We've reached the digital age, and let's be real. No one's giving up their cell phone.
Even though not much is known about how the technology is affecting our bodies, mobile devices have become everyday tools for most people. But, based on a recent study that linked cell phone radiation to rare forms of cancer, we may need to change how we use them.
The federal National Toxicology Program (NTP) exposed a group of rodents to non-ionizing radiation, at the same frequencies used for mobile phones or other wireless devices. The whole-body exposure started in utero and continued throughout their 2 years of life.
As the rats grew, and were given higher doses of the radiation, they began to develop rare tumors of the brain and heart. Earlier studies associated with these types of tumors and cell phone radiation have been inconclusive, because they were based on past activity, people's memories, and incomplete information. But this study gives more weight to the concern.
Despite the incidence of the tumors in over a thousand rats being relatively low, the control rats who were exposed to no radiation did not develop these rare tumors. Another strange result of the test – it was the male rats who contracted cancer, not the females. But it wouldn't necessarily play out the same way with humans.
The findings are not definitive, as they rarely are with just a single study of this magnitude, and more research needs to be done, but there are ways you can cut down on your radiation exposure now. Here are a few:
Don’t sleep with devices.
Keep your phone, tablet and other devices out of your bedroom. You don't need the radiation exposure while you're sleeping. In fact, while you're at it, go ahead and turn them off or put them into airplane mode when you're not using them.
Use a headset or speakerphone.
Keep the actual device as far away from your body as possible while you're using it to limit the radiation contact to your head and brain. In fact, if you can text instead of talk, do.
Don't wear your phone.
If you're used to keeping your cell phone in your pocket, on your belt, or in your bra, find it a new home. If cell phone radiation is accelerating tumor growth, you don't want to walk around with it on your body.
Use the right phone case.
Some phone cases are built to defend and shield against EMF and non-ionizing radiation, so check them out. Even with a phone case built to protect you, try to keep conversations as short as possible, and switch the phone from ear to ear to minimize the concentration of radiation on one side.
Don't use when the signal is low.
There are a few times when a cell phone increases its power to try and make a connection: when you first place a call before it connects, and when the battery is low. Try to keep the phone away from your body during these times.