I like to write about health and how to stay healthy by making smart decisions.
There have been numerous health studies over the years that have raised questions about the safety of using cell phones because mobile phones give off radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) radiation when in use. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) took a look at a number of studies regarding cell phone radiation emissions and possible impacts to human health.
The WHO concluded that exposure to cell phone radiation is a class 2B carcinogen, which is a “possible cancer threat” classification. While the wireless industry and proponents of wireless devices say a class 2B carcinogen is not a serious concern (baby talc powder and coffee are both class 2B carcinogens), the striking thing about the WHO IARC findings is that they were released in 2011 and are based on cell phone radiation studies that predate 3G wireless technology. This is concerning since 3G, 4G, and especially 5G’s potential carcinogenic effects have not been assessed by the WHO IARC yet. Given the greater power of these newer wireless technologies, particularly 5G with its much higher frequencies, the negative health effects are likely much worse than those found in pre-3G studies that the WHO IARC took under consideration.
Health concerns regarding mobile phone usage have been heightened by data released by United States’ National Toxicology Program researchers in May 2016 that found small increases in the rate of tumors in male rats exposed to cell phone radiation at exposure amounts and durations that were near the allowable levels of cell phone radiation for human brain exposure in the United States. This study's findings were bolstered by a study done at the Italian Ramazinni Institute, which studied long-term exposure to RF-EMF wireless radiation. The Ramazinni Institute study, which was released in March 2018, studied health effects associated with exposure to cellular tower base stations. Since 4G and lower wireless cell towers are usually located in remote locations away from people, the amount of RF-EMF radiation used in the Ramazinni study was greatly reduced compared to the National Toxicology Program study. However, the findings were similar with a notable increase in brain and heart tumors in rodents that were exposed to non-ionizing radiation.
These studies' findings are troubling since the health and safety community has claimed for years that non-ionizing radiation is not strong enough to cause DNA strand breaks and cancer. Researches suspect there are other biological impacts taking place in cells from non-ionizing radiation that are not yet well understood that are leading to the statistical uptick in cancerous tumors that were found in these studies.
These findings warrant taking protective measures when using a cell phone to reduce RF-EMF radiation exposure. This need to take proactive actions to protect oneself from potentially harmful cell phone radiation will increase as 5G cell phone service is rolled out since 5G will utilize a whole new wireless band of millimeter-sized high-frequency RF-EMF pulsed radiation that some experts believe may be more detrimental to human health than previous wireless technologies that used longer wavelengths, especially since 5G towers will be located very close to where humans live and work.
Cell Phone Radiation Has Greater Impacts on Children
Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Pathways
The human adult skull provides some protection from RF-EMF radiation since an adult skull is thick and the radiation has trouble penetrating deeply into the skull. Also, a phone is only in contact with the skull while a person is talking on it and has it up to their ear, which tends to be short duration; lessening but not eliminating concerns about radiation exposure. People who regularly talk on cell phones for long periods of time with a phone up against their ear should be concerned about how much radiation they are exposing their skull to while using their phone. Children and adolescents have thinner skulls than adults and therefore cell phone radiation penetrates further into their skulls (particularly infants and young children), impacting larger areas of their brains with more radiation than adults.
Another sometimes overlooked cell phone radiation exposure pathway is the skin. Cell phones are often stored close to the body for long periods of time in a pocket or piece of clothing, putting it in contact with skin and the body material beneath the skin. This long-duration exposure to the skin raises legitimate health concerns since skin cannot effectively deflect radiation like bone material in the skull can. The radiation goes through the skin and is absorbed by the body material beneath it.
If you walk around all day with an unprotected cell phone in your pocket, you may have noticed an odd burning or itching sensation in the area of the body adjacent to your phone. This is the effect of hours of radiation from the phone impacting your body; obviously something you want to avoid. The way to avoid excessive cell phone radiation exposure through the skin is to use a phone case that has effective RF-EMF shielding, which greatly reduces the amount of radiation that impacts the body. Or just turn your phone off or put it into airplane mode at times you know you don't need to use it but need to carry it with you.
