Good advice on how to reduce exposure to mobile radiation
Experts disagree about whether the long-term use of mobile phones increases the risk of brain tumours. However, be aware that some simple precautions are all that is needed to reduce the radiation risk considerably.
by Sigrun Landro Thomassen
& Rune H. Rasmussen
The researchers wrote:
"We conclude that the current standard of exposure to microwave during mobile phone use is not safe for long-term exposure and needs to be revised."
Various research results
Studies funded by the wireless communications industry have reported highly questionable results compared to independent studies.
The Interphone studies, which was funded largely by the wireless communications industry, concluded that, based on results across 13 countries, exposure to mobile phones was not shown to increase brain tumour risk.
However, an independent Swedish study, led by Swedish cancer specialist Lennart Hardell, looked at a larger population of long-term users and concluded that more hours of use over ten or more years approximately doubles the risk of having diagnosed a tumour on the same side of the head that the mobile phone is held.
Children are more vulnerable
The study also points to research that says that radiation penetrates five centimetres into the brain in adults, but even further into children’s brains, which are much softer and far more vulnerable, according to the researchers.
The precautionary principle
The researchers emphasise that more data is required to conclusively prove that mobile phone radiation increases the risk of brain tumours. Meanwhile, the researchers advise mobile phone users to make very few and short calls. People under 20 should only send SMS messages, as the risk is much higher among young people.
"The precautionary principle clearly applies in this case, since the problem is possible but not certain and low-cost ameliorating actions are easily implemented by industry,” the researchers conclude. “With over three billion people using mobile phones and with children among the heaviest users, it is time for governments to mandate precautionary measures to protect their citizens."
The researchers suggest limiting talking time, texting when possible, restricting use among children, and wearing an "air tube" headset (not a regular wired one) when talking is required.
Kids and Media’s advice to reduce exposure to radiation:
- Limit the number of calls and duration.
- Send text messages (SMS) rather than making calls.
- Use hands-free kits.
- Keep the phone away from your body while talking.
- Do not keep the phone under the pillow or near your body at night. Ideally, turn it off.
- Choose a phone with a low level of radiation.
- Make sure you have good coverage while making calls.
- Use a landline phone (not wireless) when you are at home.