Cellphone health risks
A woman wearing protective mask talks on the phone in Lviv, Oct. 31, 2009. Reuters

Though the hazards of radiations emanating from cell phones have not been conclusively proved, the California Department of Public Health issued a “guidance document” on how to reduce exposure to radio frequency energy put out by the phones.

The statewide notice comes after several cities, including Berkeley and San Francisco, issued local warnings asking people to maintain some distance between their phones and their bodies, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the document, “Some scientists and public health officials believe RF energy may affect human health.”

“Although the science is still evolving, some laboratory experiments and human health studies have suggested the possibility that long-term, high use of cell phones may be linked to certain types of cancer and other health effects including:

— Brain cancer and tumors of the acoustic nerve (needed for hearing and maintaining balance) and salivary glands.

— Lower sperm counts and inactive or less mobile sperm

— Headaches and effects on learning and memory, hearing, behavior, and sleep.”

A 2017 survey said that around 95 percent of adult Americans own cellphones, putting a substantial population at risk in case they are found to be harmful.

“These studies do not establish the link definitely, however, and scientists disagree about whether cell phones cause these health problems and how great the risks might be. This document is intended to provide guidance for those people who want to reduce their own and their families’ exposures to RF energy from cell phones, despite this uncertainty,” the guidance adds.

It then lists out the ways in which you can reduce exposure from the RF energy from your phones.

— When you talk on your cell phone, avoid holding it to your head—use the speakerphone or a headset instead.

— Send text messages instead of talking on the phone.

— If you are streaming or if you are downloading or sending large files, try to keep the phone away from your head and body

— Carry your cell phone in a backpack, briefcase, or purse; not in a pocket, bra or belt holster.

— Don’t sleep with your phone in your bed or near your head.

— Take off the headset when you’re not on a call.

— Don’t rely on a “radiation shield” or other products claiming to block RF energy, electromagnetic fields, or radiation from cell phones.

The guidance also warns against using phones when they are sending out high levels of RF energy in case the signal is weak. This usually happens when you are in a fast-moving car, bus, or train. Also when you are streaming audio or video, or downloading or sending large files.

Furthermore, children are more at risk when it comes to exposure to RF energy, the guidance notes.

— RF energy has the capacity to reach more areas of a child's brain than an adult's.

— Since a child's brain and body are growing and developing during the teenage years, the energy may have a more lasting and harmful effect during this period.