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Ways to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation

Published On: Feb 27 2013 10:43:13 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 11 2013 01:42:52 PM CDT
Cell phone

©iStockphoto.com/hillaryfox

(NewsUSA) - The debate about radiation exposure from cell phone use still doesn't have a conclusive answer, but the World Health Organization (WHO) classified cell phone radiation as a "potential carcinogen" alongside other hazards like lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. That means prolonged cell phone use can possibly increase the risk of specific types of brain cancer and tumor growth, according to WHO.

Although international research, such as the noted Interphone study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, continues to be somewhat contradictory, experts agree consumers have reason for concern, particularly heavy users and youth.

Cellular radiation, technically referred to as low-level radio frequency, is similar to what is emitted by microwaves. While not as strong as some other sources of radiation -- i.e. x-rays -- the radiation can penetrate the brain, harm DNA and release destructive free radicals. All of those factors increase a person's chances of developing cancer, especially among children who also tend to be heavy users.

Georgetown professor and epidemiologist Devra Davis is very concerned about the long-term effects of people who use cell phones for decades or more. Consider these easy ways to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation:

1. Use speakerphone, ear buds or other headsets. The goal of these accessories is to keep the phone farther away from your head, which lessens the amount of radiation you're absorbing.

2. Use protectors designed to block radiation. Mobile phone accessories use unique materials to block the radiation emitted by cellular frequencies.

3. Avoid putting phone in pockets or close to your bed. The farther away your phone is, the better. Belt clips may not be super stylish, but they're a good way to put another barrier between you and your phone. If you must put it in your pocket, don't leave it there for long. Similarly, sleeping with your cell phone underneath or near your head exposes you to radiation as long as you remain asleep.

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