Mobile Phones: Safety or Convenience?
Government Admits: 'We don't know whether they are dangerous'
Mobile phone users have been advised by the UK Government for the first time to text or use hands-free kits rather than make calls.
The Department of Health said this would reduce the user's exposure to reduce radiation emitted by the devices. In the first update to the UK Mobile Phones and Health leaflet since 2005, health officials added that further research is needed into the long-term effects of using mobile phones. The UK Chief Medical Officer restated previous advice that children under the age of 16 should only use mobile phones for 'essential purposes' and should keep calls short. The latest advice comes just weeks after a £15m Interphone study, that found radio waves from mobiles appear to boost activity in parts of the brain closest to the devices' antennas and further research indicating that mobile phones cause increased brain glucose metabolism.
For more information see theBioInitiative Report 2012 which was prepared by 29 authors from ten countries to document the scientific evidence on electromagnetic fields. The purpose of this report is to assess scientific evidence on health impacts from electromagnetic radiation below current public exposure limits and evaluate what changes in these limits are warranted now to reduce possible public health risks in the future. The great strength of the BioInitiative Report (www.bioinitiative.org) is that it has been done independent of governments, existing bodies and industry professional societies that have clung to old standards. Precisely because of this, the BioInitiative Report presents a solid scientific and public health policy assessment that is evidence-based.
5 Steps to Reduce Radiation: What You Can Do:
- Turn it off: As long as your mobile phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. Turn your phone off or to flight mode when not in use; you could redirect calls to a landline. While airplane/ flight mode is on, no phone, radio, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth signals are emitted and Global Positioning System (GPS) reception is turned off. (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can be re-enabled while in airplane mode on some models.)
- Children should text instead of making calls: If calls are unavoidable they should use a low emission earpiece (see below) or loudspeaker option to keep the phone away from their heads.
- Use shielding devices: Shielded cases are available to cover phones while they are in your pocket. Also try an air-tube headset - these operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as sound waves. If you use a wired earpiece, make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.
- Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock: Don’t sleep with your phone under your pillow - try switching it off for a better night’s sleep.
- Use your mobile only where reception is good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit. Ideally only use your phone with full bars and good reception.