Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cell Phone Radiation

For the record, I'm not an expert. I just play one on television.

So glad to have that off my chest.

Every once in a while I've heard snippets about radiation and cell phones, but nothing much to really make me question the truth of it. I mean, surely, the government and corporate America have our best interests in mind right? 


*Tap, tap, tap*  Is this thing on?

Between a recent conversation with my mom and a book I was reading, the topic has really been percolating in my brain. And a percolating brain can be a dangerous, dangerous thing.  (Side note - the book is Sex, Lies, and Menopause by T.S. Wiley- contact me if you would like to know more about the book, I recommend it with some reservations.)

The first time I began to question the effects of cell phone usage was this past fall when Richie attended a teacher in-service session on alternative health remedies. The leader of the class touched very briefly on cell phones and how they have been connected to bone loss on individuals who wore their phones on their belts or in the pockets. Without doing a lot of research, I found this article that pointed in that direction.

After doing a little digging (emphasis on little), I've found enough information to be concerned. It seems that researchers are just now being able to link some serious side effects with cell phone usage since it still remains a relatively "new" technology. A decrease in bone density, headaches, behavioral problems, benign and malignant tumors, soft tissue damage (think eyeballs, etc.), and lack of concentration are just a few of the side effects being linked to cell phone usage.

Having lived in the world of statistics and research before my retirement into the glamourous world of full-time homemaker, I cautiously digest what these studies are finding. I plan to keep looking for the actual studies to examine their findings for myself (if it isn't all scientific jargon), but in the meantime I'm going to be changing some of my phone habits.

  • Stop carrying it in my pocket around the house.
  • Try to only use my phone when I have a strong signal. A cell phone emits more radiation when the signal strength is low.
  • Look into getting a good headset and use my speakerphone more often. There is some debate about which headsets protect against radiation.
  • Monitor frequency and length of calls when the kids are on the phone. They aren't on that much, but I want to make sure their calls are kept brief or on speakerphone.
I'm really interested to see what develops as further research is done on this topic. I thought maybe (?) I wasn't the only one who was curious about the subject so I thought I'd share.

Here's a list of cell phone models ranked by radiation from EWG, whose organic Dirty Dozen list I've shared before. Find your cell phone and see how it ranks. Mine was in the upper middle.