Cell Phone Radiation – Why Do We Even Need Protection?
Cellphones use radio waves to communicate with cell-towers, and ultimately other users. These radio waves emit a type of electromagnetic radiation called radio-frequency radiation, or RF. Now, it isn’t just phone calls that emit this radiation, but any data usage and wireless connectivity.
So, that could be browsing Instagram or Facebook, or that could be texting with a friend. Any time data is either sent from the phone, or to the phone, it’s emitting this RF radiation, sometimes called cell phone radiation.
Studies are increasingly showing us that this cell-phone radiation, or any EMF radiation for that matter, is, in fact, dangerous to humans. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re going to immediately have issues, or that you’ll even notice the effects (unless you have something called EHS). What we’re learning, is that the biological harm from EMF radiation is cumulative. This means that small exposures added up over a lifetime, can and likely will have negative health effects.
Protecting Yourself from Cell Phone Radiation
All of the things below will help to dramatically reduce your exposure to EMF radiation. Some of them are simple tips you can use, and some of them are inexpensive products that you can use to protect yourself.
These aren’t ranked in any particular order. Instead, I would suggest you read through them all, and then make decisions for yourself which ones make sense for your lifestyle. That is the thing with any kind of EMF protection, there is always more you can do. However, you have to pick your battles and do your best to make lots of good decisions over a lifetime.
Let’s get started.
1. Use Airplane Mode
This is probably the simplest, cheapest, and most effective way to protect yourself from cell-phone radiation. Although cell-phones emit a small amount of magnetic and electric radiation, most of the radiation they emit is in the form of radio-frequency radiation. This RF radiation comes from the wireless connectivity of the hone.
So, by placing your phone into airplane mode, you’re disconnecting it from cellular connection, and wireless connection. This will reduce the amount of radiation emitted to almost nothing. You can use this all the time.
Let’s say you’re reading a Kindle book that you already downloaded, just put your phone into airplane mode so avoid un-needed radiation exposure.
Or, if you’re just driving in your car, placing your phone in airplane mode will not only help you avoid direct exposure, but also the residual exposure from RFs bouncing around inside your car.
One thing to note though is that airplane mode on many phones, including iPhones, does not automatically disable Bluetooth connection. As you might know from other articles on EMF Academy, Bluetooth also uses radio waves, and therefore Bluetooth devices, and their connectivity to your phone, emit RF radiation.
So, when you take the time to turn Airplane mode on, also be sure to disable Bluetooth. Using Airplane mode is also a great strategy when you’re sleeping. Although you should probably avoid sleeping next to your cell phone, as we’ll talk about below, if you simply can’t stand it, at least enable Airplane mode.
2. EMF Protection Case
A cell-phone case that helps to block cell phone radiation is one of the most popular ways to reduce radiation. Although EMF protection products of all kinds are becoming more popular, this is such an easy one to implement.
Here is how most of these cases work to protect you from cell-phone radiation. They are designed typically as a wallet case, meaning that they have a closing front flap that you can store your ID and credit cards inside of, and sometimes even cash.
That same flap that holds your cards also contains material capable of blocking RF radiation. So, when you make or answer a phone call, you simply close the front flap before talking. This will reflect any radiation that would go directly towards your head away from the cell-phone, dramatically reducing your exposure.
It’s really important that you use these cases correctly because talking on the phone with the flap on the reverse side could actually increase your exposure.
There are a few good brands out there from companies like Safesleeve, RF Safe, Cruz cases and more.
3. Utilize Speakerphone
Sort of like using Airplane mode, utilizing speakerphone is a great way to reduce your exposure to cell-phone radiation, and it won’t cost you anything.
One thing we know about this type of radiation is that it is exponentially less dangerous the farther you get away from it. So, holding your phone directly against your head, compared to a few inches or feet away, is exponentially more dangerous.
There is a reason that cell phone companies can’t produce phones with too high of radiation, measured using something called Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR. These SAR ratings can’t be higher than 1.6 w/kg or it is considered too much radiation for the body to absorb. Now, I won’t go into this in this article, but many people including myself feel that safety level is not at all safe and that it should be much lower.
