Yet Another Study Says Cell Phone Radiation While Pregnant Is Harmful

Cellphone radiation exposure during pregnancy impacts fetal brain development and may cause hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers say.

Dr. Hugh Taylor, a medical professor and chief of Yale’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, co-authored a recent study to probe the impact of cellphone exposure on pregnancies. “We had pregnant mice in cages and we just simply put a cellphone on top of the cage. In half the mice, the cellphone was active and in half of the … cages the cellphone was turned off so it wasn’t transmitting a signal at all,” Taylor said.

The mice exposed to cellphones were more active,” Taylor said. “Their memory was slightly decreased … these mice were basically bouncing off the walls and didn’t have a care in the world.”

Many cell phone manufacturers, including Apple and Blackberry, make recommendations to keep the phone away from the body to avoid potential health risks, but those often go unseen because they are kept in the users manual. We all know how many read the user’s manual!

Here is a great list of steps from CNET you can take to help protect yourself from cell phone radiation at all times.

What precautions can I take to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation?

• Don’t put your cell phone right next to your body. Moving a cell phone even an inch from the body can greatly reduce radiation exposure. Signal strength falls off as the square of the distance to the source. This means that if you double the distance to the source, which is the cell phone to your head, the signal strength would be four times less, since two squared is four. If you triple the distance, the signal strength would be nine times less, and so on. At 10 times the distance between the cell phone and your head, the signal strength is 100 times less, and at 100 times the distance, it would be 10,000 times less.

• Keep conversations short. The less you talk on your cell phone, the less exposure to radiation you will have. So by keeping voice conversations short, you’re limiting your exposure.

• Use a headset. Experts recommend using either a wired headset or a Bluetooth headset. While you may still be exposed to some radiation using either type of headset, it’s still a lot less than holding the phone to your ear. If you do use a Bluetooth headset, I’d recommend taking it out of your ear when you’re not using it. There’s no need to continue to expose yourself to low levels of electromagnetic radiation when you don’t need to, since we still don’t know the long-term effects of radiation exposure at these low levels.

• Use the speaker phone function of the cell phone. For the same reason you’d use a headset, using a speaker phone is another good option. It keeps the cell phone away from your body, and you don’t have to worry about using a headset. Of course, the downside is that everyone around you will hear your conversation, so this may only be something you do when you’re at home or somewhere private.

• Turn your cell phone off when you are not using it. For example, turn off your phone when you go to sleep at night. Or at the very least turn off the cellular radio in your phone. Many smartphones, such as the iPhone, allow you to put your phone in “airplane mode.” This shuts down the cellular radio portion of your phone. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi radio, too, just to be safe.

• Avoid using your cell phone in places where you get a poor signal. Many consumers also don’t realize that cell phones emit different amounts of radiation depending on where they are with respect to a wireless operator’s cell phone tower. Cell phones are constantly communicating with cell phone towers, but the further away the subscriber is from the cell tower, the weaker the signal. In order to connect to the cell tower, the device must boost its power, which increases the amount of radiation emitted. This means that if you get poor reception in your basement, you should move upstairs to your living room, where you have better reception, to talk on your cell phone. Tawkon’s Friedlander noted that a minute of talk time in a “red zone,” where the radiation is likely higher because of a poor cell phone signal, is equivalent to the amount of exposure you’d get talking on the phone for three hours in a “green zone,” where reception is good and the radiation emitted from a cell phone is much less.

• Text, IM, or use the Net more than talking on your phone. When you’re texting or using your phone to access the Internet, you aren’t holding it up to your head the same way you would if you were talking on it. So texting and using other forms of communication that don’t require you to put the phone to your head or right next to your body are good ways to reduce exposure.

• Carry your cell phone in your purse or backpack instead of in your pocket. Again, it’s all about creating distance between you and your cell phone. So if you carry your phone away from your body, then you are reducing your exposure.

I’ve heard device makers warn that cell phones shouldn’t be held too close to your head. Is this true?
User manuals from most cell phones suggest keeping the phone a certain distance from your head rather than pressed up against your ear…

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