In today’s 24/7 technological society, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone without a cell phone.
In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, (Link) 95% of adults own a cell phone of some kind. Cell phones are everywhere and with the prevalence of social media, people feel the need to be connected at all times.
However, in relation to overall personal health, is the abundant use of cell phones safe for the owner?
The California Department of Health came out and issued a warning against the dangers of cell phone radiation this week (Link).
CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith stated in the release that "although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones".
In the new California Department of Health Cell Phone Guidance, the California Department of Health outlines the following as actions people can take to protect themselves from cell phone radiation:
These steps can help you protect yourself from cell phone radiation, but is cell phone radiation harmful? Let’s look at both sides:
Side A: Cell Phones Aren't Harmful
Cell phones give off radiofrequency radiation, which is non-ionizing.
Radiofrequency radiation is also given off by cordless home phones, laptops, radios, and tablets.
The FDA’s cooperative research and development agreement and the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry (CTIA) concluded that“no association was found between exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cell phones and adverse health effects”.
Additionally, in 2010 the INTERPHONE study (Link), the largest cell phone radiation study at the time concluded there was no increase in brain tumors linked to the use of cell phones at low RF levels, but at high exposure levels there could be harmful effects.
Side B: Cell Phones Are Harmful
In 2008, Dr. Ronald Herberman, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute issued a written statement to hospital staff saying that they would try to reduce cell phone exposure due to a possible correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors.
Additionally, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at the World Health Organization (WHO) added cell phone radiation to its list of agents that are possibly carcinogenic to humans. (Link)
So is excessive cell phone use dangerous? Conflicting evidence exists on both sides.
Despite the fact that the use of cell phones is now almost universal, we still aren’t sure of the long-term effects of cell phone use and radiation.
Until further research is done, it is still important to conduct your own personal investigation and understand the potential ramifications associated with your cell phone usage.