Radiation concerns with cell phones - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Radiation concerns with cell phones

Some health care providers say don't keep your cell phone too close to your body. Some health care providers say don't keep your cell phone too close to your body.

Cell phones have been widely used for only about 15 years, so it may be too soon to know how they affect our health.  But there are precautions you can take now.  

The Federal Communications Commission, which sets guidelines for how much radiation a cell phone can emit, says cell phones are safe, but others aren't so sure.  

"The World Health Organizations is taking the step of calling cell phones a possible carcinogen, which is a cancer-causing agent," says Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Associate Chief of Neurosurgery at Grady Memorial.  "That puts them in the same cancer-risk category as lead paint and diesel exhaust."  

How does cell phone radiation affect us?  

"The concern of what a lot of scientists will use to describe it is they're saying it sort of causes a "heating up" of the brain which is much like an egg, for example, that's being cooked," says Dr. Gupta.

And children's brains may be more vulnerable.

"Their skulls are just thinner, so when you talk about the radiation, it's easier to get through because of those thin skulls," says Dr. Gupta.

Cell phone safety manuals actually tell us to keep the phone about a half an inch to an inch away from the head.

Here's the good news: it's really simple to lower your exposure.  

Never talk with a phone directly against your head, use an earpiece.  

"So I always use a piece just like this," says Dr. Gupta.  "Its wired and I find this to be the safest thing."

And don't keep the phone directly on your body.

"I also don't put the phone in my pocket," says Dr. Gupta.  "In my front pocket, its too close to the body."

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