Niran Phonruang/ShutterstockLike the rest of the 95 percent of Americans who own smartphones, your phone probably acts as a direct extension of your arm. You check it at work and school, while you eat lunch, and even when you are stuck in traffic—and that’s just the beginning of the signs you’re addicted to your phone.
But according to California health officials, our cell phones could be doing more damage than simply keeping us awake at night. Turns out, the radio frequencies they emit when they’re sending and receiving signals might take a serious toll on our health.
While research can’t definitively say that exposure to cell phone radiation is harmful to our well-being, some studies suggest frequent exposure could lead to health risks such as low sperm count, impaired memory and hearing, and an increased risk of cancer.
“Currently, we’re not doing a good job in regulating radiation from these devices. In fact, we’re doing an abysmal job,” Dr. Joel Moskowitz, a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and an expert on cell phone radiation, told CBS San Francisco.
This concern led the California Department of Public Health to issue its first guidelines for cell phone usage. In their recent statement, they advise people to take steps to reduce their exposure to the radiation, such as removing earbuds when you’re not using them and placing the phone away from your bed at night. You should never store your smartphone in this one place, either.
But that’s not the only phone-related health risk you should be worried about. The screen has a lot more germs on it than you may realize, too.