Are radio frequencies radiated from cell phones safe?
The FCC has recently reviewed it’s guidelines for radio frequency (RF) emissions safety regarding radio transmitters, such as cell phones. The last time they did so was in the 1990’s, well before cell phones went mainstream. While they feel that the current regulations are sufficient, they have asked for a response from experts in this field of research to voice their opinions about how regulations and research could be enhanced.
One thing that should bother you about the current FCC review is that, other than the IEEE and a few government groups like WHO, most of the organizations involved in the safety review are cell phone companies with little incentive to uncover actual cases where phone radiation could cause harmful side effects. We should have some groups involved that actually have a reason to care about harmful side effects to consumers.
To date, there is little evidence supporting regular cell phone use as a cause of cancer. There is also no hard evidence to the contrary. Because of the lack of concrete evidence either way, most of what one can find online regarding the safety of cell phone radiation or whether cell phone use can cause cancer is not much more than a maze of opinions. Cell phones have not been used heavily for very long, so it could still take time to uncover any side effects caused by them. In fact, part of the reason the FCC has opened the review for comments from the public is because they recognize that the data they are looking at is a little out-dated. We can only hope that the new focus on the possible dangers of cell phone use, due to the FCC asking for more expert advice for research, will help spur better methods for testing this risk of exposure.
It is interesting to note that the FCC does point out a few safe practices to minimize any potential health problems from mobile devices:
- Use a speakerphone, earpiece or headset to reduce proximity to the head (and thus exposure). While wired earpieces may conduct some energy to the head and wireless earpieces also emit a small amount of RF energy, both wired and wireless earpieces remove the greatest source of RF energy (the cell phone) from proximity to the head and thus can greatly reduce total exposure to the head.
- Increase the distance between wireless devices and your body.
- Consider texting rather than talking – but don’t text while you are driving.
In a nut-shell, according to the FCC: Keep your cell phone away from your body… and don’t text while driving.
One last point of interest: Nowhere in the entire, lengthy document does it mention the effects of cell phones directly against the skin- except for noting that the outer ear (the pinna) can safely be much closer to your phone than the rest of your head. Nowhere does it consider the practical places you store your phone between calls (such as in your bra or pocket), and how your body near those areas may be affected.
Women should definitely use caution if they want to store their phone in their bra. Non of the safety levels used to regulate cell phone radiation are intended to address the scenario of having your phone against your breast for hours. They mostly focus on how it could affect your head and brain.
So it seems the best advice is to keep your phone in your purse, or somewhere away from your body, until we have more conclusive evidence about how the radiation from cell phones and other mobile devices can affect our bodies. But if you want to stuff your phone in your bra for convenience (running, dancing, working, etc), get The Bra-ket and use it. The Bra-ket is RF-resistant, heat-resistant and sweat-resistant. It also keeps a thick barrier between your device and your skin. And it’s comfortable, so you don’t need to be bothered to feel a little safer.
And thanks to the FCC for being open-minded in their inquiry into the health concerns related to cell phones and the radiation they transmit!