If your 2 year old thinks of your iPhone as her own personal property, you are not alone. Parents everywhere grapple with the question of how long to allow their young children to sit in front of screens, but what many may not be thinking about is how long is too long when it comes to exposure to the radiation that is emitted from these devices. A group of scientists and the American Academy of Pediatrics are now hoping to raise awareness of the possible dangers children face when using cellphones.
Today reports about the warnings being issued by these groups saying that more research must be done before we can fully understand the effects of cellphone use from a very young age. Though we have been told that there is little to worry about when it comes to radiation exposure and cellphones, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently urged the FCC to come up with an updated set of guidelines regarding this type of radiation exposure. The last set of guidelines were issued in 1996 and as we know, a lot has changed in the world of cellphones and smartphones.
Chair of radiology at the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Gisela Mercada-Deane explains how the current guidelines are not appropriate for the way adults and children use cell phone technology today. She says, “The amount of radio frequency that children will be exposed by the time they are our age [an adult] is exponential to the amount of radiation, radio frequencies that we ourselves are being exposed to in a lifetime.”
And even though we are still unsure about the effects of a lifetime of cell phone exposure, there are precautions you can take to avoid the amount of exposure you and your kids receive. It is explained that our smartphones emit non-iodizing radiation equivalent to a “low-powered microwave”.
If you were to read the fine print of your cell phone manual, you would see that it is advised not to keep your phone too close to your body, like tucked in a pocket or bra. The Samsung Galaxy S6 manual reads, “Body-worn SAR testing has been carried out at a separation distance of 1.5 cm [.6 inches]. To meet RF [radio frequency] exposure guidelines during body-worn operation, the device should be positioned at least this distance away from the body.”
Use of a headset or speakerphone while in use is also a good idea to avoid resting the phone right up against your head. And also beware that your phone will emit the most radiation when the signal is low and it is searching for a stronger connection. In these instances it is best to wait until you are in an area with a stronger signal to use your phone.
What do you think about the new warnings regarding cell phone use?
Do you take any steps to avoid radiation exposure from your phone?