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Safety Tips for Reducing Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

Mobile (wireless) phones operate using radio-frequency waves. The human body absorbs some amount of energy from these radio waves. Some parts of the body absorb more energy than others. How much exposure is safe or unsafe?

There is no conclusive scientific evidence that radiation from cell phones causes any ill health, such as cancer, dizziness or sickness. The reports are either inconclusive, cautionary, limited or contradictory. The effects and risks will become clearer as more research is conducted (see Long Mobile Phone Use Raises Brain Tumor Risk and FDA Questions Recent Cell Phone Radiation Safety Study). Government regulations and industry standards help to protect the public from the harmful effects of exposure to cell phone radiation.

But there are two individual risk factors: very frequent or long-term use of a cell phone; and use of a handset with higher radiation output, usually from higher transmission power or poorer quality design.

If you want to take more personal responsibility for reducing your exposure to harmful radiation from cell phones for safety reasons, follow these suggestions:

  1. If you have a choice, use a landline (wired) phone, not a mobile (wireless radio) phone.
  2. Limit the length of your calls. Longer length of exposure increases the short-term effects from radiation. Long-term effects are inconclusive, so be on the safe side.
  3. Use a headset (or ear bud) to keep the handset farther from your head (brain).
  4. Use a wireless phone connected to a remote antenna to keep the transmitter/receiver farther from your head (brain).
  5. When your phone is on, don't wear it on your belt or carry it in a breast or pants pocket. When a mobile phone is on, it automatically transmits at high power every one or two minutes to check (poll) the network.
  6. After placing a call, wait five seconds before putting the handset to your ear. When placing a call, a mobile phone makes the connection at high power, then reduces power to an adequate level.
  7. Do not press the phone handset against your head. Radiation level is proportional to the square of the distance from the source -- being very close increases energy absorption much more. The farther your brain is from the handset the better.
  8. Use your phone where reception is good. If the radio signal is weak, a mobile phone will increase its transmission power.
  9. Avoid using a mobile phone while wearing metal-framed glasses or earrings or having wet hair. Metal and water are good conductors of radio waves.
  10. Reduce mobile phone use by children. Children's smaller physical size places their brain and internal organs closer to the handset. Children's thinner bones and muscles insulate the inner body less from the radio waves. A younger person will likely have a longer lifetime exposure to radiation from cell phones.
  11. Use a low-radiation handset. Check the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of your mobile handset at the FCC ID website or at your handset manufacturer's site.
  12. Use a radiation shield on your mobile handset to increase insulation.
  13. If you use a power amplifier (booster) to increase your phone's signal strength, be even more concerned about the above radiation effects. The radiation from a boosted phone is greater than that from a non-boosted phone.
  14. Do not live or work close to a wireless network cellular phone tower (transmitter and receiver antenna). Some have very high power output and operate 24 hours a day.

Sources of information about cell phone radiation and safety:

Go to Mobilook's Mobile Phone Safety and Security page.

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