Want to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Risks? Keep Your Distance.

The lead author of a study that demonstrated that cell phone radiation can have an impact on brain activity has some advice for anyone who makes frequent use of the popular devices. According to The New York Times, Dr. Nora Volkow, whose study appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, says cell phone enthusiasts should put some distance between themselves and their phones.

Dr. Volkow’s study showed that 50-minutes of cell phone use was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism (a marker of brain activity) in the region closest to the phone antenna. The study is one of the first, and the most prominent, to offer scientific evidence that cell phones affect brain metabolism. What is not yet understood is exactly how the brain changes induced by using a cell phone might impact health over the long-term.

Dr. Volkow and her co-authors at the National Institutes of Health assert that their findings indicate a need to further investigate potential long-term cell phone health effects.

“Concern has been raised by the possibility that RF-EMFs emitted by cell phones may induce brain cancer. … Results of this study provide evidence that acute cell phone exposure affects brain metabolic activity. However, these results provide no information as to their relevance regarding potential carcinogenic effects (or lack of such effects) from chronic cell phone use.”

Intensity of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Cell-Phones-Cause-Cancer-Radiation-Exposure-Lawsuit-Lawyer">cell phone radiation diminishes with distance. According to The New York Times, Dr. Volkow advises that users keep cell phones at a distance by putting them on speaker mode or using a wired headset whenever possible. If that isn’t possible, using a Bluetooth headset or earpiece, which emit radiation at far lower levels, is another good option. As a last resort, users should hold their phones just slightly away from their ear.

As the Times points out, some – though certainly not all – studies have suggested a link between cell phone use and cancer, lower bone density and infertility in men. For that reason, it might not be wise to keep a phone in a breast or pants pocket. A purse, brief case, or nonmetal belt clip that orients the phone away from the body are better options.

Because most cell phones emit the most radiation when they are first making contact with a cell phone tower, waiting until after a call has been connected to put the cell phone next to the ear is a good precaution to take, the Times said.

When buying a cell phone, consumers should choose one with a lower SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate. SAR measures how much radiation is absorbed by the body when using the handset at maximum power. While these numbers can be hard to find, the Times reported that the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization, has a comprehensive list of the SAR values for most cell phones available from major carriers on its Web site. In the U.S., cell phones can’t be sold unless the SAR is below 1.6 watts per kilogram.

Finally, because children’s developing brains and tissues are thought to be most vulnerable to cell phone radiation, the Times said it’s not a good idea to allow small children to use cell phones for extended periods, if at all.

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