EMF Shielding Products That Protect You From Mobile Cell Phone Radiation
There are many products on the market that claim to protect you from mobile cell phone radiation. Of course, all kinds of protection claims are made by the manufacturers of such devices, but not all protection devices work equally as well at protecting people from cell phone radiation. There are technologies that manufacturers claim will block cell phone radiation, such as disks you can attach to your phone that are supposed to redirect radiation away. However, I wouldn’t trust such a scheme over an actual protective case. My understanding is that these discs can lose their effectiveness over time.
A protective case is the best protective option in my opinion. It is important to find a case that is actually effective at stopping radiation from reaching your body. Having a case with RF-EMF shielding is not a 100% effective means of stopping cell phone radiation; however, a good one will cancel out a high percentage of radiation and prevent it from reaching your body, greatly lessening your exposure to radiation from your phone. Think of how much time you spend walking around with a cell phone close to your skin or talking on a cell phone with the phone against your head. Over many years and decades, this constant exposure to cell phone radiation can cause real health problems.
There are many companies that make RF-EMF shielding cell phone cases. However, some cases are not very effective at providing protection, so it is important to do research regarding the effectiveness of a case before buying one. It is also important to use a case per the manufacture’s instructions to ensure it is functioning as designed.
Other Suggestions to Protect Yourself From Mobile Cell Phone Radiation
The following are other practical ways to protect yourself from exposure to RF-EMF radiation from your cell phone.
- Make calls using the speakerphone as much as possible and place the phone away from your body. This will keep the cell phone radiation away from your head while using it.
- If you must carry your phone, use an air tube headset when listening to or talking on your phone since this type of headset prevents most if not all EMFs from traveling up the wire to the headset that is in contact with your body.
- Do not keep your cell phone powered up on the table next to you in your bedroom while you sleep. There is no reason to unnecessarily expose yourself to radiation over long periods of time while you sleep. There is also research that indicates that a cell phone left on close to a sleeping area interrupts sleeping patterns and the body's rejuvenation.
- If you are using a smartphone or any mobile device to read an e-book or surf the Internet, keep it in a protective case. If you have it situated on your lap, put an object like a pillow or thick book on your lap. The more distance you put a between a radiation-emitting mobile device and your body the better since the power of the radiation diminishes significantly with distance (even small distances).
- Place your phone in Airplane Mode if you do not need to use wireless service. This will prevent it from trying to connect to cell phone towers and subsequently from emitting RF-EMFs.
Given the coming onslaught of potentially harmful 5G radiation, protecting oneself from cell phone radiation will be even more critical to preserve your health in the coming years.
Protect Yourself From Cell Phone Radiation
Cell Phone Radiation Protection Poll
Cell Phone EMF-Blocking Products – A Real World Test
Additional Articles About 5G Wireless
- Health Concerns Associated With 5G Wireless Mobile Cell Phone RF-EMF Radiation
5G wireless will cause dramatically increased exposure to potentially harmful radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) radiation compared to 4G and prior wireless technologies per recent health studies. There are reasons to be concerned.
- How To Protect Your Home and Family From 5G Mobile Cell Phone EMF-RF Radiation
It is more critical than ever to implement precautions to protect yourself and your family from emerging 5G cell phone EMF-RF radiation.
- Are 5G Wireless Networks Safe? The Dangers of 5G EM...
Are 5G wireless networks safe for human health and animals? 5G will utilize millimeter-sized radio waves that generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs) radiation that may be harmful to living things.
- What Is a 5G Wireless Network and What Makes It Bett...
5G wireless will deliver data much faster than its predecessor 4G and it will include technical network features that allow the network to be more dynamic and customizable.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 John Coviello
Liz Westwood from UK on July 22, 2019:
This is a topic that I have not heard much about recently, so I have read your article with interest. On a positive note I think more of us are using speakerphone, headphones and in car speakers, which reduce the time we have the cell phones to our ears. On the other hand there are many more cell phones around as people get rid of traditional phones at home.