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Cell phones and brain cancer—tips for reducing even the possibility of risk

Posted By Patrick J. Skerrett On June 2, 2011

In a recent post, I wrote about the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s announcement that using a cell phone may—stress on the may—increase the risk of brain cancer. The agency acknowledges that the decision is based on limited and weak evidence. We won’t know for sure whether or not there is a connection between cell phone use and brain cancer until longer, larger studies than the ones the agency relied on have been completed.

If you like to minimize your risks, even ones that turn out to be nonexistent, is there anything you can do now to minimize the amount of energy your cell phone wafts into your head? One way is to keep your phone from direct contact with your skull. In today’s Boston Globe, technology writer Hiawatha Bray offers several simple ways to do this:

  • Make like a teenager and text instead of talking.
  • Use the speaker phone feature.
  • Try a Bluetooth wireless headset, but turn it off (and take it off) when it isn’t in use.
  • Switch to a wired headset.
  • Hold the phone an inch from your ear.

Don’t buy a cell phone shielding device, counsels Bray. The Federal Communications Commission says they don’t work.

Another option that may (there’s that pesky word again) help is buying a phone that transmits at a lower power level. The Environmental Working Group offers a list of the radiofrequency energy output of phones available from major carriers.

Related Information: A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and forward

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