California Dreaming: California Releases New Recommendations for Mobile Phone Usage


Even though the World Health Organization classified cell phones as a possible carcinogen in 2011, few researchers have conducted further investigation. However, a new warning issued by the state of California offers recommendations about how to reduce your risk.  Not your risk of cell phone distraction, a recent hot-button issue, but of the radiation that cell phones emit.

This concern emerges from a court case earlier this year by University of California researcher Joel Moskowitz, when he sued the state for not making public guidelines for cell phone usage available. The judge ruled in Moskowitz ‘s favor earlier this year, and the state of California made instructions possible early this week. The guidelines recommend keeping your phone away from you when you sleep, and keep your phone somewhere other than your bra or in your pocket.

If you keep your phone close to you, you could exceed the FCC’s recommended safety limits! Other recommendations include reducing your use when the signal is weak (i.e., less than two bars,) and reducing the amount of audio and video you stream on your phone. When your phone has less than two bars or when you use it to stream audio or video, your phone releases more radiation than it otherwise would.

Children and teens seem to be at an unusually high risk of radiation, because their brains are vulnerable to the emissions expelled by cell phones. The California Department of Public Health’s director, Karen Smith, recommends that “parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”

More studies are in the works outlining the physical effects of cell phones, and numerous studies are displaying the psychological impacts of cell phones. More long-term studies are underway, hopefully resulting in a more concrete understanding of the radiation emitted by cell phones.

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