Do Cell Phones Really Cause Cancer?
You may have heard that there's a link between cellphones and brain cancer. You may even have ditched your phone over it. You may have put up with eye-rolling from your friends, or been called a crank. Or you might have been the one snubbing the idea. But whichever side of the question you've come down on, here's the truth:
Cell phones are strongly linked to some forms of cancer, and the risk just gets higher as cell phones get more powerful. And even cordless phones emit the same dangerous radiation.
The Science is in: Your cell phone really causes cancer
The fear that cell phones cause cancer has been around nearly as long as the phones themselves. Once considered a fringe idea, science is now backing this up.
Of course, the media seldom reports on this, but study after study comes to the same conclusions. Just last year, a Swedish study found that those who used their phones a lot were twice as likely to develop a malignant brain tumor as those who used rarely used them. It also found that people who used any type of wireless phone - including cordless house phones - for more than 25 years had triple the risk.
That's a pretty scary statistic. Even more scary is this: it's not just cell phones you need to worry about, but all wireless devices. Cell phones. Cordless phones. Your iPad. If it uses wireless technology, it puts out the same radiation as your phone and that's bad news.
Studies also show wireless technology is getting more dangerous. 3G phones cause more damage than older ones, and they do it much faster. Yesterday's phones caused cancer in 25 or more years. When 3G hit the scene, that dropped to only 5 to 10 years. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Ditch your cell phone
Just a few years ago, cell phones were for emergencies, or to stay in touch while traveling. Today our phones go with us everywhere. We're expected to be available at all times. This 24-hour exposure to our phones is bad for us - and for most of us, unnecessary. While it may seem like trading in your car for a horse and buggy, the simplest thing to do is get rid of your cell phone completely.
If you get Facebook withdrawals just thinking about it, cheer up. If you need your phone for business, or you just can't bear to part with it, there are still steps you can take to keep yourself safer.
Turn your phone off when you're not using it
Your phone is broadcasting even when you're not making a call. If it's turned on, it's putting out radiation. So if you're not actually using your phone, turn it off. While more and more people are dropping their house phones in favor of wireless, this is a bad idea if you value your brain. If you're at home or at work, stick to a land line.
Make sure you have a good signal before you make a call. The weaker the signal, the more power your phone has to use to make a call. The more power it uses, the more cancer-causing radiation it emits. Unless it's an emergency, don't make calls if you don't have full bars.
Don't hold your phone to your ear
This should go without saying, but let's say it anyway: If you must use a cell phone, or even a cordless house phone, use a headset instead of holding it to your ear. Holding it beside your head means the only thing between your delicate brain and some nasty radiation is a very thin bone. There's a reason that brain cancer is the type associated with cell phones.
Don't carry your phone on your body if you don't have to. The most dangerous place to be is within six inches of the antenna. And yes, even modern smartphones have antennae. They're simply built in instead of sticking out like the ones on old-school phones.
And if brain cancer isn't enough to discourage you, other studies have found that men who carry their cell phones in their pockets may have lower fertility than those who don't.
Don't sleep with your phone near your head. While it might be convenient to use your cell for an alarm clock, is it worth eight hours of steady radiation aimed straight at your brain?
Don't let your kids or grandkids use cell phones
Children are at even higher risk for phone-induced cancer than adults, thanks to the thinness of their skull bones. The time between exposure and the development of tumors can be ten years or more, so damage done while they're children might not be evident until they're adults.
Invest in a shielded headset. While headsets allow you to keep your phone away from your body, many of them still don't shield you from radiation. In fact, in unshielded headsets the wires actually act as an antenna sending the radiation directly to your brain. A shielded headset is a must. A simple Google search for "shielded headset" will turn up plenty of options, and air-tube headsets, which use tubes rather than wires for conducting sound, can reduce the amount of radiation reaching your brain by a whopping 98%.
Ditch your cordless house phone
Cordless phones, like cell phones, emit radiation. While some handsets don't broadcast when they're not making a call, the phone base does. There's really no way to be sure if it's a problem other than checking radiation levels in your house with an RF meter. A simpler, cheaper solution is to get rid of the cordless phone and opt instead for an old-school landline complete with cord.
Cell phones, tablets, and all the other wireless devices we surround ourselves with get more powerful with each passing year. Since their effects might not be visible for ten years or more, it makes sense to protect yourself starting now.
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