Nov 182009

On “The Dr. Oz Show”, ABC network, November 17, Dr. Oz discussed a study showing a connection between long term cell phone use and some cancers. While he feels more research needs to be done, he suggests these five ways to minimize your risk:

  1. Put it on speaker. Because your exposure drops exponentially as you move the phone away from your head, you don’t have to keep the phone very far away to reduce your exposure by 1,000 to 10,000 times.
  2. Go wired. In crowded, noisy areas, use a wired headset instead. If you must use a wireless headset, turn it off when you’re not using it.
  3. Store it. Unless you’re on it, stow the phone in your purse or bag. If you keep it on your waist, keep it turned off. Studies have shown that keeping a cell phone in your pocket can decrease sperm count.
  4. Save it for a strong signal. When reception is bad (such as in a rural areas or when you’re driving) use your phone for emergencies only. The weaker the signal, the more the radio frequency has to boost itself to get connected, increasing your exposure.
  5. Protect the kids. Do not let children use cell phones next to their heads. For older kids, it shouldn’t take much encouragement to get them to text more than they chat.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He is a research and practising heart surgeon, performing over 300 heart operations annually.

As a former x-ray technician, I know that distance is your friend here. Even a small separation between you and the phone is effective in reducing the potential danger from the radiofrequency radiation.

This warning is given under “precautionary principle”. That is a policy applied when there is a need to take action without awaiting the results of scientific research when the potential hazard is known.

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