According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cell phones can possibly cause cancer. Mobile phones are now listed under the “carcinogenic hazard” category along with lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform. When cell phones are turned on they emit a non-ionizing type of radiation. This radiation has caused an increase glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer in some mobile phone users. Pressing the cell phone against the ear increases the risk of developing a malignant form of brain cancer because of the closeness to the brain. Many cell phone manuals note that users should hold the phone an inch away from their entire body, not just their ear. In a study on participants that used a cell phone for 10 years or more and for 30 minutes or more a day had doubled the rate of brain glioma.

Cell phone radiation increases the activity of brain cells. The adult brain is protected by a thick skull, but in children and young adults, whose skulls and scalps are thinner, radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain. The National Institute of Health found that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25 years. Children are more vulnerable to radiation because of their thin skulls and developing brains; cell phone use around children should be limited. Cell phones emit the most radiation when they are attempting to connect to cellular towers. A phone with a weak signal has to work harder, which creates more radiation.

How do we reduce our risk from brain cancer? Thanks to technology today there are Bluetooth technologies and headsets. Keeping the phone away from the head by using a headset decreases the exposure of radiation to the brain. Bluetooth technology and headsets still emit radiation but at a lower frequency.

Don’t have a headset? You can use the speakerphone feature on your cell phone to amplify the speaker while keeping the phone away from your ear. Although there have not been any studies on the effect of cell phone radiation on bone density, it is recommended that you try to keep the phone away from the body and out of pants pockets. The further the phone is from the body, the less radiation is absorbed. Cell phone users can choose to text instead of talk to keep the phone away from the body. Also avoid using cell phones in places with low cellular signals, such as elevators, buildings and rural areas, to reduce exposure. Use a headset to talk on the phone and turn off your cell phone to decrease radiation exposure. Why take the chance of developing brain cancer when you can make one simple adjustment to reduce the risk?

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