Radiation is all around us. Power lines, appliances, and electronic devices all emit electromagnetic frequencies. One source that many of us keep close, perhaps too close, are cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. They all use radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic energy, a form of non-ionizing radiation, to communicate. Research has shown that this type of radiation is not benign or harmless to the human body, especially children. Exposure to cell phone and Wifi radiation has been linked to fatigue, dizziness, mental fog, and even worse. As a result, the demand for products that reduce exposure to device radiation is on the rise. In fact, "How can I protect myself from cell phone radiation? What do you recommend?" is a question we get all the time. So, to help, I wanted to offer my thoughts on five products I've found that I believe are worth a look if you're interested in reducing your exposure to cell phone and mobile device radiation.
Although recall bias is minimized in studies such as COSMOS that link participants to their cell phone records, such studies face other problems. For example, it is impossible to know who is using the listed cell phone or whether that individual also places calls using other cell phones. To a lesser extent, it is not clear whether multiple users of a single phone, for example family members who may share a device, will be represented on a single phone company account. Additionally, for many long-term cohort studies, participation tends to decline over time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the intensity of radio frequency (RF) radiation from cell phones decreases exponentially the further the device is held away from the body. Therefore your safest bet it keep your cell phone as far away from your ear and body as possible at all times. Don’t carry it in your pocket, tucked into a bra strap, and definitely don’t sleep with it next to your head.
Searching PubMed for studies published in the past 10 years, we found 102 studies that ultimately resulted in 12 relevant systematic reviews. To limit bias in our assessment of the literature, we used a validated critical appraisal tool called AMSTAR to determine the quality of each review. Eight of the reviews were critically low quality, two were low quality, and two were moderate quality.
The energy of electromagnetic radiation is determined by its frequency; ionizing radiation is high frequency, and therefore high energy, whereas non-ionizing radiation is low frequency, and therefore low energy. The NCI fact sheet Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer lists sources of radiofrequency radiation. More information about ionizing radiation can be found on the Radiation page.
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