Reduce Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation
About Cell Phone Radiation
Cell phones are increasingly important tools of communication. The number of users is on the rise, and children comprise a growing segment of this population. All cell phones emit radio-frequency radiation (also called radio-frequency energy) from the antenna when the device seeks to make a connection with a cell tower. This radiation is emitted in all directions, and is absorbed by the brain or the body depending on where the cell phone is being held or carried.
Reducing Your Exposure
Although studies continue to assess potential health effects of mobile phone use, the World Health Organization has classified Radio-Frequency (RF) Energy as a possible carcinogen as reported in IARC Monographs Volume 102. If you are concerned about potential health effects from cell phone RF Energy, the City of San Francisco recommends:
- Limit cell phone use by children: Developing brains and thinner skulls lead to higher absorption in children.
- Use a headset, speakerphone, or text instead: Exposure decreases rapidly with increasing distance from phone.
- Use a belt clip or keep your phone in a knapsack, briefcase, or handbag to keep some distance between your phone and body: Do not carry your phone directly on your body or at least maintain the recommended safe distance specified in your phones’ user manual.
- Avoid using your cell phone in areas with a weak signal (in elevators, on transit, or when indicated by your phone): Using a cell phone in areas of good reception decreases exposure by allowing the phone to transmit at reduced power.
- Reduce the number and length of calls.
- Turn off your cell phone when not in use.
San Francisco's Cell Phone Right-to-Know Ordinance
It is the policy of the City and County of San Francisco to adhere to the Precautionary Principle, which asserts that government should not wait for scientific proof of health or safety risk before taking steps to inform the public of the potential for harm. There is debate in the scientific community about the health effects of cell phones, however numerous studies have identified evidence of an increased risk of brain cancer and other illnesses as a result of cell phone use. Leading epidemiologists who have studied the effects of radiofrequency energy absorbed from cell phones have recommended that the public be informed of the potential for adverse health effects from long-term cell phone use, particularly for children and pregnant women. See "Additional Information" below for links to studies.
Most cellular phone user manuals state, usualy in very fine print, that if a user holds a phone too close to their body, a phone may exceed the radiofrequency energy exposure limitation set by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC"). It is in the interest of public health to require cell phone retailers to inform customers about measures they can take to reduce their exposure to radiofrequency energy from cell phones. San Francisco's Cell Phone Ordinance requires cell phone retailers to provide their customers with this information through a store poster, warning statements included in sample phone displays, and in a factsheet to be given out with each phone sold and upon customer request. The ordinance is currently on hold due to an industry law suit.
Additional Information for Reduce Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation
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