WTF?! is This I Hear About Cell Phone Toxicity?
It’s 2017 - we all use our cell phones. In fact, there’s a very good chance you’re reading this on your phone. There’s been some talk about cell phones, radiation, and health concerns for years, especially in terms of sperm count and quality. You probably remember back when we all had flip phones, that people constantly warned dudes that cell phones were going to fry their sperm (that along with Mountain Dew). You may be surprised to hear that that wasn’t totally off base.
Ok, so your sperm won't be fried, but the science has gone back and forth about whether or not keeping your phone in your pocket could harm sperm production… but that’s not the only thing scientists are concerned about. In recent years, there have been multiple studies about the toxicity of cell phone use, here are some of what scientists have found. (It is important to note that much of this information applies to tablets as well).
What folks are most concerned about is cell phone radiation and possible links to brain cancer. Other concerns included cell phone radiation and children (as well as sperm quality and production). The main reasoning behind these concerns is that the FCC hasn’t updated their cell phone radiation standards in 17 years. That’s an incredibly long time for technology, especially when you take into consideration how much cell phone culture has changed since then! This is what cell phones looked like in 2000! (Makes you want to play snake, doesn’t it?)
What You Can Do
The EWG has provided us with lots of recommendations on minimizing the possible threat from cell phone and tablet use.
Avoid Radiation Blockers and certain cellphone cases
Apparently, a lot of the technology used to protect our phones might put us in danger. Radiation blockers sound like a good idea but they have not been proven to do any good. In fact, they may actually cause phones to produce more radiation trying to penetrate them.
When to Use Your Phone
The more signal you have, the better. Try to avoid making calls when you have poor signal. A better signal means your phone doesn't need to exert more energy (radiation) searching for a stronger connection.
Keep it at a Distance
One of the best things you can do is try to keep your phone at a distance; even a few inches makes a big difference in the amount of radiation you come in contact with. Use speaker phone whenever you can during conversations. Headphones are also a great alternative, but it’s best to take them out often. If you do use headphones, keep your phone in a bag or somewhere beside you rather than in your pocket. You could also text instead of call.
Keep Away from Children
According to the EWG, it has been proven that children absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as adults. Plus, their brains are still developing, so it’s wise to limit exposure as much as possible.Maybe having your kids play with iPads isn’t the best idea.
The EWG is asking the FCC to update their cell phone radiation standards.
The EWG stresses the need for current, relevant data on the health implications for cell phone usage. That being said, it would be wise to keep these cautions in mind while using your phones or tablets. You can help by signing their petition.
Bree is a vegan, coffee and beer loving, intersectional feminist who is particularly invested in health. She has a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from CSULB, where she spent her time turning her passions into academic activism. When she’s not busy spreading awareness on living a non toxic lifestyle, she is most likely taking a long bath, cooking extravagant vegan food, or crying about dogs.