cell phone safety

Safety Tip

It isn’t widely talked about, but cell phones, at least in the US, must be able to call 9-1-1. Even if the phone isn’t set up on a network or has been suspended for nonpayment,. 

If you upgrade your phone and the old one still works, you can keep it in the car or home as an emergency backup in case you need to call for emergency services. 

Decrease Your Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation
  • Dr. David Katz (Director, Yale Prevention Research Center): Are all cell phones, and cell phone carriers, created equal in this [radiation] regard? If not, why not?
  • Dr. Joel Moskowitz (Director, Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California-Berkeley): The amount of cell phone radiation your phone emits depends on various factors throughout the day, including your location and distance from cell towers. Some cell phones generate as much as eight times more radiation at the upper limit of the range than others. This measure, called the SAR, can be looked up on the internet for every cell phone. However, you can't find out how much radiation a phone generates during average daily use, which may be more important in terms of cumulative health risk. Some low SAR phones may generate more radiation on average than high SAR phones. Your cell phone carrier may matter more than your cell phone. One study shows that GSM phones (e.g., AT&T, T-Mobile) emit 28 times more radiation on average than CDMA phones (e.g., Verizon, Sprint). Another study shows GSM affects EEG readings more than CDMA. More comparative studies on different carrier standards are needed.
  • Dr. David Katz: What do you recommend individuals do?
  • Dr. Joel Moskowitz: Keep a safe distance at all times. The amount of radiation is related to the square of the distance so keeping your phone 10 inches away reduces your exposure 100-fold compared to an inch. Use a headset, especially a corded device, or other hands-free method such as a speakerphone or text. Don't keep the phone near your head or reproductive organs when it is turned on. Children are more vulnerable, and their cell phone use should be very limited