6 tips for minimizing cell phone radiation
June 8th, 2012
03:26 PM ET

6 tips for minimizing cell phone radiation

Editor's note: Last summer, this article was one of the most popular on the Chart. We're republishing to share these important tips again with you.

Scientists at the World Health Organization list mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

There haven't been enough long-term studies to make a clear conclusion if radiation from cell phones is safe, but there was enough data to persuade the WHO of a possible connection to make them upgrade the category in May 2011.

Cell phones use non-ionizing radiation, which doesn’t damage DNA the way ionizing radiation does. The cell phone radiation operates more like very low power microwaves, but nobody really likes to think of leaning their face on a low-powered microwave.

If the WHO’s labeling of cell phone use as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" has you alarmed, here are some quick basic tips to limit your exposure.

Get wired

It’s no coincidence that most cell phones come with a wired ear piece.

A wired headset will automatically decrease your radiation exposure because the phone is away from the body. Every inch you can get away from the body reduces the amount of radiation you are absorbing.

A wired headset may still transmit radiation through the wire – but it is a very low level. If that is a concern, you can buy a ferrite bead for just a few bucks at most electronic stores. It attaches to the wire and it absorbs any radiation traveling through the wire, reducing how much enters your body.

And it’s not too inconvenient. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said he uses an earpiece because his neck doesn’t hurt as much after being on a long phone call. Gupta: Cell phones, brain tumors and a wired earpiece

Use the speakerphone

This could get quite annoying, if you’re in a public place. But experts say that using the speakerphone function is helpful because you’re keeping the phone away from your brain. Every inch you can get the phone away from your body reduces the radiation. For example, holding out the cell phone by two inches drops the radiation by a factor of four, Magda Havas, an associate professor with the Institute for Health Studies at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, had told CNN.

But try not to share your conversation with the whole world. Thanks.

Don’t wear Bluetooth all the time

Bluetooth wireless earpieces will expose you to some radiation. However, it would be much less radiation than a cell phone.

The problem is that most people wear their Bluetooth all the time. And this isn’t a good look on anyone.

If you use a Bluetooth device, switch it from ear to ear so you don't have too much exposure on one side. Just take it out of your ear when you aren't on the phone.

Avoid radiation hot spots

Cell phones don’t always emit the same level of radiation. For example, your phone will emit the most radiation when connecting to cellular towers.

But a moving phone (like if you are talking while driving) will continually connect to towers that come in and out of range - and this automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new antenna. A weak signal will also cause your phone to work harder, giving off more radiation. So avoid using your phone in elevators, buildings and rural areas. Research shows your device emits more radiation when transmitting than when receiving.

Read the fine print

Most of us ignore those manuals that come with our gadgetry. But most cell phone safety manuals tell consumers to not keep the phone next to their head, or even in your pocket. Apple iPhone 4 says 5/8 inch away from the body when transmitting. And the BlackBerry Bold says to keep it least 0.98 inch from your body when the BlackBerry device is in use.

If you keep it next to your body, the manufacturers can't guarantee that the amount of radiation you're absorbing will be a safe level.

Don’t talk, text

If you don’t want to hold the phone next to your face all the time, send text messages or use your email or messaging services if you have a smartphone. This way you avoid putting the phone to your head altogether.

And our friends at CNN Tech say the general rule of thumb is that the smarter the phone, the more radiation.

CNN's John Sutter contributed to this blog.

soundoff (486 Responses)
  1. when will generic cialis be available in the us

    Sildenafil cialis when will generic cialis be available in the us what is the drug cialis used for

    June 19, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. will cialis work with low testosterone

    Cialis name brnd will cialis work with low testosterone cialis

    June 19, 2021 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. canada pharmacy 24h

    American pharmacy canada pharmacy 24h approved canadian pharmacies

    June 19, 2021 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. cialis with out a prescription

    Cheap generic cialis canada cialis with out a prescription
    canada cialis

    June 20, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. cialis time to take effect

    Cialis 10mg coupon cialis time to take effect coupon for cialis

    June 20, 2021 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. walgreens pharmacy refill online

    Rx relief pharmacy walgreens pharmacy refill online are
    canadian pharmacies legitimate

    June 20, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. viagar vs cialis

    Cialis without a rx viagar vs cialis cialis
    online without

    June 20, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. cialis preço

    Cialis fiyat cialis preço cialis australia

    June 20, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. get cialis overnight

    Female cialis vs male cialis get cialis overnight cialis
    canada over the counter

    June 20, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. where can i buy cialis online in canada

    Cialis paypal accepted where can i buy cialis online in canada cialis without rx

    June 20, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. cialis asia

    Generic cialis made in america cialis asia generic cialis 10mg

    June 20, 2021 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. buy cialis online no prescription

    Cialis 10 mg price buy cialis online no prescription
    define cialis

    June 20, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. pharmacy online australia free shipping

    Tricare online pharmacy pharmacy online australia free shipping cialis 5 mg canadian pharmacy

    June 21, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. canadian pharmacies selling voltaren

    Buy prescription drugs canada canadian pharmacies selling voltaren national pharmacies online

    June 21, 2021 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. when does generic cialis become available

    Cialis denmark when does generic cialis become available is there a generic equivalent for cialis

    June 21, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pharmacy technician classes online

    Tadalis SX pharmacy technician classes online
    online classes for pharmacy technician

    June 22, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. how long for cialis to peak

    Best deals on cialis how long for cialis to peak cialis on li

    June 22, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. walmart store locator pharmacy

    Accredited online pharmacy schools walmart store locator pharmacy legitimate online pharmacy list

    June 22, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cialis reviews for ed

    Paypal cialis reviews for ed buy dapoxetine with cialis

    June 22, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. complete online pharmacy

    Pricing of prescription drugs complete online pharmacy online pharmacy usa legal

    June 22, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. canadian online pharmacy phone calls

    Topical rx pharmacy canadian online pharmacy phone calls Advair Diskus

    June 22, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. cialis singapore buy

    Cialis online fast cialis singapore buy cialis online
    overnight shipping

    June 22, 2021 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. z pak canadian pharmacy

    Prescription anti-inflammatory drugs z pak canadian pharmacy penalty for mailing prescription drugs

    June 22, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. prescription drugs not in original container

    Get prescription online prescription drugs not in original container charles raines pharmacy
    winston-salem nc early drug store

    June 22, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil side effects https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Darcie Ryley

    Great website. Thank you for the information help me learn spanish


    June 25, 2021 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. thiendia.info

    Kèo Bóng Đá Là Gì? Giải Thích Tỷ Lệ Cá Cược Bóng Đá Chi Tiết NhấtBiến Động Tỷ Lệ Kèo Nhà Cái Thụy Điển Vs Ba Lan Hôm Nay 23 casino van donHai trận đấu của lượt cuối mỗi bảng bắt buộc phải thi đấu cùng giờ. Kết thúc vòng bảng, đội nhất, nhì các bảng và four đội xếp thứ ba có thành tích tốt nhất sẽ giành quyền vào vòng 16 đội.


    June 26, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. pharmaceptica.com

    hydroxy chloriquine https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. pharmaceptica

    hydroxychloroquine 200 mg https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.