Last week the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a guideline that would help the public reduce the radiation exposure from cell phones. The guidelines clearly state that cell phones need to be kept away from the body.
The guidelines state that cell phone use is on the rise in the United States especially among children. Nearly 95 percent of the Americans have a cell phone and 12 percent of them rely upon their phones for internet access and usage. The average age when a person gets a cell phone has come down to 10 years say statistics. Most youngsters keep their phone on their person (in their pockets) or at bedside while they sleep. Till date there is a debate on how safe or unsafe cell phones are in terms of emitting harmful electromagnetic radiations that can damage the cells. There is however research that shows that long term and heavy use of cell phones has a significant impact on humans.
CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said that there are concerns about the increasing number of people who are long term as well as heavy users of the cell phones. “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults,” she said. There is a constant emission of radio frequency energy waves from the cell phones as they receive and send signals to and from the cell phone towers. These energy rays are harmful say some researchers. Dr. Smith explained that the brains of the children develop over the teenage years and these may be affected with cell phone usage. It is imperative she said that parents should reduce the cell phone usage of their children and especially take care to switch off the devices at night. She added that there has been research showing the association of exposure to cell phone radiation and brain cancers and tumors. Cell phone radiation exposure has also been tied to low sperm counts, headaches, poor memory and impaired sleep and hearing.
Some of the practical steps that the new guidelines outline include:
- Not keeping the phone near the body
- Not using the cell phone when the signals are weak or the bars are two or less. This usually happens in fast moving vehicles and trains
- Not keeping the cell phones on or near the bed at night
- Reducing the use of cell phones for streaming or uploading large audio or video files
- Not using headsets when not in calls and
- Not using products that claim to block the radio frequency energy waves. It is sais that these devices increase the risk of harmful radiation exposure.
The guidelines are partly as a result of a lawsuit that was brought about by Joel Moskowitz, a professor at the University of California Berkeley in 2009 that he had won last year. The case was against the fact that not enough was being done to reduce and regulate the radiation exposure and emission from the cell phones. Moskowitz said that the cell phone manufacturers warn about a minimum distance the phone should be kept from the body. This should be made public.