safety
We’re living in a wireless technology age, but there’s some evidence that exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and wireless devices could increase your risk of certain cancers and tumors. However, more research is needed. In the meantime, I recommend practicing the precautionary principle. Some great cell phone safety tips include:
- Hold your phone away from your body and text rather than call when possible. Distance lowers your exposure dramatically.
- Don’t keep your cell phone in your pocket or bra. Keep it off of your body.
- If you’re watching a movie on your device, download it and watch it in airplane mode.
- Use speakerphone when you do make a call.