So, if you’re talking on your phone, consider using speakerphone. This will allow you to keep the phone much farther away from your head, and keep you significantly safer.
4. Airtube Headphones
If you like the idea behind using speakerphone, but don’t think it’s practical, consider getting a pair of air tube headphones.
Normal headphones place the speaker directly in your ear, exposing you to small amounts of radiation in very close proximity to your brain. Airtube headphones resolve this by placing the speaker about 10 inches away from your head and sending the sound through a hollow tube of air.
Most quality airtube headphones include a mic on them, making them the perfect product for making and taking phone calls. You not only avoid the radiation from the headphones themselves, but this also allows you to keep the phone a good distance away from your head and body.
So, whether you’re sitting at home or in your car, Airtube headphones make your calls much safer. They also work great for just listening to music or anything else.
5. Wait Until the Call Has Started
This is pretty self-explanatory, but one great way to protect yourself from cell-phone radiation is to wait until the call has actually connected before putting the phone up to your head.
Some research and my own experience suggest that phones tend to emit a large burst of radiation as they actually make a connection to the call. So, if you can just hold off until the call has actually started, you could be protecting yourself against that surge of radiation.
Now, if you’re using some of the suggestions above, like a protective case or using Airtube headphones for your call, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re just trying to make small, smart decisions, when it comes to your cellphone, this is a great one.
6. Wait for Good Reception
This is sort of in line with the previous cell phone protection tip. Now, in most large cities, depending on your carrier, you’ll probably have full bars, meaning perfect reception. However, if you’re on a road trip, out of town, or out of the country, this might not be the case.
Some research has suggested that when our cell phones have poor reception, they work much, much harder to maintain a good connection. Although this might be a good thing for the quality of our phone calls, it isn’t so great for our bodies.
When our phones work harder to maintain good reception, they can emit far more radiation. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Research found exactly this. Joel Moskowitz, who is the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Public Health said the implications of the study are significant. He told journalists that: “With a weak signal, what happens is your phone puts out a lot more radiation to make the connection with the cell tower. This would strongly urge that people should not use cell phones in elevators or moving vehicles or public transit … or in a basement or a building with steel beams where the signal is likely to be very weak, because not only are you exposing yourself to very high levels of cell phone radiation, you’re exposing all those people around you.”
The researchers who published the study said: “Limiting cell phone use in weak signal reception areas indicated by fewer than three display bars could potentially reduce [radio frequency]exposure by up to a factor of 10,000.”
Did you catch that? Could reduce radiofrequency exposure by up to 10,000 times!
7. When Possible, Text Instead of Calling
The header pretty much says it all here. The truth is, although sending a text does emit a small amount of radiation, it is nothing compared to how much you expose yourself during a call (assuming you’re holding the phone against your head).
So, if you just need to relay a brief message, then texting is going to be a better call.
One other note about this, if you really want to get an A+ in cell phone radiation protection, is to hold your phone away from your body when you press send. All the radiation that is emitted when you send a text occurs in the few seconds after you hit send.
8. Don’t Sleep Next to Your Phone
This is such an important one, I probably should have put it higher in this unranked list. In fact,
Studies show that exposure to EMF radiation, beyond being harmful, also affects our ability to get good sleep. An Australian study found that the pineal gland produced less melatonin when in the presence of cell phone radiation. They believe this is because the gland interprets the RF radiation as a type of light, therefore believing it is still light outside and producing less melatonin.
Melatonin, as you may know, is the hormone that regulates our sleep and wakefulness. When we don’t get proper sleep, our body is not able to heal and recharge.
On top of that, our bodies are more vulnerable to biological damage while we’re sleeping.
So, one of the best ways you can protect yourself from cellphone radiation is to not sleep next to your cellphone. I would suggest just placing it on the other side of the room. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, that is fine, just turn the volume up, put it in airplane mode, and keep it at least a few feet away.
9. Close Your Apps
You might not know this (I didn’t for a long time) but every app you open on your iPhone or Android phone stays open in the background. I always assumed that when you hit the home button, it also closes the app. However, you have to actually manually close apps for them to be fully closed.