The recent report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) about the potential connection between cell phone use and cancer is big news to media outposts and the general public. Prior to the report, scientists told us no evidence existed that cell phones were carcinogenic. And now? According to the IARC, research now proves that there is evidence that cell phones might in fact be carcinogenic. The potential villains in this scenario are radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, which are emitted by a cell phone’s antenna, and which the agency says may be linked to two types of brain cancer.
The World Health Organization will study the report and release a statement and guidelines in July. Until then, keep these tips in mind for safer chatting:
1. Talk less, text more.
The further you keep your phone from your head, the smaller the risk of RF energy exposure to your brain. If you just need to relay information or ask a basic question, do it with a text rather than a call.
2. Keep your mobile conversations to a minimum.
Phone conferences and leisurely gabfests should be done on a landline. When you need to make a call on the go, keep it short and sweet.
3. Use a headset.
Ditched the landline? Use a hands-free device like a headset or talk on speaker phone (preferably the former when in public).
4. Keep your kids’ phone use to a minimum.
Since children’s skulls are thinner than adults’ and their nervous systems are still developing, researchers believe they may be at a greater risk for cell phone-related cancers. They’ll also be exposed to the potentially harmful radiation significantly longer than their parents’ generation. Until more is known about the possible carcinogenic effects of cell phone use, curb your kids’ cell phone habits by encouraging texting or using a landline instead—if they can actually recognize a landline anymore, that is.