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01 June 2011

Cut your cellphone cancer risk

Cell phone users may be at increased risk from brain cancer and should take steps to reduce exposure.

News flash: Mobile phone users may be at increased risk from brain cancer and should take steps to reduce exposure.

  • Spend as little time talking on your cell as is practically possible. Make more calls from your land line, or send text messages instead of making calls.
  • Increase the distance between yourself and your cell phone. Use a hands-free set with an earpiece and speakerphone and carry the phone away from your body. Even holding a handset marginally further away from your head helps: the radiation levels drop off very quickly with distance.
  • Use the other ear sometimes! (I can't say I've seen this tip recommended by any medical authority, but some studies on glioma – the kind of brain tumour most strongly suspected of being linked to cell phone use – show that it occurs more often on the right side of the head, which is of course where most of us hold our cell phones.)
  • Get into the habit of simply turning your cell off more often. 
  • Don’t sleep with a cell phone. If you must, don’t have it right beside your pillow – move it to your bedside table.
  • Don't use your cell when only a few bars show – this means the radiation will be greater in order to get the signal through.
  • If you have kids, impress upon them the importance of keeping cell calls for crucial use only; lay down the law on this if necessary. Children are considered to be particularly vulnerable to cell phone radiation, as their skulls are thinner, their brains developing, and because they will be using these phones over many more years than this generation of adults will. Some medical experts suggest that, except for emergencies, kids under 12 should not use cell phones at all.
  • Don't waste money on devices advertised to act as cell phone radiation shields. They haven't been shown to be effective, and will likely only interfere with reception.

Oh, and…

 
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