There has been much discussion in recent years about microwaves and other forms of radiation that we, as a more tech-minded society, come in contact with each day and how it affects our health. The idea that cellphone radiation can potentially cause cancer is not new, but recent data from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) suggests that the correlation between cellphone use and cancer may be greater than previously thought.
While the full results of the two-year study are expected to be introduced to the public by 2017, current available information highlights a few significant health concerns associated with cellphone use. The NTP study exposed rats and mice to radio frequency radiation (RFR) – the kind emitted from cellphones and wireless devices – for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments, totaling just over nine hours a day from before birth through two years of age. The results showed increases in cancer among rats that had been exposed to RFR. Specifically, the exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor. Studies in mice are continuing.
This new information further strengthens the results of past radiation studies which suggested that RFR from cellphones and wireless devices can cause cancers, diseases, infertility, sleep disturbances and even damaged DNA. With the information we currently possess, it is evident that any effort to reduce our exposure to RFR could be preventive, or at the very least, beneficial.
How to Reduce Your Risk
Take care in your exposure to not only cellphones, but any device that emits a wireless signal because they also emit radiation. Those devices can include Wi-Fi routers, laptops, tablets, wireless speakers, cordless baby monitors, wireless game consoles and wireless thermostats.
To limit your exposure to the radiation emitted by these common devices, try the following:
- Keep a physical distance between yourself and these devices. Use a speakerphone when making calls. Do not place turned-on devices in your pockets, keep laptops and tablets off your lap and put Wi-Fi routers up and away from you directly.
- Turn devices off when not in use. Or, turn them to “airplane mode,” if available. Whatever allows a Wi-Fi signal to be emitted will also allow a stream of radiation.
- Avoid using phones and wireless devices in metal surroundings. Elevators, cars, busses and trains contain radiation and create hot spots around the user. However, making a call in your car can be made safer by utilizing a Bluetooth feature that limits your direct exposure.