I remember once being asked for my mobile phone number by a shop assistant in Australia so she could call me when my photocopying order was finished. When I explained that I didn’t have a phone, she looked at me in astonishment and asked, ‘What planet are you from?’
For many people, life without a smartphone is unthinkable. Increasingly it’s not even possible to own a bank account or sign up for certain services without having a cell phone number to enter in the required box or the ability to receive a 2-Factor Authentication SMS code.
So what can be done to at least reduce the possibility of health risks when using a phone? Here are some tips:
How to reduce your radiofrequency exposure
- Use your phone only when necessary, and keep the call short.
- Where possible, try to only use your phone in areas with the best signal, as this can reduce the emissions by up to 500 times.
- Indoors, use your phone near the window and make sure it is between your body and the window
- Hold the phone away from your body immediately after dialing, as the phone uses maximum power until the call is connected.
- Where possible, do not hold the phone next to your eyes, breasts, testicles, kidneys, liver or abdomen if pregnant – ideally, keep the phone away from your body (such as in a bag) when it is not in use.
- Using a mobile phone in a car or train traps the fields inside the metal frame of the vehicle, and should be avoided except in an emergency.
- If you are not imminently expecting a phone call, you can greatly reduce your exposure by having the phone switched off when you carry it around instead of just on standby. Your phone will contact the nearest mast every time you move into a different masts coverage and also checks regularly even when you are stationary. This contact is always made at the phone’s full power.
- Choose a phone that has a low SAR, but don’t rely on that to guarantee your safety. SARs vary by a factor up to about 5. Some high SAR phones are actually very efficient and normally work at low power, some low SAR phones are inefficient and normally have to work at high power. The smaller phones often have higher SARs and therefore are likely to produce higher exposure levels.
- Don’t rely on pseudo-scientific gizmos to give you protection.
Is your cell phone zapping you while you sleep?
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Copyright © Karen Kingston 2010, updated 2019