As the use of mobile devices grows, health officials have raised concerns about the harm they may have on human health. Radiofrequency (RF) radiation is a leading cause for concern, and a troubling report published by the RF Exposure Lab located in San Marcos, California, found that RF emissions put out by the iPhone 11 may be more than twice the allowable amount listed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Critics of the study quickly pointed out that the devices tested include iPhones housed in Gadget Guards using alara technology, both of which are sold by the company Penumbra Brands, which commissioned the study.
But while the test results did cause some controversy among health officials and Apple product users, the underlying concern regarding the possible adverse effects of RF radiation on the body remains.
How RF Radiation Affects the Body
As use of cellular devices and exposure to RF radiation levels have increased, health officials and consumer watchdogs have raised concerns about the possible long-term risks of RF radiation exposure. Multiple studies have been conducted to test whether varying levels of exposure are safe and to determine what effects it has on our health. The results are varied, but concerning:
- In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listed RF radiation as a possible human carcinogen.The IARC also states that the use of mobile devices raises levels of RF radiation exposure to potentially hazardous levels.
- The Hardell group, an oncology group based in Sweden, found that patients who were exposed to RF radiation before the age of 20 had the highest risk of glioma, a rare but malignant type of brain tumor. The studies also indicated that RF radiation from cellphones significantly raised the risk of developing acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor that grows in the inner ear.
- The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) reported significant increases in incidence of glioma, malignant schwannoma, and DNA damage to multiple organs from RF radiation exposure in large animal studies.
- A 2015 animal study concluded that human exposure to RF radiation should be as limited as possible after finding a significant increase in heart schwannoma and malignant tumor incidence in rats exposed to RF radiation.
- DNA damage was found to be higher in the ear canals of participants exposed to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields from using cellphones than in participants who did not use cellphones.
- RF exposure may be causing adverse effects in neurodevelopment. Researchers found that infants who were exposed to RF radiation from maternal cellphone use during pregnancy were more likely to have increased blood lead levels. Furthermore, researchers found that RF radiation seems to disrupt the release of melatonin, possibly affecting fetal brain development by impacting the sex hormones of the mother during pregnancy.
- According to a report by the Department of Community Medicine in Delhi, India, short-term effects of cellphone use include headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate variability when mobile devices were kept near the chest for long periods of time, which could be related to RF radiation exposure. Long-term effects of RF radiation damage from mobile devices include DNA and chromosomal damage.
Practical Tips to Avoid RF Radiation
While researchers agree they don’t yet fully understand the potential ramifications RF radiation exposure could have on human health, these studies and others like them indicate there is cause for concern. According to the Environmental Health Trust Database of World Wide Policies on Cell Phones, Wireless and Health, 45 countries or governing bodies have issued health warnings in regard to RF radiation.
While it may not be practical to completely remove cellphones and other sources of RF radiation from your life, there are some practical tips you can follow to reduce your exposure to RF radiation from your cellphone:
- Remove cellphones from your bedroom at night.
- When possible, leave your cellphone at home or in another room of the house; avoid carrying your cellphone in your pocket.
- Use a headset or the speaker-mode option as much as possible. When speaking on the cellphone, don’t hold it too close to your ear.
- If pregnant, avoid unnecessary RF exposure as there is increasing evidence that RF radiation may cause developmental problems. Do not put your cellphone in your bra or on your stomach.
- Switch your cellphone to airplane mode when not in use.
- Eliminate or limit children’s time on cellphones, as they may be most susceptible to this type of radiation.
To stay up to date on the latest research studies regarding RF radiation and other public health issues, please visit our GreenMedInfo.com database for more information.
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