While talking about our business at a local event recently, someone asked this question… Is cell phone radiation for real? And, if so, should I be worried about radiation exposure from my cell phone?
The answer to the first question is yes, cell phone radiation is a real thing. In the words of the National Cancer Institute, “Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held.” The key word here, however, is non-ionizing. Non ionizing radiation is a less-harmful version of radiation and, unfortunately for those who are worried about a cell phone’s potential radiation risk the verdict is still out on whether or not this type of radiation harms cellular DNA to the point that it causes cancer. In other words, the answer to the second question is: we just don’t know yet!
A Brief Review of Studies That Have Been Done to Investigate Cancer Risk From Cell Phone Radiation
Most studies done on the subject of cell phone radiation and cancer have come to the conclusion that exposure to non-ionizing radioactive waves via cell phones is not enough to pose a serious cancer risk. Even so, most medical experts, the cancer organizations and even the CDC refuse to take the position that cellular phone radiation is not harmful. Multiple studies have had completely conflicting results.
That being said, there have been some correlations between cell phones and cancer.
One study found that there was a link between cell phone use and cancer of the salivary glands, even though very few of those salivary gland tumors were found to be malignant. Another study found that while there didn’t seem to be a correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors, there was a potential risk for a specific type of brain tumor, called a glioma, for those who used their cell phones heavily.
There are two main problems. First, linking any product to cancer risk can take decades. Cell phones are a relatively new technology and widespread cell phone use has really only come into being in the last decade or so. We predict that more conclusive evidence one way or another will be available in the coming decade or two as researchers have more data for individuals and sustained use of cellular technology.
Secondly, equipment, amount of cell phone use and variances in hands-free and non-hands- free technology make it more difficult to come with conclusive answers. The cell phone industry is constantly changing product designs and adding digital applications that use a larger amount of radioactive waves, which could be found to cause more complications down the road.
Cell Phone Usage Does Seem to Affect Male Fertility
Interesting to note is that while cell phone use can’t be 100% linked to cancer, it has been linked to male infertility. A recent study out of the University of Exeter reviewed 1,492 sperm samples from fertility clinics. Sperm that were exposed to radiation from cell phones had reduced motility – by an average of 8% – when compared with sperm that hasn’t been exposed to cell phones. This is worth taking note of. If sperm are that susceptible to cellular phone radiation, perhaps the rest of us should not be so cavalier in writing off research studies that haven’t found links between cell phones and cancer risk. There may be other detrimental side effects that haven’t been uncovered yet.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself From Cell Phone Radiation?
It’s always advised to err on the side of caution. For that reason, the CDC posts recommendations for those who want to limit the potential risk of cancer or other harmful side effects that may be linked to cell phone radiation. These include:
- Limiting the amount of time you spend using cell phones.
- Using speakerphone functions whenever you can if other hands-free technology isn’t an option.
- Using hands-free devices as much as possible to avoid non-ionizing radiation from coming in direct contact with your body.
- Keeping cell phones stored outside of your pockets and away from your body, especially if you are male.
If you are very concerned about the potential for developing cancer as the result of cancer radiation, consider investing in a specialty radiation shield. Lancs Industries specializes in the design and manufacturing of high-quality radiation shielding products. We are more than happy to fabricate custom products based on your design, or our designers will be happy to design a product for you based on your specifications. Contact us to learn more.
Subscribe to our NewsletterGet industry updates and new blogs straight to your inbox.
"*" indicates required fields